Albany – More than 32,000 community
college students will walk across a stage in the coming month and receive their
diploma. Among them will be SUNY’s one-millionth
community college success story. Like the community college classes before
them, the Class of 2007, in addition to traditional students, is made up of
single parents, working adults, international students, students learning
English as second language and many individuals who are the first in their
family to attend college.
of 2007 symbolizes a new achievement for the SUNY community colleges and for
the hundreds of thousands of students who have come before them - this year,
the one-millionth degree will be awarded, according to SUNY Chancellor John R.
Ryan and Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges Dennis Golladay.
“Reaching one million degrees awarded is a commendable achievement made
possible by our trustees, community college presidents, faculty, staff and
students over several decades,” said Chancellor Ryan. “Community colleges often serve as the bridge between
a good past and a great future, not just for the individual students, but also
for the companies, agencies and communities that they become a part of after
“Earning a four-year college degree equates to $1 million more in wages
over a working lifetime than earning a high school degree, and approximately 25
percent of SUNY’s baccalaureate degree recipients
each year got their start at one of our community colleges.”
community colleges are among the best in the country. They provide the whole
package – top quality higher education, diverse class schedules,
nationally-recognized athletic programs, varied community settings, increasing
accessibility, and faculty and staff that are second to none,” said Vice
Chancellor Golladay. “SUNY awarding its one-millionth
community college degree serves as a testament to the value of a community
Since SUNY’s inception in 1948 and through Spring
of 2006, the community colleges had awarded 968,733 degrees. The SUNY
Institutional Research unit estimates that another 32,254 will be awarded for
the Spring and Summer 2007 semesters, bringing the
projected total to 1,000,987, surpassing the one million mark.
community colleges will each commemorate the one-millionth degree at
commencement. Some will give each graduate a commemorative certificate while
others will choose one graduate at random to symbolically receive recognition
in honor of the millionth degree.
the milestone achievement comes at a time when the need for higher education at
the community college level is at its peak: the number of high school graduates
continues to increase; obtaining a college degree to secure a job in the
workplace has become almost essential; and community colleges are hosting more
and more of the elder adult population.
nation’s baby boomers begin to retire and seek to retool their skills for a
second career, the role that our community colleges play in our local and state
economies is becoming more and more important,” said Chancellor Ryan. “The demand for a community college
education is expanding and SUNY is ready to answer that call.”
General Community College Statistics
- Nearly half of SUNY’s overall enrollment of 417,500 students is
spread among its 30 community colleges.
- For the Fall
2006 semester, the SUNY community colleges saw a 3.6 percent rise in
enrollment of new full-time freshmen, to 39,489 students.
- SUNY’s community colleges employ
approximately 14,000 faculty who educate more
than 208,000 students every year.
25 percent of SUNY’s baccalaureate degree
recipients each year get their start at one of SUNY’s
- Today, approximately 1,200
community colleges exist in America, and they provide more
post-secondary training to citizens than any other type of college or
business in the United States.
commencement will be held at Clinton Community College Friday, May 11. The remaining commencements will be held as follows:
18: Broome; Herkimer County; Jamestown Cattaraugus; Jefferson; Mohawk Valley
19: Finger Lakes; Hudson Valley; Jamestown Main; Niagara County; North Country; Onondaga; Orange County
Cayuga County; Genesee; Suffolk
Fashion Institute of
Sullivan County; Schenectady County
University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating more than 417,500
students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses.