SUNY Ulster is a comprehensive community college dedicated to providing high-quality
and cost-effective learning experiences that meet the educational, professional, and
individual goals of our students. Responsive to the broader economic and regional
needs of our community, SUNY Ulster prepares students for the challenges and opportunities
of tomorrow in a diverse, ever-changing, and interconnected global community.
-SUNY Ulster Mission Statement
Established in 1961, SUNY Ulster is one of 30 community colleges in the SUNY system. In 1963 a temporary campus was opened in the historic Ulster Academy Building in Kingston, NY. Two years later, the first class of less than 50 students graduated. Ground was broken in 1965 for the four main buildings on the Stone Ridge campus, located on 165 acres of former farmlands and fields donated by the Davenport, Leggett and VanWinkle families. In the early 1970s, the campus expanded to another 103,000 square-feet of space for classrooms, labs and facilities for physical education and health as well as areas devoted to the arts and theater. Subsequent expansions in 1993 and 2001 continued to add classroom and student life space, upgrade science and computer labs, and enhance the architectural aesthetic of the 165-acre campus by adding the alumni plaza and fountain to the center of the main campus. SUNY Ulster has worked closely with local commerce since the early 1980s when the Mid-Hudson Region Small Business Development Center was brought to campus. In 1995, the Business Resource Center opened in the Town of Ulster and has served as an extension center for credit and non-credit classes.
SUNY Ulster will continue to grow in the years ahead. More than $30 million in capital investment is proposed over the next five to six years to add space for burgeoning programs, upgrade classrooms, and enhance technology and science laboratories on the Stone Ridge Campus.
Two new facilities expected to come online later in 2015 are the Kingston Center Extension and the Darlene Pfeiffer Center for Business, Technology and Innovation. Moving its programs and services from the Business Resource Center in Kingston, these facilities will increase access to the College’s credit and noncredit programming by traditional students, re-careering adults, and school age children. In addition, the Pfeiffer Center for BTI will serve as a 24/7 testing and innovation center for high tech manufacturers developing prototype equipment to serve the domestic and international advanced manufacturing industry.
Today, SUNY Ulster offers 62 undergraduate academic programs leading to associate’s degrees in arts, business, communications, criminal justice, education, human services, humanities, liberal arts and sciences, nursing and health, public safety, science, technology, engineering, math and veterinary science. SUNY Ulster prepares students for immediate employment in fields such as business, law enforcement, nursing, and veterinary technology while also serving as the first step towards bachelor’s and advanced degrees in engineering, science, law, fine arts, the liberal arts, and many other disciplines. Recent data show that 26 percent of recent graduates report being employed in their field of study and 66 percent transferred to colleges and universities throughout the United States.
SUNY Ulster is sponsored by Ulster County and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The College offers several programs with specialized accreditations including those from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (Nursing), the American Veterinary Medical Association (Veterinary Technology), as well as the Two-Year Engineering Science Association and the Association of Engineering Colleges of New York State (Engineering Science).
SUNY Ulster has an Open-Door Policy to make education accessible to all motivated students, regardless of previous experience or performance. However; the College’s Nursing program is selective and highly competitive. A $425,000, renovation of the on-campus nursing lab was completed in 2009. The nursing lab was redesigned to look exactly like a nursing floor in one of the local hospitals. Utilizing Perkins grant dollars and construction funds, the College was also able to purchase “computerized interactive mannequins” for each of the twelve “hospital beds.”
The lab has a supply center and a newborn area, as well as an actual “nursing station.” In 2014, with more than $100,000, from the Ulster Community College Foundation, a second Clinical Simulation Center was created to support additional training opportunities.
The College’s Veterinary Technology Program, accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, is also highly competitive and has become selective in its admissions. The program is unique in not having an on-campus lab. Instead, the program was designed with collaboration among the Mid-Hudson Veterinary Hospitals where students rotate through a scheduled internship program providing hands-on instruction in the veterinary offices and hospitals throughout the community.
With more than 77 percent of its students enrolled in transfer programs, SUNY Ulster’s Individual Studies and Liberal Arts programs are strong and popular curricula to help students begin their bachelor’s degrees. The College’s Criminal Justice and Fine and Performing Arts Programs are regional hallmarks of excellence, where graduates are employed upon graduation or transfer to academically competitive institutions. Business programs include SUNY Ulster’s unique entrepreneurship opportunities through the Darlene L. Pfeiffer Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. In addition to instruction in entrepreneurial studies, the Center serves as a catalyst for interdisciplinary programs and projects for students, faculty, alumni, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government agencies. New programs include associate’s degrees in Surveying Technology and Fashion Design (Fall 2015), as well as a credit and non-credit program in Manufacturing Technology.
The College’s academic offerings include a robust online instructional program through the SUNY Learning Network. An innovator in online instruction almost 20 years ago, and a strong commitment campus-wide to online education, the College offers four degrees online to students throughout the world and accelerated online learning options to qualified students. Online course offerings, including blended, in-person and online courses are being expanded every semester.
