While students may be working hard at internships, summer jobs, or just having fun during the summer, workers at Alfred State are busy making a number of upgrades and additions to campus before the start of the fall semester. A streak of cool and wet days in the Southern Tier has not stopped the progress, either.
“It’s not uncommon at this time of the year to walk or drive around campus and see construction vehicles and equipment, road cones, new pavement, or cement drying – all signs that progress is being made over the summer so that when our students return for the fall, they will find the campus even better than the last time they were here,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan.
Constructing new facilities is just one example of the efforts that campus workers are putting in this summer. Opening for the first time this fall will be the new Motorcycle and Power Sports Technology building, located along Route 244 in Alfred, as well as the new locker rooms at Pioneer Stadium. Another Athletic Department renovation that is currently underway involves work on the press box for the softball and baseball fields.
Also undergoing renovations is the MacKenzie Complex, the largest residence hall on campus. By January, students are expected to be able to move into the all-new East Tower and enjoy the Central Quad area. Just up the hill from MacKenzie, the addition of workout stations gives hikers another reason to enjoy Pioneer Trails this fall.
Further additions to campus include buses that will serve both the Athletic Department, as well as Auxiliary Campus Enterprises and Services (ACES). The college has also added a non-denominational prayer space in the Student Leadership Center.
When students return to campus, they will also notice a number of other improvements, including a new outdoor seating area outside the Central Dining Hall, as well as newly paved parking lots.
“Our campus workers have been very hard at work this summer, and we have no doubt that many of our students have been, as well,” Sullivan said. “This is always an exciting time of the year, and we can’t wait to have the students back on campus in a few weeks for the start of the new academic year.”
A combination of personal attention, experiential learning, quality teaching, and in-demand programs has led to Open SUNY+ designation for Alfred State’s online programs. To qualify for this recognition, the State University of New York (SUNY) has established robust standards of quality.
“Open SUNY gives students the flexibility to take a few courses or complete a comprehensive degree program online with the opportunity to serve more students who are balancing work, family, and varying academic objectives,” said SUNY Executive Director of Open SUNY Kim A. Scalzo. “The Open SUNY+ designation recognizes the joint commitment of both Open SUNY and Alfred State to the high quality programs and support services for online students. We are happy to welcome Alfred State as a new Open SUNY+ campus."
Online students in a degree program powered by Open SUNY+ have access to high levels of support including a personal concierge, help desk, and online tutoring. Faculty must also employ innovative, yet proven online teaching methods. Open SUNY+ degrees target areas of high employer demand and students participate in applied learning to better prepare for the working world.
“When a student chooses a degree that we offer 100 percent online, we still promise to provide personal attention and experiential learning. These are traits for which our college is well known,” stated Alfred State Provost Dr. Kristin Poppo. “We’re proud that this Open SUNY+ designation further proves the quality of our online programs. By expanding online degree options, Alfred State can expand access to working adults who need a more flexible format for their education.”
Some of the online degrees now endorsed as Open SUNY+ include bachelor’s degrees in technology management and nursing. Working adults and other nontraditional students are attracted to online classes as a way of completing their degrees while continuing to meet the demands of their job and family.
Through the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) Alfred State is also able to offer online classes to students outside of New York State. As the college’s online programs reach an ever-increasing audience, achieving Open SUNY+ designation assures prospective students of these specific benefits:
The full list of programs from Alfred State Online include:
For the fifth straight year, TD Ameritrade Institutional awarded NextGen RIA Scholarships of $5,000 each to students around the country who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in financial planning. Among the dozen recipients this year was Alfred State’s own Adam Wilkins, a financial planning major from Rochester.
As one of the scholarship winners, Wilkins traveled to New York City, where he participated in a tour of the Financial District given by TD Ameritrade. Wilkins and his fellow winners were able to visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square and help ring the closing bell on July 18.
“I felt honored to have been chosen as one of the recipients of the TD Ameritrade NextGen Scholarship,” Wilkins said. “Going to New York City and ringing the Nasdaq closing bell was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am grateful and blessed to have been a part of. It is both exciting and encouraging to see TD Ameritrade's commitment to the next generation of financial advisors, and I look forward to giving back so freely in the same spirit in which they have done.”
In addition to the scholarships, TD Ameritrade Institutional awarded grants to two universities as part of its effort to encourage more schools to develop or enhance their financial planning degree programs, and help increase the ranks of graduates joining the RIA (registered investment advisors) industry.
Kate Healy, managing director of Generation Next for TD Ameritrade Institutional, spoke to the scholarship winners about the great demand for young financial planners and offered ways they can enhance their job prospects.
“There will be more retirement parties than graduation parties in the RIA industry over the next few years,” Healy said. “We encourage aspiring financial planners to stay engaged with their schools and their program directors, because that’s where most independent advisors go when they’re looking for young talent.”
TD Ameritrade is an industry leader in developing programs designed to raise awareness of the outstanding career prospects in financial planning and in encouraging more universities to expand their degree programs. Over a 10-year period, TD Ameritrade has committed to investing more than $4.5 million through scholarships, grants, and other education programs.
