Chancellor Zimpher Announces 56 New Open SUNY+ Degree and Certificate Programs

October 16, 2014

Number of Students Enrolled Triples After Inaugural Year

SUNY’s Innovative Center for Online Teaching Excellence Attracts More Than 750 Faculty Fellows


Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that an additional 56 degree and certificate programs from 17 campuses will be powered by Open SUNY, the university system’s signature online learning initiative. Open SUNY will increase access, completion, and success for students while increasing SUNY’s enrollment by 100,000 students and meeting the employment needs of New York’s businesses.

While all of SUNY’s online offerings, including more than 400 degree programs and 12,000 course sections, are a part of Open SUNY, those powered by “Open SUNY+” feature additional support services for students and faculty.

With the 56 additional programs, student enrollment in Open SUNY+ programs will triple, reaching as many as 6,000 students next semester. Additionally, the innovative Center for Online Teaching Excellence has attracted more than 750 faculty fellows in its inaugural year. 

“Open SUNY embodies all of the ideals we aim to uphold in service to our students – increased access to quality higher education and improved avenues for degree completion and career success,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “The growth of Open SUNY in its first year is remarkable. We are more confident than ever that, at full scale, Open SUNY will emerge as the world’s largest online learning environment.”

The new programs join those announced in Chancellor Zimpher’s 2014 State of the University Address, bringing the total to 64 Open SUNY+ programs offered by 19 campuses. A complete program list, as well as further information for prospective students, is available at

Through a comprehensive set of support services unique to Open SUNY+, online students and faculty are able to connect in the same way traditional, on-campus students and faculty connect. For students, these new support services include:

  • A 24/7 HelpDesk that assists students with technical questions;
  • Online academic tutoring, also available day and night;
  • A personal student concierge who connects students to representatives from their home campus when needed; and
  • Expanded access to applied learning opportunities that enhance student knowledge and give students a competitive edge by providing them with hands-on work experience in their field prior to graduation. SUNY is committed to providing every student with an applied learning opportunity, including all those attending exclusively online through Open SUNY.

For faculty, SUNY has established the Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE), a professional development community where faculty of all levels of experience in online education from across the system have an opportunity to learn more about new online teaching practices and share ideas and techniques with colleagues across SUNY. To date, more than 750 faculty from throughout the system are using the Center.

To aid in degree-planning and student completion, the Open SUNY website includes a searchable database of offerings for students, faculty, and advisers. Ultimately, SUNY will migrate its entire online portfolio to the Open SUNY+ platform.

For the first time, Open SUNY+ now includes certificate programs, as well as associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.

“In addition to enhancing the online programs offered across SUNY’s 64 campuses, Open SUNY aims to create an environment where students can begin their online education at any stage and have access to a ladder of opportunities through earning a master’s or doctorate,” said SUNY Provost Alexander N. Cartwright.

SUNY recently earned national recognition from the Online Learning Consortium for the Open SUNY Institutional Readiness Program, a self-assessment tool that enables campuses to determine their readiness to deliver the highest quality online programs.

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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