SUNY and U.S. Naval Community College (USNCC) on Dec. 30 said that they’re partnering to provide “expanded educational opportunities” for sailors, marines, and coast guards through USNCC’s phase I pilot program beginning in January.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras and Randi Cosentino, president of USNCC, made the joint announcement. SUNY is one of five institutions across the country providing educational support for phase I of this USNCC pilot program.
The collaboration seeks to better prepare enlisted service members, improve operational readiness, and “support lifelong learning with naval-relevant education opportunities and tailored support services,” per the Wednesday news release.
“SUNY is proud to support our nation’s service members by increasing access to the higher education they need to better serve our country while advancing their careers,” Malatras said. “Our new collaboration with the United States Naval Community College brings together the expertise of SUNY Empire State College in serving military students and delivering online instruction with the added support of SUNY Online to provide the best possible educational experience for USNCC students. I’d like to thank President Cosentino for the opportunity to give back to our service members who give so much to our country.”
SUNY’s inaugural class of nearly 130 students will enroll in Naval Leadership and Ethics as well as Introduction to Literature, Introduction to College Writing, and Contemporary Mathematics for the spring term at SUNY Empire State College.
Citing “its experience in military-supportive education,” SUNY Empire State College will provide online course delivery and student-support services, with SUNY Online providing additional coaching and support for USNCC students.
As a “leader in military-supportive education” among four-year SUNY institutions, SUNY Empire serves more than 450 active-duty, guard, and reserve students stationed around the world, and about 600 veterans of all branches of the military.
SUNY also considers it a “leader in online learning,” having launched its first online courses in 1995, per the news release.
“We are very excited to make this announcement,” Cosentino said. “Working with institutions, like SUNY Empire State College, will bring to the members of our maritime-service community programs that are going to be of high value to them and help them achieve their educational goals. The pilot will allow us to collect important data that will inform the development of the USNCC. Working with leading colleges will help us explore outcomes around the design of the program, the processes involved, working relationships and overall impact.”
The concept of USNCC came out of a study seeking to identify opportunities to better prepare enlisted service members and to support them throughout their career. Naval leadership directed the USNCC to begin pilot programs to identify the best way to help enlisted naval service members access “naval-relevant education opportunities.”
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