Thanks to a $3.2 million grant received in 2014 from the Buffalo Billion initiative, and an expansion project led by Alfred State, students at Burgard High School are getting an even greater head start on college and a leg up toward landing a successful career.
Through an advanced manufacturing early college program that started in 2014, Alfred State and Buffalo’s Burgard High School are preparing students for rewarding careers in high-demand fields. This fall, as a result of the expansion project, which was funded by the Buffalo Billion initiative, students will be utilizing newly renovated machine tool and auto labs at Burgard, along with a state-of-the-art welding lab to facilitate even more students.
Craig Clark, PE, PhD, vice president for Economic Development at Alfred State, said, “The college is proud to lead the project, and the results are starting to show how we are really changing lives. The faculty at Burgard and Alfred State are truly making a real difference in students’ lives and supplying a qualified workforce for companies in the region.”
Through this partnership, Burgard teachers and Alfred State instructors train students in skills such as automotive technology, welding, and machine tool technology. The initiative grew out of Empire State Development’s Buffalo Billion Investment to bridge the gap in workforce needs by aligning Buffalo’s training system with the career paths, certificates, and degrees required for growth in core industries, such as manufacturing.
Being a comprehensive college of technology with four- and two-year programs across the spectrum in advanced manufacturing, Alfred State is a critical academic partner in this initiative and has enhanced the curriculum at Burgard while providing associate degrees to students who complete a 13th year.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul toured Burgard High School in celebration of the grant, and later complimented the program while visiting Alfred State. She emphasized the importance of preparing students for employers who are seeking manufacturing and STEM-related skills.
“A lot of (students) become inspired to know the great possibility they have to change the world through using the skills they can learn with a STEM degree,” Hochul told a room full of educators assembled at the college for the 2017 New York State STEM Summer Institute. “That’s why I get so fired up about this.”
The Allegany County Industrial Development Agency (ACIDA) has executed a contract to build Crossroads Development, a multi-million-dollar project that will serve Allegany County colleges, businesses, and visitors along Interstate 86 at the Belmont exit.
Rochester-based Hemisphere Management LLC and Novat Corp. LLC signed a contract for development, construction, and operation of a nationally branded upscale hotel and conference center, full-service restaurant, and modern fueling station. The site consists of approximately 32 acres and is the location of a previously operated truck stop at the intersection of State Route 19 and County Route 20.
“Crossroads Development will add construction and permanent jobs along with substantial sales taxes and bed taxes as the project opens,” stated Board of Legislators Chair Curt Crandall.
The developer anticipates that construction will begin in 2018, at a cost of approximately $15 million, and will provide 50 permanent full-time and part-time jobs. Early designs call for a 90 room hotel, with 5,000 square feet in conference space, and a 3,500-square-foot restaurant. This summer, the ACIDA and developers will hold meetings for the community to discuss details during the design phase of the Crossroads Development.
“On behalf of my partner Tarpan Patel, President of Hemisphere Management LLC, he and I are looking forward to working with the Allegany County community in bringing the long-time dream into reality,” stated Novat Corp. LLC President Pepsy M. Kettavong.
“This project has been high on a wish list to advance economic development in Allegany County for several years and now is becoming a reality,” stated ACIDA President Mike Johnsen.
Three world‐class colleges and universities are a major resource for Allegany County, with Houghton College in the north, Alfred State and Alfred University in the south. ACIDA Executive Director Craig Clark said, “The Crossroads Development is important to all three colleges and businesses throughout the county to be competitive and assure economic growth.”
“The three colleges in the county, local businesses, and tourism are all in need of more facilities like this for accommodating visitors,” stated Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan.
Alfred University President Mark Zupan said, “This is a great step forward for Allegany County. We have been pleased to partner with the ACIDA, Alfred State, Houghton College, and other organizations in our county in support of the endeavor.”
Houghton College President Shirley Mullen stated, “We are grateful to Craig Clark and his team for their hopeful, persistent, and patient pursuit of the most appropriate partner for developing the crossroads property. This is a great benefit to all the educational institutions of Allegany County. We look forward to the many ways this project will leverage further economic development in our county.”
"Local, state, and federal leaders have worked tirelessly to develop this site, and now those efforts are bearing fruit. New jobs, an increased tax base to help take pressure off local property taxpayers, and more opportunity and prosperity will result. It will provide accommodations to grow tourism so that visitors can experience our region's rugged, scenic beauty, outstanding small businesses, and rich history. It was a challenge to secure funds for the waterline, but it was an economic priority for me and I'm thrilled that we invested $400,000 in state grants to help make it happen. Sincere congratulations to the IDA, Allegany County legislators, and everyone who worked together, believed, and never gave up," said state Sen. Cathy Young.
The Crossroads Development project includes a new waterline under development by Allegany County supplied by water from the Town of Friendship. The waterline project is in the final design phase now, anticipated to be ready for construction bids in 2017, and installed in 2018. The waterline will make additional sites for development possible, since access to water is often needed to attract investment.
“The Allegany County IDA is extremely excited about the project and its impact on the county and the community for jobs and economic development,” stated Clark.