SUNY chancellor: JCC expanding program to give college credit for experience

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 3:50 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Jefferson Community College will have more opportunities for students to translate their experience into academic credit.

SUNY Chancellor John King visited the Watertown campus Wednesday.

He announced JCC will build on its Prior Learning Assessment or PLA program. The program grants college credits for things like military experience, on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and industry certifications.

“We’ve got to make sure that our folks in the military, their dependents, our veterans, have access to educational opportunities that will allow them to succeed in the 21st Century economy,” said King.

Adult learners can save on average 9 to 14 months toward earning a degree when awarded credit for prior learning, according to a 2020 report by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education.

The SUNY system says those students have the potential to save between $1,500 and $10,000 through the process.

The chancellor calls community college the key to the state’s economic growth and says it’s on display at JCC.

“They are providing critical workforce skills for folks who are entering the workforce, but also folks who are already in jobs but want to advance in the workforce,” said King.

He also praised the college’s wide array of specialty programs.

“Who knew that E-Sports could be such a compelling athletic competition,” he said.

In addition, King spoke with nursing students, who he says are desperately needed across the state.

“They reflected on their experience that the nursing simulation lab here at Jefferson Community College really helped them get comfortable with the things they will have to do as practicing nurses,” he said.

Administrator-In-Charge Dr. Dan Dupee says it felt great to show King what JCC and its students are all about.

“He really, truly has that belief of student service, that belief of SUNY and public education providing what our students need,” said Dupee.

JCC is just one stop on Chancellor King’s tour of all 64 campuses in the SUNY system. He also visited SUNY Canton on Wednesday.