July 2, 2020

SUNY Empire State College Partners with Clinton Community College and North Country Chamber of Commerce to Meet Workforce Demand by Expanding Access to Affordable, Relevant, and Flexible Degrees for North Country Residents

Partnership Allows Clinton CC Students to Reduce Time Needed to Complete a Bachelor’s Degree by Up to a Year without Leaving Community, Saving Time and Money

North Country Chamber of Commerce Joins SUNY Empire’s Corporate and Community Partner Benefits Program, Expanding Access to Higher Education for 3,200 Member Businesses


(PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – July 2, 2020) SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras, Clinton Community College (Clinton CC) President Ray DiPasquale, and North Country Chamber of Commerce resident Garry Douglas today announced new partnerships to expand educational opportunities for North Country residents and help meet workforce demands.

The new partnership between SUNY Empire and Clinton CC will allow eligible Clinton CC graduates to be automatically accepted into SUNY Empire’s four-year Addiction Studies and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs—both fields in which the need for qualified professionals is at an all-time high. The opioid crisis continues to affect communities across the nation. According to the American Medical Association, more than 30 states have now reported surges of substance misuse and overdoses, which are being attributed to COVID-19 and its economic and social repercussions. A pending nursing shortage is looming as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are currently three million nurses working in the United States, with one million vacancies for registered nurses projected by 2024. This impending shortage means fewer nurses in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and long-term care facilities, schools, clinics, in the military, and in homes.

The partnership also assures that qualified Clinton CC students, having completed any associate degree program in arts, science, or applied science, can transfer up to 79 lower-division credits to SUNY Empire, more than half the 124 total credits required to complete a bachelor’s degree – making it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree in one year after an associate degree, at considerable cost savings. The agreement also waives the application fee and provide a $100 Presidential Scholarship to all new and transfer students.

SUNY Empire has also created an opportunity for member businesses -- including employees, retirees, and their family members -- of North Country Chamber of Commerce to participate in SUNY Empire’s Commitment to Community Benefits program, which helps lower the cost and time needed to complete a degree by awarding college credit for employees’ prior professional learning, waiving the application fee, and providing a $100 presidential scholarship. As part of the agreement, SUNY Empire will also continue to identify opportunities to customize and expand curriculum to help meet the needs of North Country-area businesses. North Country Chamber of Commerce is the largest business and economic development alliance in northern New York with more than 3,200 members.

Eligible students from both Clinton CC and the North Country Chamber of Commerce will be able to take advantage of SUNY Empire’s flexible, personalized education model, which allows students to complete their degrees entirely online, in person, or a blend of both with individualized, in-person mentoring and academic support. SUNY Empire has more than 30 locations in New York state, including its North Country learning hub located on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus.

“Today’s partnership with industry and higher education working seamlessly together to provide high-quality, affordable education built around students is what is needed to meet current and future workforce demand,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “Thank you to Presidents DiPasquale and Douglas for their vision and leadership to expand access to higher education not only for individual students, but for the communities in which they live.”

“We are very excited about the opportunities these agreements provide to Clinton Community College students and for them to have additional options once they have graduated,” said Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale. “We thank SUNY Empire for reaching out to us to continue our partnership in providing exceptional educational opportunities to the students in our region.”

"With these two new partnerships, we are building a new connection between Clinton Community College and SUNY Empire State College that can only facilitate enrollments and benefits for both," said North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas. "And at the same time, the Chamber is entering into a partnership with SUNY Empire State College that will enhance linkages by our companies and their employees to a range of valuable degree and non-degree programs, including such themes as Manufacturing Management and Human Resources among many others. The result will be added strength for Clinton Community College and greater use of valuable educational programs by our North Country employers. We thank Jim Malatras and SUNY Empire State College for this spirit of collaboration. Onward and upward!" 

“Partnership is what it’s all about,” said Senator Betty Little. “What Clinton Community College and SUNY Empire can do well on their own they can only do better together, offering students even more options for a first-rate education.  And, the alliance with the North Country Chamber of Commerce is a perfect fit, the kind of partnership that helps local employers connect with talented and well-educated potential employees.”

"Thanks to this partnership between SUNY Empire State College, Clinton Community College, and the North Country Chamber of Commerce, local students will have even more opportunities to achieve their academic and career goals,” said Assemblyman D. Billy Jones. “These agreements will help employees of member organizations earn degrees at a lower cost and taking less time while simultaneously assuring that qualified students obtaining specific degrees at Clinton Community College, like addiction counseling, will be able to seamlessly transfer to SUNY Empire State College to obtain a higher degree. Continuing to foster these workforce development initiatives will be critical as our economy continues to safely reopen and I applaud this project. I'll continue working with my Assembly colleagues and community stakeholders to expand educational opportunities and move our regional economy forward."

Those interested in learning more about SUNY Empire State College’s associate, undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs are encouraged to contact the admissions office (admissions@esc.edu).  

Click here to see pictures from today’s event.

About Clinton Community College

Clinton Community College is a member of the State University of New York system and home of the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM). Clinton offers 24 associate degree programs, seven certificates, transfer pathways and advisement options, multiple non-credit professional credentials, and many flexible learning options including online and evening courses. As part of the SUNY system, Clinton credits transfer seamlessly. For more information, visit us online at www.clinton.edu.

About the North Country Chamber of Commerce

The North Country Chamber of Commerce is a regional chamber serving Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton and northern Warren Counties in New York State and southern Quebec. With more than 3,200 members, it is the largest business and economic development alliance in northern New York and one of the five largest chambers in the state.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates more than 17,000 students in person, online, and through a blend of both, at more than 30 locations in New York and at eight international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire’s more than 1,300 faculty mentors, each student designs their own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates their schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards more than 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 87,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit www.esc.edu and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.