Open SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2019: Dutchess – Joan McFadden

Joan McFadden

Joan McFadden

Joan W. McFadden is the Department Chair for the Business, Aviation, and Construction Professions Department and the Paralegal Program Chair at Dutchess Community College.  She earned her Juris Doctor in 2003 from Pace Law School and is an attorney licensed to practice in New York State.

“My first experience in online teaching was a summer session graduate-level business law course that I taught as a part-time instructor towards the beginning of my teaching career.  I was teaching the course using a course shell prepared by another instructor, so I didn’t have a lot of personal input on the content of the course, but I was intrigued by the experience of being able to connect with students across the nation – and beyond, since one of my students was in the military and deployed at sea.  The high level of diversity provided such rich discussions that I looked forward to my next opportunity to teach online.”

That opportunity came relatively quickly when Ms. McFadden obtained a full-time position at Dutchess Community College as Paralegal Program Chair. She seized the opportunity to develop and teach paralegal courses online in order to make them available to working professionals and other individuals who could not make it to campus to take our traditional ground-based courses.  

During the summer of 2018, Ms. McFadden worked with a team of dedicated faculty to improve student resources for online learning and to implement an online student orientation that is now required for all first-time online students at DCC.  She has been active both at a department level, as well as on a campus-wide level to encourage and provide support for expansion of online offerings in varied formats (including hybrid and accelerated hybrid formats) throughout several departments in order to deliver courses and learning opportunities to students who may not be able to otherwise pursue their educational goals at their institution due to distance and/or time limitations.  

“I am truly honored to serve as a SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues at DCC to expand our online educational environment.  It is a pleasure to be part of a community that is dedicated to offering a variety of ways for our students – both near and far – to access high-quality, innovative, and engaging courses in an online format in order to achieve their educational goals.”

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