SUNY Empire State College and Bronx Educational Opportunity Center (Bronx EOC), which provides career training, high-school equivalency preparation, college readiness classes, college and financial aid application assistance, and job placement assistance to qualified New Yorkers, recently finalized a partnership agreement offering college degree options to Bronx EOC students, graduates, employees and their family members.
The partnership supports SUNY Empire’s mission to remove barriers to learning and Bronx EOC’s mission to empower upward mobility through tuition-free programs. This agreement provides access to credit-based opportunities with a flexible, affordable educational model that allows students to continue their education in their community.
The partnership agreement allows Bronx EOC participants to participate in the college’s Corporate & Community Partnership Benefits Program. As part of the agreement, SUNY Empire will waive the orientation fee for incoming students and provide a $100 Better Together scholarship for participants who enroll in a degree-seeking program at SUNY Empire State College.
All programs can be completed entirely online to fit the busy lives of working professionals. Participants will also benefit from SUNY Empire’s prior learning assessment, which awards college credit for relevant work and life experience, reducing the overall cost and time needed to complete a degree.
“Today’s partnership signing with Bronx EOC helps pave the way for individuals working and living in the Bronx who wish to further their education and advance their career. Education is critical to building strong communities, and SUNY Empire looks forward to working with Bronx EOC to provide educational opportunities that will do just that. We truly are better together, and we are excited to welcome Bronx EOC members, employees, students and retirees to the SUNY Empire community,” said SUNY Empire Officer in Charge Nathan Gonyea.
“Although we are a statewide program, a third of our students come from New York City. We are absolutely delighted to forge this partnership with Bronx EOC to continue to serve our downstate students and ensure that they see success in their academic endeavors,” said Dana Brown, director of opportunity programs at SUNY Empire State College.
“Our partnership with Bronx EOC illustrates how collaborating with our partners provides critical access to educational pathways for important student populations. We look forward to welcoming students from the Bronx EOC into SUNY Empire and helping them achieve their personal and professional goals,” said Kylie Byrne, director of corporate and community partnerships at SUNY Empire State College.
“The theme going into this partnership is “Better Together.” These words echo through every street in the Bronx. Only together can we bring hope to areas long afflicted by time and poverty. Together we fight for every man, woman, and child in the Bronx. We partner in support of making every dream of going to college a reality. Our unity drives creative and innovative solutions to support underserved communities. We are better together, serving as champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion in post-secondary education. Walking side by side as defenders of the right to higher education, we will make a difference in reshaping the future of the Bronx,” said Ronnie Hector, Bronx EOC executive director.
“It has been said that great minds think alike. The relationship between SUNY Empire and the Bronx EOC takes that to the next level and turns this idea into action. Both organizations have taken on the responsibility of creating opportunities for bettering individuals’ lives and proactively fostering an environment where anyone can attain success. As a result, regardless of situations and personal backgrounds, students are treated as equals and are presented with the tools that can enable them to do well, despite systematic challenges and barriers,” said Rehana HoqueKhan, College Connections Initiative counselor at Bronx EOC.
“The union of both these organizations creates a partnership that is cemented by similar mission statements and creates a vast pool of resources, which further fuels the success of each student. It is a win-win situation. When great minds think alike, then the mission becomes more evident, and in the end, everyone succeeds,” said Antonio D`Amore, College Connections Initiative counselor at Bronx EOC.
About SUNY Empire State College
SUNY Empire State College educates 17,000 students per year in person, online, and through a blend of both, at locations in every region of New York and at eight international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire’s 700 faculty mentors, each student designs their own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates their schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. Now in its 50th year, SUNY Empire awards approximately 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 91,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, please visit esc.edu and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.
About Bronx EOC
The SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center provides career training, high-school equivalency preparation, college readiness classes, college and financial aid application assistance, free haircuts, job and internship placement assistance and Microsoft certifications to New Yorkers who qualify. All services are free. No student loans or financial aid required.