February 15, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Expansion of SUNY Microcredentials for In-Demand Job Fields

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Governor Hochul Announces Expansion of SUNY Microcredentials for In-Demand Job Fields
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SUNY Offers Over 400 Microcredentials to Power Upskilling, Professional Advancement, and Job Readiness with Education in High-Demand Fields, or Credit Toward College-Level Certificates or Degrees

Part of Governor Hochul’s State of the State SUNY Initiative to Increase Educational Opportunities for Adult Learners

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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the expansion of fast and flexible learning options with more than 400 microcredentials across 31 SUNY campuses to help everyone from current students to working professionals gain skills, knowledge, and experience that employers are looking for. Microcredentials are designed to be completed in a shorter timeframe than a college degree, taking one or two semesters, not years, to complete, and providing immediate evidence of skills mastered via a college transcript or digital badge.

“As the strongest public university system in the country, SUNY is well-positioned to lead the way in preparing New Yorkers for the rapidly-evolving job market of the future,” Governor Hochul said. “The microcredential program will enable New Yorkers of all professional backgrounds to gain the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for, more immediately and flexibly than a traditional college course-load allows. This forward-looking approach to higher education will position New York as the destination state for businesses demanding a highly-skilled and dynamic workforce.”

Focused in more than 60 areas of study, SUNY’s microcredentials are in high-demand fields including healthcare, business, education, clean energy, information technology, criminal justice, and advanced manufacturing. Every microcredential provides immediate, workforce-ready skills, and most (64 percent) offer academic credits toward another microcredential, certificate, or an initial or advanced degree. SUNY campuses can customize microcredentials to help meet the workforce needs of businesses, P-12, or community organizations.

Microcredentials are one offering in line with the Governor’s State of the State call to lead in adult learning opportunities and help New Yorkers close the skills gap. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 74 percent of hiring managers agree that the market is seeing a skills gap, with 48 percent of candidates lacking the skills needed to fill open positions. In addition, 74 percent of human resource managers say they now require the submission of a credential when hiring.

In addition to offering new and innovative educational programs to bridge skills gaps, the Governor has also called for a review of college and university practices to eliminate barriers for students. In her State of the State, she directed SUNY and CUNY leadership to end the practice of withholding transcripts from students with outstanding balances, which was implemented within weeks of her address. Having a transcript allows students to re-enroll in a campus, transfer credits, complete their degree, and obtain jobs that could help them pay down their unpaid balance.

SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, “Microcredentials are sought after by employers and employees alike in affirming more specialized skills needed now in healthcare, information technology, and many other fields. SUNY was one of the first university systems in the country to adopt an innovative microcredential policy to close skills gaps for adult learners, with a focus on academic quality first and foremost. Through the expertise of our faculty and in partnership with community, regional and state partners, we now have a large portfolio of high-quality microcredentials so that we may begin to meet Governor Hochul’s goal to help more New Yorkers learn the skills needed for today’s workforce.”

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “We are in the era of lifelong learning. The expansion of the SUNY microcredential 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 synergy like this that is the recipe for New York’s economic success.”

SUNY Board Trustee Robert J. Duffy said, “SUNY microcredentials should be a standard addition to the employee benefits programs of New York businesses, P-12 school districts, and community partners. It’s a win-win for employers and employees through real-time training, upskilling, professional development, and an investment in continued education through additional microcredentials, an initial 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 spurring local economies. By expanding innovative microcredential programs we will provide expedited avenues of opportunity for all learners, while filling critical gaps in fields such as health care and education. I applaud Governor Hochul for once again helping to drive SUNY’s forward thinking leadership.”

Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick said, “Higher education works best when it meets students where they are. SUNY's microcredentials allow adult learners to advance their careers quickly and efficiently in areas of high demand in the state. It also allows current students to gain specialized skills that may make it possible for them to earn while they learn, as today's college students frequently work while attending school. I thank Governor Hochul and SUNY for expanding microcredential offerings for New York's lifelong learners.”

The Business Council of New York State President and CEO Heather Briccetti said, “Adapting the traditional learning module to fit workforce needs is an innovative way to fill the talent pipeline in New York. Microcredentials allow jobseekers to show they have the skills to meet the job demands while also setting them on a pathway with more opportunities. Likewise, they are the ‘just-in-time skills’ employers are seeking to get people onboarded and into the workforce. We look forward to continuing to work with SUNY to share the value of microcredentials with the business community so more employers know about this great skills-based curriculum.”

SUNY’s microcredential program continues to grow and evolve, with current priorities centered on: enhanced communication about available microcredentials; identification of gaps in industries or professions relevant to the state; creating more pathways from entry-level to advanced employment and from certificates to advanced degrees; and streamlining application and transcript processes. As part of the Governor’s goal, SUNY will continue to prioritize recruitment and educational programs, and conduct surveys to identify and reduce barriers for adult learners.

SUNY has been a national and global leader in microcredential development. SUNY’s program is distinct in a competitive national environment because its microcredentials are taught by SUNY faculty and focus on strict quality standards to award college credit. While SUNY’s microcredentials are responsive to national and international trends and professional standards, they are also aligned to local, regional, and state workforce needs.

Campuses Currently Offering Microcredentials:

SUNY Adirondack, University at Albany, Binghamton University, 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 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide were nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2021, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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Albany: (518) 474-8418
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