January 17, 2020

SUNY Empire State College and Hudson Valley Community College Announce New Addiction Studies Partnership

Guarantees Admission for HVCC Chemical Dependency Counseling AAS Students to SUNY Empire Addiction Studies Bachelor Degree Program

Agreement will Help to Meet Workforce Demand Needed to Combat the Opioid Crisis


(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK – Jan. 17, 2020) SUNY Empire State College and Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) today announced a new partnership providing guaranteed admission to graduates of HVCC’s Chemical Dependency Counseling (A.A.S.) program to SUNY Empire’s first-of-its-kind bachelor of science in Addiction Studies.

SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras and Hudson Valley Community College President Roger Ramsammy signed the agreement, which will seamlessly transfer all earned credits to SUNY Empire’s new program, which is in its inaugural semester this spring. Under the partnership, SUNY Empire will waive the registration fee and provides a $100 Presidential Scholarship to all Hudson Valley transfer students.

The recent opioid crisis has put a strain on critical services. According to recent estimates by the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in the addictions field is expected to increase by 20 percent over the next 10 years, creating the growing need for professionals with bachelor’s degrees and Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) certifications.

The SUNY Empire Addiction Studies program is designed to prepare students to become skilled addiction treatment specialists while helping them advance toward becoming a certified CASAC in New York state. Courses address fundamental aspects of how addiction affects individuals, families, and communities, while examining the assessment, treatment, and prevention of substance misuse.

The degree can be completed entirely online, or at one of SUNY Empire’s 30-plus campuses and learning hubs around the state, including in Albany, Latham, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, and Johnstown.

“SUNY Empire created this program to proactively and effectively respond not only to the public health crisis that is opioid addiction, but to help combat all forms of addiction,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “The data show that we need more trained specialists in our communities to provide support to struggling individuals and families. Thank you to President Ramsammy for recognizing the importance of this program and creating an opportunity for HVCC students to continue their education in this much needed field.”

“The field of addiction counseling is in great need of certified counselors,” said HVCC President Roger A. Ramsammy. “With this new agreement, we hope more of our Chemical Dependency Counseling associate degree graduates will continue their education at SUNY Empire and build the professional ranks to combat the opioid crisis here in New York. With this new agreement, our students can transfer directly to SUNY Empire as juniors, and that’s a great opportunity for those who wish to continue their education here locally.”

“The Chemical Dependency and Human Service programs at HVCC provide a solid foundation for all students who are interested in working within the field of addictions and human services,” said Thalia MacMillan, associate professor at SUNY Empire. “We look forward to this partnership, and to working with the students to determine ways in which we can continue to shape their knowledge and skills.”

SUNY Empire and HVCC also renewed their guaranteed admission program, allowing HVCC students to transfer up to 79 lower-division credits to SUNY Empire, more than half the 124 total credits required to complete a bachelor’s degree, meaning students can earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as one year after their associate degree. The partnership waives the orientation fee and provides a $100 presidential transfer scholarship. Like the Addiction Studies program, the agreement also extends to HVCC employees, and helps lower the cost and time needed to complete a degree by awarding college credit for employees’ prior professional learning.

See photos from today's event here.

About Hudson Valley Community College

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 80 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 11,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has 80,000 alumni.

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 www.esc.edu and follow @SUNYEmpire.