Chancellor Malatras Launches SUNY’s Free Online Training Center to Give New Yorkers in Every Region of the State a Gateway to College with High School Equivalency, College Prep, and Employment Certification Programs

December 10, 2020

Part of Chancellor Malatras' New SUNY FOR ALL Campaign to Expand Access to Higher Education, the Center Prepares Eligible Students for College and Post-COVID Careers with Training and Success Coaches to Guide Them

Students Completing Online Training Programs with a High School Diploma or Equivalency are Automatically Accepted to SUNY's 30 Community Colleges or SUNY Empire State College; Application Fees are Waived

New SUNY FOR ALL Campaign Kick Off Video Online Here


Albany, NY – State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras today launched SUNY's free Online Training Center to give more New Yorkers a gateway to college—no matter where they live across the state—with high school equivalency, college prep, and employment certification programs. As phase one of Chancellor Malatras' new SUNY FOR All campaign to expand access to a higher education, the center will prepare eligible students for college and post-COVID careers with training and success coaches to guide them. Starting today, eligible students may contact SUNY about the spring semester, which starts February 1, 2021.

SUNY's Online Training Center will give more New Yorkers in every region of the state—from rural communities to urban centers— another opportunity to go to college. Students who complete any one of the Online Training Center certificates with a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential will be automatically accepted to any of SUNY's 30 community colleges or SUNY Empire State College. The application fee is also waived.

Even before the pandemic, it was projected that 65 percent of jobs in the U.S. would require post-secondary education through 2020, and recent projections show that increasing to 70 percent by 2027. Currently, more than 2.2 million New Yorkers between the ages of 25 to 44 have no degree, and 2.6 million between the ages of 45-64 are without one.

"As New York State rebounds after the coronavirus pandemic, SUNY is providing opportunities to help more New Yorkers prepare for jobs across our state that will continue to require some post-secondary education—and we know far too many need a college degree to succeed," said Chancellor Malatras. "SUNY is designing a path to higher education that is free and accessible through remote learning and virtual support that make the first step to higher education easy, whether you are a recent high school graduate, a working parent, a veteran, or a mid-career professional looking for a new career. SUNY FOR ALL will bring together some of our greatest strengths across SUNY with excellent faculty, a simple platform, and people who know the obstacles to an education and can help more New Yorkers navigate around those barriers. After completing our free online training program, participants will learn a new career-boosting skill or be ready to move onto an associate or bachelor's degree. We look forward to building on this program to help hardworking New Yorkers get back on their feet in the wake of this pandemic and beyond. My thanks to the leadership and faculty at our Educational Opportunity Centers, ATTAIN Labs, and our community colleges, SUNY Empire and Buffalo State College for their collaboration on the SUNY Online Training Center, our first step."

SUNY's free Online Training Center includes the following programs:

College Preparation Certification

  • High School Equivalency
  • College Preparation
  • English As a Second Language

Allied Health Certification

  • Professional Medical Coder & Biller
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Electronic Health Records
  • Physical Therapy Aide
  • Certified Nurse Assistant (excluding clinical hours)
  • Home Health Aid

Business & Industry Certification

  • Emergency Telecommunications
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Office Administration Professional
  • Customer Service
  • Teacher Assistant
  • Security Guard
  • OSHA 30 & 40

Small Business Certification

  • Entreskills
  • Business Advisement, Webinar Business Trainings

Eligible students must be a New York State resident from a low- or moderate-income household, without a post-secondary degree, who may be unemployed or recently laid off.

SUNY's free Online Training Center includes programs offered by the University Center for Academic and Workforce Development (UCAWD), Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) labs, and Educational Opportunity Centers (EOCs). These online programs, coupled with success coaches, will help more New Yorkers earn a higher education degree. Additionally, small business owners can start or grow their enterprises with EntreSkills, the free online entrepreneurial education course developed by the New York Small Business Development Center.