The College’s international education program offers a unique model of three components all designed to prepare members of the college community to be effective global citizens. SUNY Ulster sends students and faculty to and hosts scholars, practitioners and students from dozens of countries from around the world. The College offers short term (usually 2 weeks), instructor created and lead, boutique trips for credit. International and Domestic programs are offered during the winter or summer breaks. Since the first trip in 2009, there have been over 200 participants. The trips are affordable and cost inclusive, (trips typically cost $2500-$3200 and include everything but passport, visa, and meals). Destinations have included Panama, Brazil, Italy, England, Spain and France. In addition, SUNY Ulster is the only community college in New York State that hosts a permanent biological research station in Brazil for faculty and student study.
The College is a leader in providing innovative and collaborative online learning experiences through the Center for Online, International Learning (COIL). COIL offers students the experience of collaborating with an international partner without the added cost of leaving the classroom. SUNY Ulster was the first community college to participate in COIL and continues to be a leader in partnering, development and technology. Recently, SUNY Ulster was asked to present at the COIL Symposium in Kansai, Japan on its collaboration history and was awarded a grant from Santander Bank to collaborate with schools in Mexico.
In 2006, Orange, Ulster, Rockland and Sullivan Community Colleges created the Hudson Valley Educational Consortium (Consortium). A grant from the New York State Senate for $4 million, administered by SUNY Ulster, was awarded to the colleges in 2007. The goal of the funding was to enable the colleges to create a model of shared academic programs and services between the campuses. Students at any partner campus could enroll in a selection of unique degree programs offered at a different campus, taking general education courses at their home campus and taking core discipline courses virtually through various interactive technologies.
SUNY Ulster’s Collegian program offers academically competitive students the opportunity to earn college credit while completing high school requirements. A long-standing program serving Ulster County, Collegian offers 40 courses throughout 14 high schools. In addition, the program increases college readiness in high school juniors and seniors by enabling them to complete needed developmental work in high school prior to graduation. First developed in 2006, this model is now considered among best practices to enhance college readiness.
Faculty and Staff
The College has 66 full-time and on average 150 part-time faculty members who are deeply committed to SUNY Ulster’s academic mission and the success of its student body. Of the College’s full-time faculty, 23 have earned terminal degrees in their fields. The College and its faculty are committed to cross-campus faculty collaborations. A resource for the faculty is the Instructional Design Office. By offering curriculum development, research and development and cutting-edge technology, it serves as a hub to connect campus resources and collaborate with faculty to create engaging classes.
SUNY Ulster also benefits from a large cadre of experienced, long-term non-faculty employees who are deeply committed to the success of the College and its students. The level of interaction, support and guidance that students receive from faculty and staff outside the classroom distinguishes the SUNY Ulster experience.
SUNY Ulster’s total enrollment is over 4,970 students, including full-time (1,764), part-time (1,954) and high school students enrolled in credit courses (1,252). Continuing and Professional Education programs realize an additional 15,000 enrollments in courses and community programs in advanced technology, professional training, business, computer, academic preparation and personal growth and enrichment.
Almost two-thirds of SUNY Ulster’s students are traditional college age with the balance comprised of adult students over the age of 24. The ethnic and racial composition of the student body reflects recent census data for the county. More than one quarter of the students are first generation college students and many of these students, along with low income and students with disabilities, are served by two competitive, federally-funded grants to enhance these students’success. The average age of SUNY Ulster students is 24 years old and the student body is 57 percent female and 43 percent male. Students are engaged in extracurricular and co-curricular activities including 20 student clubs, seven athletic teams, and a robust theater and fine arts program. The campus takes pride in being an inclusive environment for all students.
SUNY Ulster serves as a Co-Chair for the Veterans Committee of the Hudson Valley Consortium for Higher Education, which serves to address the needs of student veterans in the area. They work with outside agencies to assist with housing, benefits and financial assistance. Opened in May of 2013 with the help of a grant to the Ulster Community College Foundation from the New York State Industry for the Disabled, the Battle Buddy Center serves as a home for student veterans, active duty military or dependents of active military. The space, which is the third of its kind in the State and the first in the Hudson Valley, is a safe haven for quiet to decompress, study and bond.
Community & External Partnerships
SUNY Ulster contributes more than $80 million into the local economy in direct and indirect spending. With a $13 million payroll and more than 400 employees, the College is one of the county's largest employers. The College has also trained over 4,000 employees with more than $1 million in SUNY Workforce Development Grants over the past seven years, from hospitals and banks to technology and manufacturing firms. The College collaborates with secondary school faculty and administrators, county agencies, nonprofit health and human service organizations, large and small businesses, other SUNY community colleges and four-year institutions to meet the needs of area residents and offer innovative programming while leveraging limited resources.
Economic development has been an important component of SUNY Ulster’s mission for many years and is accomplished with a multipronged approach. The Business Resource Center (BRC) is a one-stop shop for business development, education and training to the area and has served as SUNY Ulster’s main off-campus site for credit and continuing education classes since 1995. It is home to the Mid-Hudson Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which is co-sponsored by the College along with the Small Business Administration. Since opening in 1985, the SBDC has provided counseling services to more than 18,100 businesses, invested over $590 million in the region’s economy and created and retained more than 15,700 jobs.
