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NCCC, SUNY Potsdam plan Pathways program

October 6, 2017
By GLYNIS HART - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

SARANAC LAKE - Officials at North Country Community College and SUNY Potsdam are planning a new program, in which students could begin their college career as matriculated NCCC students, but live on the SUNY Potsdam campus and transition to the four-year program when they're ready. If all goes well, the Potsdam Pathways Program could place NCCC students on the campus at SUNY Potsdam as early as fall 2018.

The Potsdam Pathways project would benefit the SUNY school by creating a gateway for students who want to go there, but need more academic credit to get in. For NCCC, the program means increasing what it offers to students, and adding staff.

Joe Keegan, vice president for academic affairs, said, "We'd have to recruit new faculty members. In the first two years, we'd need one full-time faculty in each discipline, and one full time academic coordinator. So, about six in year one. In year two, we'd double it to about 12."

The disciplines are business, criminal justice, and liberal arts, Keegan explained.

College President Steve Tyrell told the NCCC board of directors that the college has a lot on the table for the next two years, but there are advantages to getting the pathways program going soon.

"We've heard concerns from the Malone faculty that this program might draw students from the Malone campus to Potsdam. If that were the case, our doing it wouldn't make any sense; we'd be competing for the same students in the same market."

NCCC has a campus in Malone and one in Ticonderoga, as well as the one in Saranac Lake.

Tyrell said that SUNY Potsdam has been actively recruiting in New York City, and that the pathways program is aimed at that market. He said that faculty concerns need to be addressed, and there will be an open meeting Oct. 10 in Malone for that purpose.

"The budget effect of a delay," Tyrell said, "is a question for the board to consider. If we don't know what we're doing by the 18th of October, then we've got to delay it for a year because it messes up SUNY's revenue.

"If we decide to go through with it, we would apply for an extension site and a branch campus," Tyrell said. The college would need approval from the state governor's office as well as the state education department, he said, because the college's master plan would have to be formally amended.



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