SUNY's Educational Opportunity Centers have traditionally served as a launching pad to community colleges, and SUNY campuses have partnerships with many EOCs to give enrollment and orientation programs. The statewide network of ten EOCs and two Outreach and Counseling Centers include 600 faculty and staff. While SUNY's EOCs are located in large urban areas across New York, SUNY's Online Training Center is accessible across the state.

To learn more, register or attend a virtual informational session, visit

Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, "This move by Chancellor Malatras, SUNY FOR ALL, creates a clear pathway for anyone who wants to go to college. The free Online Training Center will help countless people who might not otherwise have access to a SUNY school to get the education and training that could lead to a career and way to provide for themselves and their families long after this pandemic is over."

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, "My colleagues and I in the Assembly Majority have fought year after year to ensure that every New Yorker has access to the educational and career advancement resources necessary to climb the economic ladder. For so many New Yorkers, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted and intensified the challenges in accessing these opportunities. By making these free programs available online, we can help not only those who are struggling to access these opportunities during this global pandemic, but anyone who struggled before it as well."

SUNY Board Trustee Camille Joseph Varlack said, "SUNY's primary mission is to provide an affordable, accessible high quality education for all, and Chancellor Malatras has taken this to heart in creating the free online training center for those who want to pursue academic studies and employment options, but who may be facing roadblocks. During a time when people are struggling to thrive due to the pandemic, the SUNY FOR ALL effort will alleviate some of these burdens and work to create a bright spot for New Yorkers."

Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. President and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. said, "As the country and State emerge from the pandemic with business and some industries changed forever, we will need workforce training and education that is flexible and accessible for all New Yorkers. SUNY's new online training center will be an important pathway for many working New Yorkers to pivot their career path for the better. This will provide many New Yorkers a great opportunity that they may not have previously seen as possible."

Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City said, "SUNY's free Online Training Center is exactly the type of initiative we need to prepare New Yorkers for jobs in the digital economy that the pandemic has greatly accelerated."

Robert Simpson, President of CenterState CEO said, "The SUNY Online Training Center creates an important bridge to career opportunities in fields where there is high demand for talent. We applaud Chancellor Malatras for his leadership and vision in leveraging the strength of the SUNY educational system to create accessible solutions for real-world challenges facing our communities. These programs create critical, low-barrier pathways for talent to build a foundation of skills and knowledge. Both the students and the hundreds of companies in our region looking for talent will benefit."

Randy Wolken, President of MACNY-The Manufacturers Association & The Manufacturers Alliance of New York said, "SUNY continues to show its dedication to being a leader in higher education accessibility through the announcement of the SUNY FOR ALL campaign. When the pandemic is behind us, there will be a dire need for high quality workers to hit the ground running to jump start our economy again, and the forward thinking of Chancellor Malatras and his administration to create training and college avenues is to be commended."

The New York Community College Association said, "The 30 SUNY Community Colleges hold access to higher education as the core mission of our work. We applaud the Chancellor's SUNY For All campaign for recognizing and supporting the importance of reaching all New Yorkers in creating pathways to economic and social mobility. The community colleges are eager to provide the necessary financial and academic support and welcome all students to continue their education for a prosperous, post-COVID New York."

SUNY Student Advocate Dr. John Graham said, "We are proud to make our academic and workforce programs available to a larger audience. This is a significant step to aid in the upward mobility of communities in need. To provide this cross section of programming while offering our complete suite of wraparound services is critical to success."

SUNY Associate Provost and UCAWD Director Lisa McKay said, "For over 50 years, EOCs has empowered upward mobility in New York's most socioeconomically-challenged communities, and our role in SUNY FOR ALL is an exciting new chapter in our legacy of service. We create access to opportunity by eliminating the barriers to education, serving as a source of skills, gateway to better jobs and positive influence on people's lives. We are thrilled by Chancellor Malatras' partnership and confidence in the impact our ATTAIN labs and EOC's can make on New Yorkers who are hungry to achieve their educational goals and gain life-changing employment in spite of the challenges they may have faced in the past."

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 country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-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 are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, 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 opportunities, visit

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