SUNY Canton’s First-Year Enrollment Up 20 Percent

For the second consecutive year, SUNY Canton has reached an all-time enrollment high. More than 3,300 students are enrolled for the Fall 2009 Semester, topping last year’s previous record of 3,056 students.

First-year, full-time students recorded the largest percentage increase among student categories with a new freshmen class of 972 students. That’s a 20 percent increase from last year’s large incoming class of 810 and a 32 percent increase for the full-time, first-year class of two years ago.

“We are strategically growing our way through the statewide SUNY budget crisis,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “We’ve had a remarkable response to our in-demand, career-oriented degrees, particularly our newest bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and Graphic and Multimedia Design. Students are recognizing the great value of a SUNY Canton education.”

Enrollment Increases

While enrollments are generally up throughout the SUNY system, SUNY Canton’s freshmen increase is likely among the largest. Overall College enrollment as of Wednesday morning was 3,343 students. Prior to last year, the College’s record enrollment was during the 1975-76 academic year when 2,833 students were enrolled.

“We’ve had back-to-back extraordinary recruiting years accompanied by a steady growth of continuing and returning students,” said Director of Admissions Jonathan Kent. “That has also allowed us to increase our selectivity, particularly in our most competitive programs. We denied nearly twice as many applicants this year than last year.”

International and online programs have also seen dramatic growth over the past several years. More than 300 Bosnian students will be taking courses online from the American University of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are among the total of more than 1,600 new students this year, which includes 211 full-time transfer students.

“As one of the largest businesses in this area, SUNY Canton recognizes its obligation to help the local economy battle through tough economic times,” said Kennedy. “We strive to be a leader in that area. We have the ability to do that by creating desirable, modern, innovative academic programs that attract more students. Those students come to the North Country and make an immediate, significant impact on the area’s businesses.”

The College has experienced dramatic growth over the last several years. Enrollment is up nearly 10 percent from last year, 28 percent from two years ago, and more than 60 percent from the 1998-99 academic year, when there were a total of 2,078 students.

“Our four-day academic week and our online classes are very popular,” added Kent. “They are among the many factors that explain why more and more students are choosing SUNY Canton. This year, we have also welcomed more than 50 former General Motors and Alcoa employees from Massena who are looking to transform or ignite their careers.”

Applications from prospective students increased 22 percent in the last year, 37 percent from two years ago, and were 77 percent higher than the Fall 2000 semester.

Northland Associates of Syracuse, a company that employs and subcontracts numerous local workers, is currently constructing SUNY Canton’s new $41 million athletic facility. The College also plans to begin building a new residence hall within the next year or two. SUNY Canton is expecting to add as many as five new bachelor’s degrees within the next year, including Sports Management, Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology, and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Technology. Renovations were recently completed on the College’s nursing laboratories, and renovation work is nearly complete in Nevaldine Technology Center, home of the College’s Engineering Technology programs.

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 100 courses online each semester. The College’s athletic teams belong to the NAIA’s Sunrise Conference, enabling students to compete in their respective sports for four years. Construction is now underway for the College’s new Convocation, Athletic, and Recreation Center.

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

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