Grant Provides Startup Funds for College’s Nursing Program to Build BSN Pathway with Four-Year College

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- As part of New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement earlier this month that more than $12 million in funding will be directed to State University of New York campuses over the next three years to support “high need” programs, SUNY Orange has learned it will receive $216,820 to develop a pathway program for its nursing graduates to obtain their Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN).

The SUNY High Needs Program was established to meet state workforce demand for nurses and engineers. SUNY recently worked with the state’s Department of Labor (DOL) and Empire State Development (ESD) to determine which career fields should be added to the program to answer today’s statewide workforce demands as well as current needs by region.

SUNY Orange’s proposal calls for the development of a partnership with a four-year college or university within the state to provide SUNY Orange’s nursing students, as well as alumni, the opportunity to continue their education toward completion of a BSN degree. The partnership would allow SUNY Orange students, once they’ve earned their associate’s degree, to study toward their BSN without leaving the College by delivering the upper-level nursing courses via interactive technology and distance learning formats.

The pathway program would also establish SUNY Orange faculty members as mentors/advisors on behalf of the four-year institution to assist students while they are pursuing their BSN. All elements of the SUNY Orange proposal must be approved by the partnering university, as well as the State Department of Education.

Occupations are considered high need by SUNY if they are projected to have a large number of total openings, a high growth rate, or a combination of both in the coming years, based on DOL data. The six statewide high needs areas the program is currently focused upon are: engineering-engineering technologies, healthcare, renewable-clean energy, biomedical-biotechnical, agriculture-agriculture business and information technology.

“The impact that SUNY’s High Need Program has already had on New York State has been substantial, with more than 1,000 students per year added or retrained in nursing and engineering, alone, since 2006,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “By expanding our target fields to include emerging 21st-century demands, we are ensuring that SUNY students are graduating with the skills and expertise that New York employers are looking for.”

Program funding is competitive and limited to three years of support for new program development or program expansion, so that the program can continue to be flexible and adjust to changing state needs. To receive funding, campuses had to demonstrate how their program will become self-sustaining after the three-year period.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940