Initiative offers free course, connections at Metro Center

President Stanley announces initiativeAny Central New York resident who earns a bachelor’s degree in 2009 will have an opportunity to take one course, tuition-free, this summer at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in Syracuse.

SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley announced the new “Course-to-Connect” initiative Thursday at the grand opening of the Metro Center at the Atrium, 2 Clinton Square.

The initiative aims to take the intellectual capital available in Central New York’s college-educated students, grow additional capital through post-baccalaureate certificate or advanced degree programs, and channel it into a long-term economic development strategy for the region, Stanley said.

“As a strong, reputable and affordable institution of higher education, we have the potential to seriously impact the economic development efforts in the region by providing employers with a highly educated workforce prepared to meet their needs and to begin to reverse the demographic decline we face in Upstate New York,” Stanley noted.

The tagline “the course is free, the connection is priceless” refers to the opportunity to make connections that will keep the region’s young professionals in Central New York to help stimulate the economy.

“The proposal offers an alternative approach to the sweeping, across-the-board spending cuts and corrosive divestment of state dollars in public higher education,” Stanley said. “The Course-to-Connect initiative boldly invests in Central New York by growing our knowledge-based high-technology economy and helping to meet the region’s need for affordable, reputable and conveniently delivered graduate and continuing education.”

Under the initiative, any Central New York resident graduating with a bachelor’s degree from any institution in 2009 is eligible to receive a course certificate equivalent to one three-credit-hour graduate course.  The certificate is only redeemable for use during the 2009 summer session at the Metro Center, on a first-come, first-served and space-available basis.

A large turnout Thursday included Syracuse area business people and elected officials as well as Oswego alumni, students, faculty and staff. Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll, Metropolitan Development Association President-Elect Rob Simpson and ambassadors from the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce also spoke, welcoming SUNY Oswego to downtown and saying they looked forward to working long-term with the Metro Center.

(Posted: Dec 05, 2008)

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