January 22, 2020

SUNY Empire State College Partners with Prevention Council to Help Employees and Members Earn Bachelor’s Degrees

Partnership Provides Pathway to SUNY Empire’s New Addiction Studies Bachelor’s Degree for Prevention Council Employees and Members

Lowers Barriers to Higher Education for 300 Members in Recovery

SUNY Empire State President Jim Malatras shaking hands with  Janine Stuchin, executive director of the Prevention Council.
SUNY Empire State President Jim Malatras shaking hands with  Janine Stuchin, executive director of the Prevention Council.

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York – Jan. 22, 2020) SUNY Empire State College today announced a new partnership with the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County, a nonprofit dedicated to diminishing the adverse of effects of substance abuse and violence, to help its employees and members advance their careers with a bachelor’s degree, including SUNY Empire’s new Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies.

The new agreement signed today helps lower the cost and time needed to complete a degree by awarding college credit for employees’ prior professional learning. SUNY Empire also will waive the registration fee and award a $100 presidential scholarship to employees and household family members.

SUNY Empire’s bachelor degree options include the new bachelor of science in Addiction Studies, which launched this semester. The degree program is designed to prepare students to become skilled addiction treatment specialists while helping them advance toward becoming a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) in New York state. The Addiction Studies courses address fundamental aspects of how addiction affects individuals, families and communities, while examining the assessment, treatment, and prevention of substance abuse.

There is a growing need for more qualified treatment professionals. Data from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed a significant gap between the 21 million Americans in need of substance misuse treatment and the 3.8 million who actually received it.

"Education and prevention are two of the greatest weapons we have as we continue to fight the public health crisis of addiction," said SUNY Empire State President Jim Malatras. "And we must partner with those organizations on the front lines to help put more skilled, trained treatment specialists in our communities to help individuals and families pull out of the spiral of substance misuse. Saratoga County is fortunate to have the Prevention Council as an advocate and resource, and we are proud to offer its employees this educational opportunity."

The Prevention Council is committed to educating the community about drug and alcohol prevention through school-based programs, intervention, and referral services throughout Saratoga County. Its Healing Springs Recovery Center offers year-round trainings for adults pursuing Certified Peer Recovery Advocate (CRPA) and currently provides services for about 300 members in recovery – all of whom will now have increased access to a SUNY Empire degree.

"The Prevention Council of Saratoga County is pleased to have this partnership with SUNY Empire to enhance educational opportunities for our staff and members of the Healing Springs Recovery Centers," said Janine Stuchin, executive director of the Prevention Council. “Our Recovery Center is here in Saratoga Springs and offers hope and resources for individuals and families impacted by addiction.  For many people, recommitting to their education is a part of that renewal. The disease of addiction interrupts many lives and the diverse options offered through SUNY Empire will be important to our members rebuilding their lives."

"The Prevention Council is such a great resource for the residents of Saratoga County," said Thalia MacMillan, assistant professor in the School of Human Services. "In addition to individual and family counseling programs, the Prevention Council seeks to provide prevention, education, and advocacy programs in order to approach the growing problem. This organization will be a great resource, not only for those of the community, but for students in the Addiction Studies program."

SUNY Empire’s bachelor degrees, including Addiction Studies, can be completed entirely online, or at one of SUNY Empire's 30-plus campuses and learning hubs around the state. 

See photos from today's event here.

About The Prevention Council

The Prevention Council has worked for more than 30 years to give young people the skills to choose healthy behaviors, provide families with the tools to foster positive child development, help communities build family-friendly environments, and help schools build supportive climates for students.

Our mission is to provide education, information and referral services on the subjects of alcohol, tobacco, other drug and violence prevention to individuals and local communities, thereby enhancing the quality of life for all citizens by diminishing the adverse effects of substance abuse and violence.

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.