SYRACUSE - Students at Onondaga Community College will be able to work toward bachelor's degrees from Paul Smith's College starting this fall, as part of an agreement signed between the two colleges Wednesday.
The partnership expands Paul Smith's Accelerated Career Experience program to Onondaga. It is the third campus to participate in the ACE program.
The program gives students who graduate from Onondaga's hospitality management program the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from Paul Smith's while attending classes at the Regional Higher Education Center on the Onondaga campus. Paul Smith's joins four other institutions in offering classes at the center.
Richard Nelson, Paul Smith's provost, and Onondaga Interim President Margaret M. "Meg" O'Connell signed the agreement in the kitchen that Onondaga students use as their classroom.
This accelerated degree program will combine on-campus and online learning to afford students the ability to complete a bachelor's degree in hotel, resort and tourism management within five semesters.
"I'm thrilled that Onondaga is our newest partner in the Accelerated Career Experience program," John W. Mills, president of Paul Smith's College, said in a press release. "The ACE curriculum is a great fit for students who are eager to put the Paul Smith's experience to work for them, but aren't able to relocate to the Adirondacks to complete their studies. At Paul Smith's, we're committed to making higher education accessible to people in all walks of life. ACE is just another example how we make that happen."
In addition to Onondaga, Paul Smith's also offers the ACE program at SUNY Adirondack and Finger Lakes Community College. The FLCC program has been operating the longest, since 2009.
"We are excited to partner with Paul Smith's in order to provide our students with a seamless transition from an associate's degree to a baccalaureate degree," O'Connell said in a press release. "There is a need in the community for workers with these skills. We're honored to work with Paul Smith's and provide solutions."
A Department of Labor study estimates the Central New York hospitality industry will grow by 14 percent over the next 10 years.