By Lucinda Fleming and Suzanne Krissler

As educators, we witness daily the commitment, dedication and effort students put forth as they pursue a college education, whether they are recent high school graduates struggling to adjust to more rigorous academic expectations or older students returning to the classroom while juggling the demands of work, family and studies.

Each student has different needs, boasts unique skills and harbors distinct goals and aspirations. Part of our mission here at SUNY Orange is to reach out to “all citizens of Orange County to enrich their lives through the highest-quality education possible.”
As always, the college focuses its efforts on its two-year degree programs (Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science) and preparing students to be successful upon transfer to four-year colleges or universities.

Now, however, the college offers an exciting new alternative. Thanks to a partnership with Franklin University of Columbus, Ohio, SUNY Orange students now have an avenue to earn a bachelor’s degree through a combination of online study and additional coursework taken at SUNY Orange.

This new alliance will allow easy transfer of credits earned at SUNY Orange and is especially important to students studying in the college’s AAS (or career) programs, as credits earned in these programs do not typically transfer to a number of bachelor degree-granting institutions.

Through the Alliance, students would complete their Associate Degree (60 credits) at SUNY Orange. They would then take the remaining required classes for their desired bachelor’s degree program at Franklin University through a combination of online study and additional coursework completed here at SUNY Orange.

The beauty of this program is that SUNY Orange students can continue their education while maintaining access to many of the student-centered services upon which they’ve come to rely during their time here. Over the course of two years, or more depending on the student’s individual situation, we believe our staff and faculty become intuitively connected to that person’s needs, and we are confident the student develops a healthy comfort level with his advisors and professors, as well as other staff members.

Starting with President Bill Richards, who was instrumental in SUNY Orange becoming a part of the Community College Alliance, every staff member at the college attempts to foster a “family” atmsophere here, and through this program, students who choose to pursue a degree from Franklin are now not forced to “leave the family” in order to continue their studies.

As we investigated the Community College Alliance, we instantly recognized the appeal it would have for adult students. Franklin specializes in servicing adult students, many of whom work full-time, raise families and remain active in the community. The average age of Franklin’s undergraduate students is 33.

The population growth in Orange County is among the fastest in New York, and we will continue to see added diversity in our student body over the coming years. It is imperative that the college keep pace, and this program will help us do that.

The Community College Alliance is many things at once: affordable, creative, flexible, innovative, efficient, professional and convenient. But most of all, it provides one element that, above all others, is paramount to many of our students: ACCESS.

We could not be happier that SUNY Orange is part of the Community College Alliance, not because of the prestige it might bring the college, but because of the access it gives our students who wish to further their education.

Suzanne Krissler and Lucinda FlemingOur students come first, inside and outside of the classroom, and this is just another way SUNY Orange assures that commitment continues.




Suzanne Krissler (left) is chair of the Accounting/Office Technologies Department while Lucinda Fleming chairs the Business Management Department.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940