Statement from SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on President Obama’s Apprenticeship College Consortium

April 9, 2014

“The registered apprenticeship college consortium announced this week by Vice President Joe Biden is precisely the direction our nation’s colleges and universities should be headed in. At SUNY, we too believe in the power of learning by doing.

“That’s why SUNY campuses are partnering with businesses and employers across the state toward a full scale up of SUNY Works.

“A major component of SUNY Works is co-operative education, where our faculty work hand-in-hand with local employers to jointly develop curricula that formally integrates classroom study and paid on-the-job work experience. Co-op programs nationally have a 95 percent job placement rate immediately upon graduation, and students who participate are eligible for higher starting salaries as a result of the experience they bring.

“SUNY Works also includes internships, clinical placements, and work study. Collectively through these programs and others, we are ensuring that every SUNY student has access to an applied learning opportunity as part of their degree program, giving our students a considerable advantage as they enter today’s competitive workforce.

“When Vice President Biden visited SUNY’s Monroe Community College campus in January, it was clear that the administration would aim to bolster the role of higher education in workforce development. This consortium is certain to achieve that goal, and to better prepare the nation’s college graduates for 21st-century careers.”

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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Holly Liapis
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