November 18, 2010

Back to School Five Times A Year: Don't Let Timing Prevent You From Earning Your College Degree!

(Saratoga Springs, N.Y. – Nov. 18, 2010) The leaves have fallen, school buses are back on the road, the kids’ school supplies have been bought and paid for, college students are safely in their dorms with their noses in the books – so the whole back-to-school season is over, right??

Not at SUNY Empire State College. Geared toward adult learners, students can enroll five times per year, making enrollment just as flexible as the online and independent study courses they take. The heart of the Empire State College experience is the relationship between the mentor, who acts as advisor and guide, and the student. Mentors are there for students whether they decide to complete their degree programs face-to-face, completely online, or decide that a blended model (a combination of face-to-face meetings and online courses) is the best option.

Alan R. Davis, president of Empire State College, said, “The college’s mission says it all: Our committed faculty and staff are dedicated to helping motivated learners transform their lives. We are open and ready to serve busy, engaged people who want to build on their prior experience and become part of the rich learning community here at SUNY Empire State College. Through its various learning modes, the college seeks to foster respectful, creative and vibrant learning environments for students, faculty and staff. ”

“Having a mentor has been a key component in keeping me motivated and on track with my studies,” says student Amanda Kenellis. “My mentor is in constant contact with me by either phone or e-mail. Although I am fully aware that he is mentoring a number of other students, each time I speak with him, he treats me like I am his only student.”

The college has five terms and therefore five times students may enroll: in Sept., Nov., Jan., March and May.

Quotes from Regional Deans

“Empire State College’s Niagara Frontier Center is a student-centered learning environment with faculty and staff who understand the unique needs of adult learners. The college’s multiple terms and varied study options are designed for nontraditional students, regardless of age and prior college experience. Students in Western New York can choose from five convenient locations: Lockport, Fredonia, Jamestown, Olean and the Buffalo-area office is located in Cheektowaga.” Nan DiBello, dean, Niagara Frontier Center.

“SUNY Empire State College offers adults in the Long Island area access to schedule-friendly, flexible education that could include meeting with a faculty mentor for guided independent study, online courses and study groups. With the state of the economy, people on Long Island are interested in polishing their skills or completing their educations for employability as well as personal satisfaction.” Kenneth Feldman, dean, Long Island Center.

“Since our students lead busy lives, our calendar is flexibly designed to offer multiple times to register for courses. Students can take courses from September to December, take a break, and take courses from March to July. Or they can study from November through March, and start up again in March, May or September.” Jonathan Franz, dean, Genesee Valley Center.

“SUNY Empire State College is designed to provide access and flexibility. This means creating opportunities for students to begin their studies at multiple points throughout the year and providing learning options that get them out of rigid, traditionally structured class schedules and into innovative approaches that allow them to fit college into their already busy lives.” Gerald Lorentz, dean, Northeast Center.

“The five-term calendar allows our students to make smart choices about when, where, and how to study. At the Center for Distance Learning (CDL) we provide access to nearly 500 courses in areas such as business, human services, humanities, digital media, science, math, and technology. Our students develop individual degree plans with their mentors and work collaboratively with peers in innovative online learning environments.” Tom Mackey, interim dean, Center for Distance Learning.

“Several information sessions about the college’s programs and admission procedures are scheduled monthly at each of the college offices in Hartsdale, Nanuet and Newburgh. Faculty and professional staff are available in each office to help the student achieve his or her educational goals.” Bob Trullinger, dean, Hudson Valley Center.

“New York City’s Metropolitan Center with locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island welcomes students to pursue studies in fields including arts; business; community and human services; human development; social sciences; humanities; history and science, mathematics and technology. We treat students as individuals, welcoming them to our community of learners, giving them needed support as they strive to reach their educational goals.” Cynthia Ward, dean, Metropolitan Center.

So don’t let timing keep you from earning a degree. Although registration for the November term (Sept. 21 – Oct. 22) is past, registration for the January term opened Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 30.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor's and master's degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at 34 locations in New York state and online. For more information, visit

Media Contact

David M. Henahan, Director of Communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918

(after 5 p.m. and weekends)

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.