GREENPORT — Local college students will now have a more streamlined process of earning their bachelor’s degrees, thanks to a new partnership between Columbia-Greene Community College and SUNY Delhi.
Columbia-Greene announced the new program, which will go into effect in the fall 2020 semester, on Thursday. Students who earn their associate degree or complete certificate programs in nursing, business, criminal justice, environmental sustainability and computer science and earn a 2.0 grade-point-average or higher, or 2.8 for nursing students, will be accepted directly into the corresponding bachelor’s programs at SUNY Delhi, according to the community college.
“It’s a wonderful union of two institutions,” College President Carlee Drummer said. “We are so thrilled at this new partnership. It will enable students to pursue bachelor’s degrees in the designated program areas without leaving the Columbia-Greene campus.”
The partnership marks the first time Columbia-Greene will have a university presence on the campus, Drummer said.
“We started looking at the partnership for our nursing program,” Drummer said. State law now requires nurses to have a bachelor’s degree, she added.
Nursing students at Columbia-Greene who meet the eligibility requirements will be able to earn their bachelor’s degree on campus and nursing alumni now have the opportunity to come back for their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees at Columbia-Greene, Drummer said.
College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs George Timmons called the move a game-changer for Columbia and Greene counties, especially for students hoping to pursue four-year degrees closer to home.
“As a community college, Co-Greene serves a diverse population of students with a wide variety of needs,” he said. “From transportation challenges to family obligations, to job responsibilities and beyond, the roadblocks to pursuing a degree are many. This partnership with SUNY Delhi will open doors for a greater number of students, including those leading into some of the most in-demand and well-paying jobs in the region.”
Several industries experienced job growth throughout the state from December 2018 to December 2019, according to the state Department of Labor.
Educational and health services gained 51,200 jobs; professional and business services 31,500; leisure and hospitality 20,800; trade, transportation and utilities 7,600; government 6,100; information 2,900; and natural resources and mining 100.
Industries that experienced job losses included manufacturing with 7,200 losses, financial activities with 4,400, other services with 4,400 and construction with 400.
SUNY Delhi Provost Kelli Ligeikis agreed.
“We are pleased to offer an excellent, clear pathway for C-GCC students to continue their education in one of our outstanding bachelor’s programs at SUNY Delhi,” she said. “We are confident that C-GCC students will thrive in the student-centered learning environment at SUNY Delhi.”
SUNY Delhi will also offer two, one-time transfer scholarships to C-GCC graduates — one residing on campus and one enrolled in an online program — who maintain full-time student status with a cumulative GPA of 3.0, Ligeikis said.
About 230 students are in the programs to be included in the partnership, C-GCC Director of Marketing and Communications Jaclyn Stevenson said. An additional 400 students that are enrolled as Individual Studies majors will also potentially be eligible for the transfer program, bringing the count up to more than 600, Stevenson said.
The programs are enormously popular with students, Drummer said.
“In these areas, when you look at job openings, even in the next five years, they will continue to increase the demand for more workers,” Drummer said.