More than 1,500 Students Enrolled at Newburgh Campus for Fall; College-wide Student Count Up Very Slightly

PHOTO: Students gather at Newburgh campusMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – On the heels of an academic year in which SUNY Orange awarded more degrees than ever before, and enjoyed unprecedented participation in its annual Commencement ceremony in May, the College is able to report record-setting enrollment at its Newburgh campus following the first week of Fall semester classes.

Classes begin on Aug. 27 and by week’s end, an all-time high of 1,573 students were registered for all or some of their classes in Newburgh. That figure represents a jump of 20.2 percent (264 students) over last’s Fall’s enrollment. The campus had enjoyed annual enrollment growth from 2010 through 2013--during the campus expansion that included construction of Kaplan Hall and renovations to the Tower Building--but the student head count had dropped in each of the ensuing four years.

“We are thrilled to be delivering on the potential of our Newburgh branch campus,” said Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president. “This increase shows us that the recent partnerships we’ve built and the collaborations we’ve undertaken are taking hold. Our goal has always been to serve the eastern part of our county and we are delighted that our recent efforts are connecting.”

Young points to joint programming with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District’s Excelsior Academy (PTECH) and the Liberty Partnerships Program as strengthening the College’s connection with the city’s school students. Additionally, Young is a member of the Newburgh Armory Unity Center’s Board of Directors, which has welcomed SUNY Orange participation in NAUC programming involving residents of all ages.

SUNY Orange is looking to further establish it’s Newburgh campus as a hub of education and community collaboration with its Innovation Grand Street proposal that would refurbish three buildings (the American Legion building, former YMCA building and the Masonic Lodge) adjacent to the campus that are owned by Orange County. The project aims to spur workforce development, develop an integrated skills pipeline and enhance educational innovation.

PHOTO: Newburgh campus and Kaplan HallOver the past 12-18 months, the College has also expanded its marketing and direct mail initiatives within the Newburgh area in order to building greater community awareness of the College and its offerings, and admissions counselors have actively visited high schools throughout Orange County to assist prospective students in the college selection process.

Internally, administrative leadership changes may also be contributing to the campus’ success. A year ago, Young appointed Vinnie Cazzetta, vice president for institutional advancement, to the newly formed role of campus executive officer. The College also promoted Likkia Moody, formerly the director of Student Services, to Newburgh campus director.

“It can sometimes be difficult for a branch campus to establish its own unique identity and capitalize on its inherent strengths while at the same time fitting into the broader institutional community,” Young added. “Working with hand-selected staff liaisons, Vinnie and Likkia have restored a sense of unity and inclusiveness for both students and staff on the Newburgh campus, and I think that work over the past year, in some small way, has also contributed to our success this Fall.”

Total enrollment of all students across the College nudged upwards ever so slightly, at .27 percent, for the first time in seven years. In that seven-year span, since 2011, enrollment had dropped 28.6 percent.

“College-wide, we have made enrollment a priority, from our efforts to recruit new students to the ways in which we support current students so that they stay enrolled and complete their degree program,” Young explained. “I challenged members of the College community, regardless of their role, to assist in enrollment initiatives to the best extent possible within their daily work, and they have responded. We’ve been able to secure grant funding to enhance or develop innovative student services programs, and both Orange County Government and the Orange County Legislature have helped us build this momentum with critical funding and collaborations.”

PHOTO: SUNY Orange Tower BuildingEnrollment in online courses has risen 10.7 percent, year over year, while the combined total of new and transfer students is up 3.0 percent. Recognized as a “Military Friendly” college and a Hispanic Serving Institution, SUNY Orange’s student body continues to reflect the rich diversity of Orange County and the surrounding communities. Enrollment among Hispanic (+5.7 percent) and African-American (+12.6 percent) students is on the rise, while the College traditionally enrolls more than 300 veterans each semester.

The good news regarding the Fall enrollment follows the 2017-18 academic year that saw an all-time high of 833 students complete degree and certificate requirements. In May, a record total of 527 graduates participated in the Commencement ceremony.

“To be successful, today’s community college student must balance many varied academic, employment and personal obligations,” Young adds. “The so-called ‘traditional’ collegian is in the minority on our campuses. We are seeing more students taking on a part-time class schedule in part because of their hectic lives and in part because their education is important, and they don’t want to push it off any longer. Many other students are coming to us for shorter amounts of time, acquiring necessary course credits here and then transferring before fully earning their degree.

“Our goal is to meet every student, both the traditional and the non-traditional, where they are by offering rigorous classes and programs that suit their needs, delivering support services that allow them to successfully navigate the higher education landscape and guiding them to a degree that they can acquire here or at a transfer institution. That's the special aptitude of the community college, and our hallowed mission at SUNY Orange.”

For information about SUNY Orange’s degrees and certificates, contact the Admissions office at (845) 341-4030 or visit


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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940