Programs to Start in Fall 2007

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – The SUNY Orange Board of Trustees unanimously approved the addition of two new degree programs to the College’s curriculum during its monthly meeting at Morrison Hall Monday night (Dec. 11), paving the way for the implementation of associate degrees in human services and emergency management beginning with the Fall 2007 semester.

The human services degree will be an Associate in Science, offered through the College’s Social Sciences department, while students in the Emergency Management program will receive an Associate in Applied Science degree, as supervised by the Movement Science Department.

“We are pleased to be able to offer these two new programs,” said Catherine Chew, SUNY Orange vice president for academic affairs. “We are constantly assessing and evaluating our entire academic curriculum as we seek to provide programs that are relevant to today’s students and that will positively impact the quality of life of our students and the residents of Orange County. These two programs accomplish both of those goals, and each has been met with tremendous response within the community.

“There continues to be a significant need for qualified professionals across many of the human services fields, and we hope our program will help address the needs of current professionals as well as students just starting out on their path to a human services degree,” Chew added. “And we are extremely excited about our Emergency Management program, which we are offering cooperatively with the four-college Emergency Preparedness Consortium that was announced this past fall.”

Inspired by the late Dr. Peter Alberghini, who initiated on-campus discussions about a discipline of its type more than a decade ago, the newly approved human services program is designed to provide transfer-oriented students interested in the human services field an opportunity to concentrate their study and explore the field of human services early in their educational career while also completing the general education requirements set forth by the State University of New York.

In addition, the program, which will require a maximum of 63 credits for completion, features a broad liberal arts component with concentration in psychology and sociology, along with two “field experience” courses that support the professional goals and requirements set forth by both the Coalition for Direct Care Providers and New York State Family Development Training and Credentialing Program.

“This program was designed to accommodate people currently working in the field as well as to prepare students not working in the field with the skills necessary to be effective service providers,” said Dr. Doug Sanders, a SUNY Orange social sciences professor who joined forces with Social Sciences Department Chair Patricia Guallini to bring the program to fruition. “The program has a central mission of providing human services agencies and their consumers with skilled providers to help them overcome obstacles and reach their potential, but was also designed to accommodate students wishing to pursue a four-year degree within the human services spectrum.”

“The Joint Membership of Health and Community Agencies welcomes the approval of SUNY Orange’s human services Associate Degree,” said Nollie Climes, president of the JMHCA, a federation of 24 human service agencies providing human services primarily for mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse in Orange County. “We have worked from the early stages with SUNY Orange, in particular with Patricia Guallini, toward the development of this new degree and are very pleased the process is complete. This degree represents another great opportunity to enhance staff development and we look forward to partnering with SUNY Orange in support of this degree.”

Through SUNY Orange’s Emergency Management degree program, first responders—including fire, police and emergency medical professionals—will be prepared to react appropriately and professionally to situations where the public might be at risk by natural or manmade emergencies. Graduates will be trained to assess, plan, mitigate, command and control professional responses to emergency situations. They will also be trained to coordinate and evaluate resources and operations while dealing with emergency situations and their aftermath.

The creation of SUNY Orange’s program is a result of the newly minted Hudson Valley Consortium of Community Colleges for Domestic Preparedness, Response and Recovery, which efficiently unites the curriculums and resources of first-responder programs from the community college campuses at Orange, Ulster, Rockland and Sullivan. Through the Consortium, which received a $4 million startup grant from the New York State Legislature this past fall, the four colleges will be able to broaden the scope of their respective programs currently under way by simultaneously offering them to students attending the other three colleges.

SUNY Orange’s program will utilize the already accredited base course of study offered by SUNY Ulster, through a combination of on-campus and online study. SUNY Orange students will take all of their general education, liberal arts and elective courses on campus, but all courses specific to the Emergency Management degree will be available online through the SUNY Learning Network. Thirty of the 64 credits necessary for graduation will be taken online.

“The Emergency Management AAS degree offers an opportunity for those community members already protecting the public to seek continued professional growth offered through SUNY Orange,” Dr. Susan Deer, associate vice president, explained. “It also offers the core of the degree program online so that those individuals who have rotating schedules can find the time to take the courses offered.

“The Consortium of four colleges offers opportunities to community members throughout much of the Hudson Valley area as a collaborative effort reaching out to all of our public safety providers,” Deer added.

For more information on the new programs, contact the following: human services; Patricia Guallini, chair of the Social Sciences Department, at (845) 341-4365; emergency management; Sheila Stepp, chair of the Movement Science Department, (845) 341-4245. The SUNY Orange Admissions Office can be reached at (845) 341-4030.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940