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David M. Henahan, director of communications
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David.Henahan@esc.edu

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September 16, 2010

SUNY North Country Consortium Celebrates 25 Years at Fort Drum

(FORT DRUM, N.Y. – Sept. 16, 2010) The SUNY North Country Consortium celebrated 25 years of providing access to higher education for soldiers, family members and other North Country residents today (Thursday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 p.m.) at the Hillside Lodge in Fort Drum. The invitation-only event was keynoted by Dr. John Deans, one of the founding board members for the consortium, and former president of Jefferson Community College (JCC). The seven colleges in the consortium are: Jefferson Community College, SUNY Canton, SUNY Empire State College, SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Consortium courses are offered locally so students do not have to travel great distances to pursue higher education. Classes are offered at the Education Center on Fort Drum and at the Jefferson Higher Education Center (JHEC) located on the JCC campus in Watertown. Other convenient options include online classes, weekend classes, guided independent studies and blended learning (a combination of online, in-person, and/or independent study) so that students may arrange their studies to fit their work, military, family and civic commitments.

SUNY Empire State College Interim Vice Provost for Regional and Networked Learning Deborah Amory said in prepared remarks, “Our anniversary celebration today provides us with the opportunity to highlight the work of our member institutions, faculty, students and staff on base at Fort Drum and in collaboration with our colleagues in the U.S. Army. In the past 25 years, the world has changed, and these changes are perhaps nowhere more apparent than on a military base and in the North Country. Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan was sworn in for his second term in office; this past year, President Barack Obama was sworn in as president and commander-in-chief. In 1985, the Internet as we knew it did not exist… Consider the role of the Internet in our lives today in contrast! Finally, during these 25 intervening years, the terrorist attacks of September 11 th , 2001, have indelibly changed the world as we knew it. Yes, the world has changed in 25 years, both at home and around the globe. What has not changed is the State University of New York’s commitment to serving our military students, on base at Fort Drum and around the world via our online offerings and individualized tutorials. In fact, from this visionary moment 25 years ago when the SUNY Consortium was first established, we have only become more skilled and more dedicated to serving our military students and their families.”

About the SUNY North Country Consortium

The SUNY Consortium works with people of diverse educational backgrounds, from those who have GEDs to master’s degrees. Prospective students can just walk in to the Consortium offices at Fort Drum to ask questions or gather information, or they may schedule an appointment with a faculty advisor. Advisors help students with selection of a college and degree program, application for admission, registration for classes, and navigating the financial aid process. Jefferson Community College and Empire State College have full-time advisors available at the Fort Drum office, SUNY Oswego have advisors available at Fort Drum by appointment, and SUNY Potsdam have advisors available at either Fort Drum or JHEC by appointment. Once the advisor and the student meet and determine the student’s areas of interest, the advisor can cross-refer between schools in order to best match the student’s educational goals.

The SUNY North Country Consortium was formed in 1985 in response to the expansion of Fort Drum, the influx of new residents and the increasing demand for higher education. The consortium is a collaborative partnership of seven SUNY institutions who share resources in order to better serve students, particularly those affiliated with the U.S. armed forces. This partnership of institutions brings four-year degrees and higher degree programs to Fort Drum and JHEC for North Country residents, soldiers and their family members. Through the program, soldiers get support for the special needs they may have during deployment. Most solders find they can continue classes wherever they go. Advisors work with the active duty service members, members of the Guard and Reserve, veterans and former service members utilizing educational and vocational rehabilitation benefits, as well as family members of these patriots.

Presidents of Consortium Institutions

These presidents or their representatives will be present at the 25th Anniversary Celebration Thursday.

Jefferson Community College:
Dr. Carole McCoy, president

SUNY Canton:
Dr. Joseph Kennedy, president

SUNY Empire State College:
Dr. Alan R. Davis, president
Dr. Deborah Amory, vice provost Regional Learning

SUNY Institute of Technology:
Dr. Bjong W. Yeigh, president

SUNY Oswego:
Dr. Deborah Stanley, president
Ms. Yvonne Petrella, dean of Extended Learning

SUNY Potsdam:
Dr. John F. Schwaller, president
Dr. Margaret Madden, provost

SUNY Upstate Medical
Dr. David Smith, president

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