SUNY Ulster has been recognized as an important contributor in the Hudson Valley in New York State's economic future. In a report commissioned by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and conducted jointly by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the University at Buffalo Regional Institute, SUNY Ulster was singled out for its contributions through the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Clean Energy Technology Training Consortium (CETT), and through its role in the Hudson Valley Education Consortium. In addition, the College has important ties to the community through projects with SUNY 2020 and START-UP NY.
SUNY Ulster is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new START-UP NY program, designed to attract new businesses to New York State in partnership with an educational institution. The partnership allows educational institutions to provide hands on experience for its students in the form of internships and part-time jobs. SUNY Ulster is targeting businesses in the manufacturing, computer networking and cybersecurity, advertising design and graphic technology, and environmental services industries. To date, 44 net new jobs have been created through partnerships with Mid-Island Aggregates and Sustainable Waste Power Systems.
SUNY 2020 & the SMARTT Lab
Created in 2011 by SUNY and the Office of the Governor, SUNY 2020 is an initiative to spur economic growth across the state and strengthen the academic programs of colleges and universities. These grants provide incentives for capital development on SUNY campuses and within the surrounding communities.
The SUNY Manufacturing Alliance for Research and Technology Transfer (SMARTT) Lab at SUNY Ulster is one of four projects funded by the SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program and is the education arm of the Center for Global Advance Manufacturing, which focuses on retaining and growing manufacturing jobs in the region and attracting new advanced manufacturers to the region. The SMARTT lab at SUNY Ulster allows regional manufacturers to do advanced design work and prototype creation through 3D modeling and has equipment for use such as a thermal chamber and measurement tools for electronics.
Continuing and Professional Education
Although SUNY Ulster is the sixth smallest community college in New York State, its Continuing and Professional Education Program is among the largest and most robust. The College offers a wide variety of courses for professional development and certification, personal enrichment, and youth development throughout the year.
Recognized as a leader in the development of alternative energy training programs, SUNY Ulster’s Continuing Education program developed and launched The Clean Energy Technology Training Consortium (CETT), a five-county partnership. In partnership with the CETT Consortium, SUNY Ulster offers a full line of Clean Energy Technology Training classes in the areas of photovoltaics, solar thermal, and energy efficiency building areas. Funding for the consortium is provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Additionally, more than 3,000 workers have been trained in clean energy technologies through the College’s leadership role in the Clean Energy Technology Training (CETT) Consortium.
Finances & Fundraising
For the 2013-14 fiscal year, SUNY Ulster’s overall budget was $29.2 million. The operating funds of the College come from three principal sources: Ulster County for students who are legal residents of the County (or other New York counties in which students are legal residents), New York State, and students’ tuition fees, which are $4,230 per year for full-time students (in New York State). In 2014-2015, tuition and fees, county contributions and state aid comprised 33 percent, 22 percent and 20 percent of the budget respectively, representing the largest sources of the college’s revenue.
The Ulster Community College Foundation is an active board of business leaders and community benefactors from Ulster County. It serves as the steward of the College’s scholarship program that remains at the heart of its mission. Every year, more than $200,000 in scholarships is awarded to incoming, returning and transferring students who have achieved academic success. Since its inception in 1976, $3 million has been given to more than 5,000 students. The College Foundation has assets in excess of $8 million and, in addition to programming and scholarships, provides direct support to SUNY Ulster for equipment, activities and services to support educational excellence. The Foundation is committed to providing supplemental support for a full calendar of special events that feature world-renowned artists and performers in presentations that are open to the community.
Since its founding, SUNY Ulster has served over 400,000 students and has issued over 20,000 earned degrees, certificates or diplomas. Their alumni have gone on to accomplished careers in the region and far beyond, contributing their talents and skills in many industries. Distinguished alumni range from Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Renee Byer and U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Beatrice Welters to world renowned wine educator Kevin Zraly and Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest Margo Wootan.
Organization & Governance
Leadership at SUNY Ulster consists of a recently rejuvenated ten-member Board of Trustees, which includes a student trustee, an Academic Senate composed of over 183 full- and part-time faculty members, and the President’s Executive Staff, including four deans who all work collaboratively to steer the College. The College’s faculty and staff are represented by three labor unions: the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the Faculty Association (FA) and the Organization of Professional and Administrative Personnel (OPAP).
Located approximately 90 miles north of New York City and an hour south of Albany in the heart of the Hudson Valley, Stone Ridge is beautiful area that offers a unique combination of rural, suburban and urban environments. The region is rich in history and provides easy access to water recreation on the Hudson River and hiking in the nearby Catskill Mountains. Stone Ridge is also close to Kingston, New York’s first capital, and artists’ communities of Woodstock and New Paltz. The county weathered the closure of IBM in 1995, which created the loss of more than 7,000 jobs. Since then, small businesses associated with technology; alternative energy; personal service; artisanal, organic and craft food and spirit production; agriculture; health care and new media have developed, as Ulster County provides access to major metropolitan areas while offering excellent quality of life benefits.
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