"Opened in downtown Syracuse in 2008, our off-campus site grew quickly into a significant asset for the Central New York region," SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said. "Now as a branch campus, it will meaningfully extend our access and excellence."
"The expanded authority will accrue to greater academic achievement for the people of this region, spur innovation and collaborative research with our academic and business partners, and contribute to this area's economic strength and resilience," the president said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Education Department approved the branch campus status in May following approval by the state Board of Regents in January.
Courses in support of master's and graduate certificate programs have been offered at the center for more than six years, but until now students were not able to take all courses necessary to complete a degree or certificate at the Syracuse location.
"SUNY Oswego offered new opportunities for learning and professional development in downtown Syracuse when they opened classrooms in the Metro Center," said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney. "The designation as a branch campus means working professionals and others can now earn an entire graduate degree here, which is good news for our citizens, our workforce and our economy."
In addition, by fall 2016 undergraduate students will be able to transfer into a couple of bachelor's degree programs and take the upper division courses necessary to complete four-year degrees.
Onondaga Community College President Casey Crabill congratulated SUNY Oswego on the branch campus designation, noting that SUNY Oswego is one of OCC's top transfer institutions, among dozens of public and private institutions.
"The majority of OCC graduates are from Central New York and intend to remain here to live, work and raise families, and they will no doubt realize the benefit from the availability of upper division courses through SUNY Oswego, enabling them to complete their baccalaureate degree and beyond from an excellent, affordable and, now in close proximity, public institution," Dr. Crabill said.
Degree, certificate programs
The subject areas of the degrees and certificates newly approved for Oswego's Syracuse campus are ones that lead directly to professional careers. Master's level programs lead to the MBA, MS in mental health counseling and MST in childhood education. A post-graduate Certificate of Advanced Study in educational leadership is available to professionals in education. And advanced certificates are offered in gerontology, integrated health systems and health information technology.
By fall 2016, students will be able to transfer in undergraduate credits and complete bachelor's degree requirements with upper division classes in business administration and public justice, with human development to follow.
In addition, the following programs have been approved for future delivery at Oswego's Syracuse campus: a degree program leading to an MST in adolescence education and advanced certificates in play therapy and integrated media and social networks.
And to make sure the new campus meets the educational needs of people in the Syracuse area, SUNY Oswego is inviting prospective students to express their interest in these and other programs at oswego.edu/syracuse so that the college can explore delivering additional programs that have demand.
As part of the new branch campus status, the college has hired a student resources adviser for the Syracuse campus to link students with a full array of support services, from financial aid and career counseling to accessing library materials.
SUNY Oswego established a Syracuse location in the Atrium building at 2 Clinton Square as an extension site in 2008 to help meet the growing needs of part-time adult students, predominantly at the graduate level, seeking affiliation with a well-regarded public institution.
Enrollment grew faster than expected, prompting the college to seek first extension center designation from the state and then branch campus designation. Enrollments grew from 61 in fall 2008, when courses were offered in two disciplines, to a total of 771 in 2014, when 18 programs of study were represented.
In addition to providing a convenient location for area residents and employees to pursue advanced education and degrees, the SUNY Oswego Metro Center has become a significant community resource. It has built productive academic and experiential partnerships with the region's schools, colleges, businesses and community agencies. Community members rent the facility for their events, employers hold training programs there, and the center is home to the Active Aging and Community Engagement Center.
"SUNY Oswego has been very engaged in downtown Syracuse," said Jill Pippin, Oswego's dean of extended learning. "The college has been collaborating closely with other regional collegiate and business entities to serve the area and looks forward to continue doing so with graduate degrees, certificates and completion undergraduate degrees. We are proud to enter into this next chapter in SUNY Oswego's history and to continue to provide access to excellent higher education in downtown Syracuse."
More information about the SUNY Oswego Metro Center is online at oswego.edu/syracuse.