Potential Record Enrollment for SUNY Canton

Students in plazaIncreases in freshmen applications, transfers, continuing students and returning students are likely to generate the largest enrollment in the history of SUNY Canton this fall.

The school recorded its highest enrollment in 32 years last year and the second highest in school history. SUNY Canton’s all-time highest enrollment was 2,833 during the 1975-76 academic year. That number is likely to be surpassed this fall.

Last fall, 2,776 students enrolled for the 2007-08 academic year, an increase of 158 students from the 2006-07 academic year. College officials are anticipating even more growth with the possibility of reaching 3,000 students in 2008-09 for the first time ever. They are attributing the College’s growth to a number of factors.

“More and more students are approaching college as an investment toward their career, instead of just paying for an education,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “That’s our specialty. We’re a great value and an excellent return on investment. We don’t just educate students, we help them develop their careers. In essence, they’re investing in themselves.”

Applications for this fall are up 16 percent from last year, 27 percent from two years ago, and 29 percent from four years ago. Admissions Director Jonathan Kent expects the College to process an all-time record number of freshmen, transfer, and overall applications. The College has already received more than 3,250 applications.

“Prospective students today are looking for quality, affordability, and results,” Kent said. “They recognize that SUNY Canton can give them all of that and much more. As a result, it’s been an extraordinary recruiting year for us.”

With 15 bachelor’s degree programs, students are now staying longer than when the school exclusively offered associate degrees. Former students are returning to earn their four-year degrees, and a growing number of international students, particularly from Bosnia, Russia, and Ukraine, are also contributing to the enrollment increase.

SUNY Canton OnLine, also known as SUNY Canton OL, continues to experience dramatic growth as well. The College is offering more than 100 online courses this fall and expects more than 2,000 online course enrollments.

“The number of online classes and online students has grown every semester since we began offering them in 1998,” Kennedy said. “We’ve nearly doubled the number of online courses in just the past two years.”

SUNY Canton OL had 210 online-only students last fall, a 52 percent increase from the previous fall’s total.

In the past 18 months, the College has added three new bachelor’s degrees: Graphic and Multi Media Design, Dental Hygiene, and Industrial Technology Management.

“The overall growth in our enrollment is beneficial not only to the College, but also to our local economy and businesses,” Kennedy said. “We conservatively estimate that every 100 students add an additional $250,000 annually to the North Country economy, so this growth is good news for all of us.”

SUNY Canton offers a wide variety of career-driven bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs, as well as three master’s degrees in conjunction with SUNYIT, Utica. Most of SUNY Canton’s new four-year programs are designed so students can take them on-campus, online, or both. SUNY Canton OnLine features more than 65 courses online each semester. The college’s athletic teams have joined the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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