Statewide Open House takes the mystery out of the college process and makes it easier to see what comes next.

In 2012, during her annual performance review, Lisa’s supervisor asked about her personal goals. 

“I told him I wanted to go to college to earn a degree, but that I didn't want to sit through classes I didn't need to take. I said I wished I could get credit for the knowledge I gained in my career,” Lisa recalls. “He told me I could at SUNY Empire State College.” 

Lisa applied to ESC the following month and says it was one of the best decisions she ever made. But she also says that saying you want to go to college and actually doing it are two different things.

“I made the decision to finally go to college, but I had no idea what to do next,” Lisa says.

So she attended ESC’s Statewide Open House.

“I'm so glad I did. It provided direction, it provided resources, and it helped me begin taking steps toward my degree,” Lisa says. “I connected with people who answered so many questions for me, including questions I didn't even know I had. It was invaluable.”

While working full time, Lisa earned her bachelor's degree in business management and economics, with a concentration in business administration. She is now an assistant director of operations in information technology services, a title she says she owes to her ESC degree. 

“In my work place, a bachelor's degree is required for advancement or to obtain administrative status,” Lisa says. “I knew I would not get the advancement and recognition I wanted (and deserved) without a degree, so that was a huge motivator for me.”

Lisa says she not only recommends ESC to friends and colleagues, but she also recommends attending the Statewide Open House.

“I tell people to believe that getting your degree is possible, and it becomes clear at events like Statewide Open House,” Lisa advises. “ESC is there to help you, and they want you to succeed. ”


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I AM ESC is both a welcome and a deeply rooted sense of belonging. Here, students come first. Their success is supported every step of the way so they can go confidently into the world and put new skills and ideas into practice.

I AM ESC is a testament to our students’ resolve to do more, to be more, to achieve more. And it is proof that education, family, work and life can go hand in hand, and even enrich the academic experience.

I AM ESC captures the spirit of our students and statewide community. It reflects the talents, interests and diversity of the residents and industries critical to the state we call home.

I AM ESC is a rallying cry – an all-inclusive invitation to students to freely pursue their goals and to fully experience and continually shape our college and programs.  

I AM ESC is a statement of pride, ownership and accomplishment. It’s a celebration of where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. It’s a guiding force and fundamental element of what ESC is and what ESC does.

I AM ESC is you. And we’re better because of it.

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.