For my mapping project this semester I thought it would be very useful to find out where Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), City University of New York (CUNY), e-learning students actually live. Are they in the five boroughs of New York City or do they actually live throughout the state and the country? Only very rarely do we have a student enroll who is truly a “distant” student, meaning they live in another state or far away. This spring 2015 semester all of our students actually live in New York State, but I was surprised to learn from my mapping activity that they are not simply located in the five boroughs. This spring we had 1206 hybrid students and 1097 online and fully online students from 200+ New York zip codes.
I’m enormously interested in the story these maps tell us and how information visualization may be able to inform policy making. Its clear if students live in Montauk and in the Hudson Valley that providing excellent off-campus services becomes increasingly important as we expand our course offerings and plan for offering fully online degree programs. Moving forward, it would be interesting to create a map for face-to-face students to determine how far our students are traveling to come to campus. This information may help us provide better e-learning course options and services to target these students.
NOTE: Student identities were not utilized for this mapping activity.