NEW PALTZ — The State University of New York at New Paltz will soon assist Ecuador’s youngest and fastest growing university, the Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo (UEES), to launch two new master’s degree programs. Located in Guayaquil, UEES was founded in November, 1993 and is currently considered to be among the most dynamic and innovative universities in Ecuador.

According to Bruce Sillner, director of international education, the partnership began to develop several years ago when SUNY New Paltz was exploring locations for internships and Study Abroad program experiences for students enrolled in its Latin American Studies Program. “The relationship with UEES blossomed,” said Sillner. “Soon it took on added dimensions, as we pursued discussions of graduate-level courses.”

Beginning in March 1998, UEES will offer its first intensive master’s degree level courses in education taught by SUNY New Paltz faculty. The program will be focused on teaching English to students of other languages. Six faculty are expected to introduce the program next year. Students who complete the course work will earn their degree from UEES.

Sillner noted that the second of two master’s programs will be launched in the fall of 1998. That program, also an intensive, will be in the field of international business administration.

“Ecuador does not have a strong tradition of graduate education,” stated Sillner. “Typically, universities seek American partnerships for advanced higher education. This new relationship will provide an unusual opportunity for our faculty to engage in professional development activities abroad.”

He explained that 60 to 70 percent of the courses for these new programs will be taught by New Paltz faculty on-stie in Guayaquil. “Because the courses are designed as intensives for graduate students,” said Sillner, “instructors will travel to Ecuador between semesters and during holiday periods after instruction in Guayaquil. Students progress will be monitored by e-mail.”