NCCC, SUNY Empire partner on new transfer pathways

North Country Community College President Joe Keegan, center, and four faculty members greet graduates in a video shown during NCCC's online commencement ceremony on May 16. (Screenshot provided by NCCC)

SARANAC LAKE — SUNY Empire State College and North Country Community College on Friday announced six new transfer pathways to allow NCCC graduates to earn bachelor’s degrees from SUNY Empire in as little as one year after completing an associate degree.

SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras and NCCC President Joe Keegan finalized the agreements virtually from their respective campuses in the Capital Region and Saranac Lake. In addition to renewing the general pathway, which ensures admission to SUNY Empire for all qualified NCCC graduates who have completed any associate-level program, the colleges established six new program-to-program specific pathways. They are:

¯ Chemical Dependency Counseling (Associate of Applied Science) to Addiction Studies (Bachelor of Science)

¯ Human Services (AAS) to Addiction Studies (BS)

¯ Child and Family Services (AS) to Addiction Studies (BS)

¯ Nursing (Registered Nurse, AAS) to Nursing (BS)

¯ Business Administration (Associate of Science, AAS) to Business Administration (BS)

¯ Entrepreneurship Management (AAS) to Management (BS).

Each pathway allows students to transfer as many as 79 lower-division credits to SUNY Empire, more than half of the 124 credits required to earn a bachelor’s degree. In addition to traditional transfer credit for courses completed at NCCC, SUNY Empire also offers the opportunity for students to earn as many as 19 credits for work and life experience through its Prior Learning Assessment evaluation, which will help to reduce the overall cost of the bachelor’s degree. This could include military training, independent study, or volunteer work. The partnership waives the registration fee and provides a $100 presidential transfer scholarship.

Three of the articulation agreements encourage graduates of NCCC’s chemical dependency, human services, and child and family services program to further their counseling studies in SUNY Empire’s first-of-its-kind Bachelor of Science in addiction studies. While the program prepares future counselors in the areas of intervention, prevention and substance abuse and misuse treatment, SUNY Empire established the program to combat the devastating effects of the opioid crisis on communities across New York state.

While some reports indicated progress in the opioid death rate in recent years, the fight against addiction is far from over. In fact, 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.


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