Two area schools in the SUNY system have reached an agreement to streamline the process for transferring students from one school to the other.
Officials from the University at Albany and SUNY Cobleskill met in Cobleskill Tuesday afternoon to sign the agreement, which increases transfer fluidity for Cobleskill students who earned an associate’s degree and wish to work toward a bachelor’s degree in Albany.
The new deal establishes 33 program-to-program agreements across disciplines such as criminal justice, education, journalism, social welfare, art, music, political science and public administration and policy.
Around 40 SUNY Cobleskill students have transferred to the University at Albany in recent years, a number that’s expected to rise in the coming years with the new agreement in place.
While Cobleskill students who meet certain requirements are free to transfer to Albany, the agreement allows for a more seamless transition between the two schools, according to officials who spoke at a deal-signing ceremony on Tuesday.
“The agreement will benefit both of our institutions,” said University at Albany Interim President James Stellar. “Since we need students, and we exist to serve students, it’s a win-win for both of us.”
The process started last year, when SUNY Cobleskill President Marion Terenzio and University at Albany Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education Jeanette Altarriba met by chance at a party.
“We struck up a conversation and realized we didn’t have a transfer agreement between the two schools and that we should,” said Altarriba.
SUNY Cobleskill President Marion Terenzio signs an agreement streamlining the transfer process between the school and the University at Albany, as UAlbany interim President James Stellar looks on. (Daniel Fitzsimmons)
Officials from the University at Albany visited SUNY Cobleskill in October, and a deal was reached soon after, she said.
“The main focus for us is to make sure students have the opportunity to pursue careers that they might not have thought of before,” said Altarriba. “And this is just the beginning. We’re going to continue to talk about ways to develop more programs and opportunities to benefit both of our students.”
Altarriba said the university is also working to accommodate Cobleskill students with on-campus housing, which she said a recent survey revealed that transfer students prefer.
“They want to be included in campus life and that community,” she said.
SUNY Cobleskill in Schoharie County is about 45 minutes west of the University at Albany, and specializes in hands-on agriculture and technology education. The University at Albany has a broader array of degree programs than Cobleskill, which Terenzio said can benefit students at her school.
“We’re not going to grow graduate programs here at the time being, so to be a pipeline for [the University at Albany] makes sense,” said Terenzio. “It’s about helping our students and helping the state in the end, and helping to educate more people.”
A fact sheet provided by SUNY officials says transfer students at the University at Albany make up about one-third of the incoming class each year, and 50 percent of the university’s graduating class each year.