By Rosana Reyes-Rosello
Director of Educational Partnerships

Rosana Reyes-RoselloAs an institution of higher learning, and particularly in our role as a community college, it is imperative that SUNY Orange’s educational focus extend beyond the students who occupy our main campus in Middletown or our ever-growing Newburgh Extension Center.

We can’t afford to allow our association with students solely to begin when they apply for admission and conclude once we’ve presented them with their degree.

Because the College is actively entrenched in all corners of Orange County, we strive to offer a variety of desirable educational opportunities designed to meet the varied needs of the area’s residents. We have tailored a handful of programs to address those needs, all under the umbrella of the Office of Educational Partnerships.

At SUNY Orange, we are sincere when we say, “If you have the dream, we have the way.”

Through our Center for Youth Development, which houses the Liberty Partnership Program, we are working with students in the Newburgh school district who are considered at risk of dropping out of school by offering academic support, counseling, workforce preparation, after-school programs, summer programs and college awareness workshops. We want to make our youth a real catalyst for change in the community by raising their self-esteem, encouraging a positive outlook on life and lowering the dropout rate. This program has been such a success in Newburgh, serving approximately 245 students per year, we will be expanding into Middletown this January and we are hoping to offer this program to the Port Jervis school district in the Fall of 2007.

To foster a smooth transition from high school to the college environment for students who are still in high school, we offer a pair of programs: Community College in the High Schools and the College Experience Program. The CCHS program, which is now available in every high school in the county as well as Orange-Ulster BOCES, enjoyed a 25.4 percent rise in enrollment this fall with a record 719 students taking part. The CEP program gets students onto campus early, before they graduate from high school, and immerses them into the college environment so that they arrive at their chosen post-secondary college or university confident and better prepared to succeed.

Our Tech Prep program places students in a stronger position to enter today’s advanced technological workforce by providing information and training. We encourage students to pursue at least a two-year college degree, but the Tech Prep program is adaptive to the needs of all high school students, whether they plan on entering the workforce directly or continuing on to college. This is a collaborative merger between high schools, local business/industry and SUNY Orange in order to meet the training needs of students so that they may maximize their employment opportunities upon graduation from high school and college.

Because some students cannot access our main campus in Middletown or the larger Newburgh Extension Center, SUNY Orange also delivers educational choices to the county’s residents, close to where they live and work, by providing credit and non-credit instruction at a trio of additional extension centers: Monroe-Woodbury, Port Jervis and Warwick Valley high schools. The varied offerings allow individuals to take courses toward a degree, expand their job skills or enroll in personal enrichment classes.

And, for students who have earned their associate’s degree from SUNY Orange, we vigorously pursue comprehensive articulation (transfer) agreements with many of the finest educational institutions in New York State and beyond so that those students who desire to continue their studies may do so seamlessly.

As an educational force in Orange County, the College promises to be on the leading edge as education continues to evolve in our changing society. This spring, SUNY Orange will conduct a collaborative faculty partnership that will unite the College faculty with leading Orange County high school teachers as we continue our quest to encourage critical thinking in education, with a focus on developing more effective teaching and assessment strategies.

Our collaboration with the community and our commitment to deliver educational access and academic/professional success to all residents of the county make SUNY Orange your educational partner. For more information, contact the Office of Educational Partnerships at (845) 341-4760.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940