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Buffalo State College President Muriel A. Moore helped launch the institution's first international distance-learning program today -- from San Jose, Costa Rica.

She is in the Central American republic for the inauguration of a new network linking the Lincoln School in San Jose with Buffalo State and City Honors, Grover Cleveland and Clarence Central high schools.

The new network will provide faculty and students at all the institutions with academic programming and cultural exchanges.

"This connection between institutions represents an historic opportunity for Buffalo State College," Ms. Moore said. "Through interactive video technology, we are able to extend the reach of our academic programs well beyond the Buffalo region."

An electronic ribbon-cutting ceremony, formally launching the distance-learning program, was held this morning in Buffalo State's Center for Applied Research in Interactive Technologies as well as in Costa Rica.

Representatives also were to be in City Honors' and Grover Cleveland's interactive classrooms. Both schools are part of the Buffalo CityNet consortium linking 11 local agencies.

City Honors already has an exchange program with Lincoln School, a kindergarten through 12th grade bilingual school. Clarence Central has a sister school relationship with Lincoln, and Grover Cleveland expects to have cultural exchanges with the school.

Costa Rican officials expected to be with Ms. Moore in San Jose during the electronic ribbon cutting included Eduardo Doryan, Costa Rican minister of education; Thomas Dodd, U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica, and Jack Delman, director general of the Lincoln School. Donald Jacobs, director of Buffalo State's Center for Applied Research in Interactive Technology, and Wendy Patterson, an assistant professor of education at the college, are in Costa Rica with Ms. Moore.

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