Governor Kathy Hochul announced today expanding fast and flexible learning options with more 400 micro-certificates on 31 SUNY campuses to help everyone from current students to working professionals gain the skills, knowledge and experience that employers are looking for. Microloans are designed to be completed in less time than a college degree, taking one or two semesters, not years, and providing immediate proof of mastered skills via a college transcript or digital badge.
“As the nation’s strongest public university system, SUNY is well positioned to lead the way in preparing New Yorkers for the rapidly changing job market of the future,” Governor Hochul said. “The microloan program will allow New Yorkers from all career backgrounds to gain the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for, faster and more flexibly than a traditional college course load. This forward-looking approach to higher education will position New York as the destination state for businesses requiring a highly skilled and dynamic workforce.
Focused on more than 60 areas of study, SUNY microloans are in high demand areas including healthcare, business, education, clean energy, information technology, criminal justice and advanced manufacturing. Each microloan provides immediate, workforce-ready skills, and most (64%) provide academic credit toward another initial or higher microloan, certificate or degree. SUNY campuses can customize microloans to help meet the workforce needs of businesses, P-12s, or community organizations.
The microloans are an offer consistent with the Governor’s call on the State of the State to direct adult learning opportunities and help New Yorkers close the skills gap. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 74% of hiring managers agree that the market is experiencing a skills gap, with 48% of applicants lacking the skills to fill vacancies. Additionally, 74% of HR managers say they now require a credential to be presented when hiring.
In addition to offering innovative new educational programs to address skills gaps, the Governor also called for a review of college and university practices to remove barriers for students. In her state, she ordered SUNY and CUNY leaders to end the practice of withholding transcripts from students with outstanding balances, which was implemented within weeks of her speech. Having a transcript allows students to re-enroll on campus, transfer credits, complete their degree, and get jobs that could help them pay off their outstanding balance.
SUNY Acting Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley noted“Micro-credentials are sought by employers and employees to affirm the more specialized skills needed now in healthcare, information technology, and many other fields. SUNY was one of the first university systems across the country to adopt an innovative microcredit policy to address the skills gaps of adult learners, with an emphasis on academic quality above all.Through the expertise of our faculty and in partnership with community, regional and state, we now have an extensive portfolio of high-quality microloans so we can begin to meet Governor Hochul’s goal of helping more New Yorkers learn the skills needed for the workforce. today. .”
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said: “We are in the era of lifelong learning. The expansion of the SUNY microcredit program is a great addition to Governor Hochul’s multi-pronged approach that ensures New Yorkers receive the quality training they need while creating a skilled workforce for businesses. . It is such synergy that is New York’s recipe for economic success.
SUNY Board Trustee Robert J. Duffy said“SUNY microloans should be a standard addition to the benefit programs of New York businesses, P-12 school districts, and community partners. It’s a win-win solution for employers and employees through the real-time training, skills enhancement, professional development, and investment in continuing education through additional micro-credentials, an initial degree, or even an advanced degree.
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, “Over the years, the SUNY System has been an innovative leader for our state, from developing nanotechnology programs to stimulating local economies. By expanding innovative microcredit programs, we will provide accelerated opportunities for all learners, while filling critical gaps in areas such as healthcare and education. I commend Governor Hochul for once again helping to advance SUNY’s forward-thinking leadership.
Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick said, “Higher education works best when it meets students where they are. SUNY Microloans enable adult learners to advance their careers quickly and efficiently in high-demand areas of the state. It also allows today’s students to learn specialized skills that can allow them to earn money while they learn, as today’s students often work while attending school. I thank Governor Hochul and SUNY for expanding microloan offerings for New York’s lifelong learners. »
Heather Briccetti, President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State, said: “Tailoring the traditional apprenticeship module to the needs of the workforce is an innovative way to populate the talent pool in New York. Micro-certifications allow job seekers to show they have the skills to meet job requirements while putting them on a path of more opportunity. Likewise, it is the “just-in-time skills” that employers are looking to bring in and integrate into the job market. We look forward to continue to work with SUNY to share the value of micro-certifications with the business community so that more employers are aware of this excellent competency-based program.
SUNY’s microloan program continues to grow and evolve, with current priorities centering on: improved communication about available microloans; identification of gaps in industries or occupations relevant to the state; creating more pathways from entry level to advanced employment and from certificates to higher degrees; and streamlining the application and transcript processes. As part of the Governor’s goal, SUNY will continue to prioritize recruitment and education programs, and conduct surveys to identify and reduce barriers for adult learners.
SUNY has been a national and global leader in the development of microloans. SUNY’s curriculum is distinct in a competitive national environment because its micro-certificates are taught by SUNY faculty and focus on strict quality standards for awarding college credit. While SUNY’s micro-certifications are sensitive to national and international trends and occupational standards, they are also aligned with local, regional, and state workforce needs.
Campuses currently offering microloans:
SUNY Adirondack, University of Albany, University of Binghamton, Broome Community College, Buffalo State College, University at Buffalo, SUNY Canton, Cayuga Community College, SUNY Cobleskill, Columbia-Greene Community College, Corning Community College, Dutchess Community College, Empire State College, SUNY Erie, Farmingdale State College, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Genesee Community College, SUNY Geneseo, Hudson Valley Community College, Jefferson Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College, Monroe Community College, Niagara County Community College, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Old Westbury, SUNY Optometry, Rockland Community College, SUNY Schenectady, Tompkins Cortland Community College, SUNY Ulster, and Upstate Medical University.
About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95% of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of one of 64 colleges and universities from SUNY. Systemwide, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schoolsa law school, the only college of optometry in the state and operates a U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves approximately 1.3 million students through credit courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of university research in New York. System-wide research expenditures were nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant student and faculty contributions. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alumnus. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.