September 23, 2020

SUNY Empire State College Expands Access to Higher Ed for All Capital District YMCA Members and Employees

Capital District YMCA Employs 500+ and Serves More than 27,000 Membership Units

SUNY Empire Offers More Than 110 Online Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degree Programs

College Evaluates Prior Learning and Life Experience for College Credit to Lower Cost and Time to Degree Completion


(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK – September 23, 2020) SUNY Empire State College today announced a new partnership to lower barriers to a high-quality higher education for thousands of Capital District YMCA members and employees.

As part of the partnership agreement, SUNY Empire will waive the admission fee and provide a presidential scholarship for all eligible YMCA members and employees who enroll at SUNY Empire. Participants will also benefit from SUNY Empire’s prior learning assessment process, which awards college credit for work and life experience, reducing the overall cost and time needed to complete a degree.

SUNY Empire offers students more than 110 flexible online programs, from certificates to master’s degrees. The college has been conducting online instruction since 1995, blended with face-to-face learning at campuses and learning hubs in every region of the state. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY Empire transitioned to fully remote instruction in the spring and is continuing in that mode through the fall.

The Capital District YMCA employs more than 500 people, and serves more than 27,000 member units – which could include a single individual or up to a family of six – through programs that promote youth and leadership development, healthy living-focused initiatives, and social responsibility. Like so many organizations affected by the pandemic, the Capital District YMCA has modified its offerings to keep members engaged and connected, and strictly enforces social distancing and a strict sanitation protocol on-site.

In the last academic year, SUNY Empire has introduced several new academic programs in response to workforce demands. Last month, SUNY Empire State College announced its first doctoral program in the college’s nearly 50-year existence, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Change, to prepare current educational leaders to advance their education and careers while learning how to lead positive change in colleges, universities, and communities. SUNY Empire added seven new tracks to its 36-credit MBA program in marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship, healthcare management, nonprofit management, project management, information technology management, and global finance and investment concentrations. On the undergraduate level, the college also developed SUNY system’s first fully online, accredited Bachelor of Science degree program in Security Studies, an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies, and several degrees in the area of Community and Human Services.

“Much like SUNY Empire, the Capital District YMCA is always adapting and creating new opportunities to engage and encourage its members to be their best selves,” said SUNY Empire State College Officer in Charge Beth Berlin. “SUNY Empire excels at offering flexible, personalized academic programs for students at all stages of life and learning. The YMCA is integral to our community, and it’s a privilege to partner with an organization that provides invaluable services and has changed the lives of so many for the better.” 

“We’re so excited to partner with SUNY Empire State College,” said Capital District YMCA President David Brown. “Like the Capital District YMCA, SUNY Empire is devoted to improving the lives of those in our community.”

The agreement was made official during a virtual signing agreement. Pictures from the event can be found here.

About the Capital District YMCA 

So Much More than You Know

You know the Y for our pools, our gyms, and our treadmills. But we’re so much more.

For more than 150 years, the Y has been building stronger communities. Through our childcare programs, we nurture the potential in every child. Through our health and wellness programs, we improve the well-being of those in our communities. Through our scholarship program, we give back and help those in need.

Better Together, the Capital District YMCA is a leading charity of choice in the Capital District, devoted to strengthening our community.

Learn more at Call us today: 518.869.3500.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates students at any stage of life with a personalized learning experience delivered online, in person, or a blend of both. Since 1971, SUNY Empire has empowered students to earn an accredited degree around the demands of a busy lifestyle to advance their personal and professional goals. With world-class faculty, more than 1,300 dedicated mentors to help students tailor their degree programs, and cutting-edge distance learning technology, SUNY Empire delivers a trusted and flexible online college experience grounded in more than 30 New York state locations and seven international sites where students can learn and collaborate in person. Our nearly 50 years as a leader in awarding credit for prior learning and life experience helps students earn a degree faster and at lower cost. To learn more, visit and follow @SUNYEmpire.