Empire EdYOUcate

An individualized approach to creating — and earning — your college degree

Two million New Yorkers have some college credit, but no college degree. Many working adults don’t think they have the time to finish their degree. Others aren’t sure what their credits can get them or how to make sense of them. Still others have been away from college just long enough that they’re no longer certain how to navigate college. Sound familiar?

Degree Programs Built Around YOU

Through Empire EdYOUcate, we’ll help you identify, organize, and make use of the experiences and knowledge you’ve gained over your lifetime to develop a degree program that reflects what you’ve done and where you’re going. It’s a holistic approach to degree planning centered around you and your goals.

Yes, we offer prescribed majors with established courses, but we also know that degree plans are not one-size-fits-all. Empire EdYOUcate offers you the opportunity to develop a degree that enhances and advances your unique experiences, interests, and prior learning. We’ll help you channel the things that make you YOU into a manageable blueprint for earning your college degree.

From individualized degree plans and flexible course schedules to earning college credit for learning gained outside a traditional classroom, the Empire EdYOUcate model has been a critical part of our mission for more than 50 years. 

So bring your experience, round up your achievements, and put on your thinking cap. There’s a world of opportunity out there, and it begins at SUNY Empire.

Empire EdYOUcate Benefits:

You’re in Control

You decide what, when, where, and how to study. We don’t box you into prescribed majors, schedules, or course formats. This is your education. You’re in control.

Save Time and Money

Earn credit for knowledge gained through work and life experience, including standardized exams, military training, and professional licensure. It adds up — saving you time and money on your degree.

Mentorship that Matters

Your faculty mentor will work with you every step of the way to help you shape your degree plan, provide guidance and encouragement, and keep you on track.

Cross Academic Boundaries

Make your degree work for you by customizing it to fit your specific needs and goals. Combine courses across academic disciplines to create a program that is uniquely you.

Prior Learning Assessments (PLA) by the Numbers

  • More than half of students who complete an associate or a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Empire receive PLA credits.1
  • On average, students who receive PLA credits and complete an associate degree receive approximately 20-25 credits. This can cut time to degree by 2-3 terms and provide savings of approximately $7,000.
  • On average, students who receive PLA credits and complete a bachelor’s degree receive approximately 30-35 credits. This can cut time to degree by 3-4 terms and provide savings of more than $10,000.2 When compared to private college tuition, SUNY Empire bachelor's degree students can expect a savings of nearly $37,000.3

1Data from SUNY Empire Decision Support
2Assumes SUNY Empire undergraduate cost per credit of $295 for NYS residents
3Assumes average undergraduate 4-year private college cost per credit of $1,079 for NYS residents. Source: IPEDS 2018-2019