For Immediate Release
January 16, 2020


Grant to Study College Credit for Adult Learner’s Acquired Knowledge

Suffolk County adult learners may soon be able to earn college credits that build toward a college degree for acquired life knowledge thanks to a $220,000 Lumina Foundation grant awarded to SUNY Empire State College in partnership with Suffolk County Community College and Rockland Community College. 

Currently, there is no national system that allows students to be recognized for their knowledge or a way to "credential up" at college.

The grant will enable the development of a model for a national incremental system that will award college credits for knowledge adults have attained throughout their lives.

The pilot project will focus initially on programs in manufacturing and business.

“Community Colleges have traditionally welcomed and nurtured non-traditional students in their journey to a college degree,” said Interim Suffolk County Community College President Louis Petrizzo. “This grant and the work that will flow from it not only will allow us to better serve our students but also will open the enrollment door for returning students by making it easier for them to reach their goals,” he added.

“This will enhance and expand on what we do on a very small scale.  I look forward to working with faculty and our governance leaders to bring this to fruition,” said Suffolk County Community College Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Paul Beaudin.

According to the National Student Clearinghouse, almost 36 million Americans have some college, but no degree – nearly 2 million are in New York State.

SUNY Empire’s Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning will partner with Rockland and Suffolk Community Colleges to research and develop policy recommendations on incremental credentialing, implement a pilot to demonstrate how the colleges can create transferable incremental credentials, and model how policy changes can be made at the university system-level.