SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras and United States Naval Community College (USNCC) President Dr. Randi Cosentino announced that SUNY and USNCC are partnering to provide expanded educational opportunities for sailors, marines, and coast guards through USNCC’s Phase I pilot program beginning in January 2021.

The collaboration aims to better prepare enlisted service members, improve operational readiness, and support lifelong learning with naval-relevant education opportunities and tailored support services. SUNY is one of five institutions across the country providing educational support for Phase I of this USNCC pilot program.

SUNY’s inaugural class of nearly 130 students will enroll in Naval Leadership and Ethics as well as Introduction to Literature, Introduction to College Writing, and Contemporary Mathematics for the spring term at SUNY Empire State College.

With its experience in military-supportive education, SUNY Empire State College will provide online course delivery and student support services, with SUNY Online providing additional coaching and support for USNCC students.

As a leader in military-supportive education among four-year SUNY institutions, SUNY Empire serves more than 450 active-duty, guard, and reserve students stationed around the world, and approximately 600 veterans of all branches of the military. It is also a leader in online learning, having launched its first online courses in 1995.

The concept of USNCC came out of a study seeking to identify opportunities to better prepare enlisted service members and to support them throughout their career. Naval leadership directed the USNCC to begin pilot programs to identify the best way to help enlisted naval service members access naval-relevant education opportunities.