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Grants Helping College Expand Access to Programs

March 29, 2024

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange will use a combined $275,000 in grants it has recently received to expand industrial manufacturing apprenticeship opportunities, provide tuition assistance to students in its Orange County FoodTEC courses, and develop pathways so students in non-credit training and certification programs can more easily transition to academic degree programs.

The College has accepted a $150,000 SUNY Pathways grant for a SkillUp Orange (SUO) program to benefit the local healthcare sector, a $55,000 SUNY Apprenticeships Program grant to create and offer industrial manufacturing certification courses, a $50,000 grant from the Selis Family Foundation in support of FoodTEC, and a $20,000 SUNY REACH grant to establish credit for prior learning (CPL) procedures.

“I am happy to announce these grants because they will help us further advance the College’s strategic plan by allowing us to expand our listing of training and certification courses that will support our residents in earning sustainable wages and improving their careers,” said Dr. Jean Leandre, SUNY Orange vice president for workforce, strategy and innovation. “I’m also happy that a portion of these grants are supporting our faculty and staff in creating credit for prior learning processes that will open more doors to academic degrees for those who complete some of our credentialing programs, particularly in healthcare.”

The SUNY REACH grant is part of the Lumina Foundation’s Racial Equity for Adult Credentials in Higher Ed (REACH) initiative and will support the College’s work with tools to identify and award credit for prior learning for students. Credit for prior learning is the academic process where higher education institutions can award students academic credits for college-level learning acquired outside the traditional classroom.

This Spring, SUNY Orange’s Credit for Prior Learning Committee has begun developing processes and guidelines to recognize and seamlessly transition students’ prior learning experiences. This effort will eventually enable individuals to use their acquired skills from various sources such as, but not limited to, military experiences, certification programs, work, or life experiences to enter degree programs at SUNY Orange with some form of advanced standing.

With its SUNY Pathways grant, SUNY Orange will launch the SkillUp Orange initiative in collaboration with local healthcare providers and agencies. SkillUp Orange aims to help individuals acquire the knowledge and certifications necessary for careers in Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Medical Billing and Coding (MBC), and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).

SUNY Orange expects to produce 50 industrial manufacturing technician apprenticeships with its SUNY Apprenticeship Program grant. The College has designed and is already offering a one-month Manufacturing Machine Operator evening program at Pine Bush High School where students gain hands-on training in the operation of HAAS milling and lathe machines, leading to certifications as a HAAS Mill and Lathe Operators. SUNY Orange anticipates offering at least three additional one-month courses in the coming months, and envisions its English as a Second Language (ESL) and High School Equivalency (HSE) programs as potential sources of students who may be interested in pursuing careers in manufacturing.

Meanwhile, students in the College’s FoodTEC program will benefit from the Selis Family Fund grant, intended to support tuition assistance for program participants, and assist FoodTEC with essential supplies and equipment. FoodTEC is the educational hub of the College’s workforce training, credential and certification programming to support the region’s food, beverage and hospitality sectors.

For more information, contact Leandre at jean.leandre@sunyorange.edu, or visit www.sunyorange.edu/plus to learn about workforce training and certification opportunities.