Staying Home to Go to College

Community colleges make the grade for Valley students looking to save a little cash and prepare for their careers — without sacrificing the A-plus education


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Ulster County Community College students study on the grass
With the Catskills in view, UCCC students study on the college’s picturesque campus

Ulster County Community College

By: Greg Ryan

Technology is king at UCCC, which was among the first community colleges in the state to grant degrees for coursework completed entirely on-line. The two-year college’s OASIS (On-line Associate in Science in Individual Studies) program allows students to earn a degree without ever setting foot in a classroom. Participants mix and match 300 on-line classes offered by schools throughout the SUNY system, piling up 60 credits that they can then transfer to four-year schools. To those looking to supplement their on-line education with good ol’ fashioned brick-and-mortar learning, worry not: UCCC’s technological acumen isn’t limited to how students learn; it also plays a significant role in what they learn about. The school claims to be “rapidly becoming the Hudson Valley’s leader in information technology training,” and backs it up by offering six programs in computer and information technology, including database management and computer information systems. (It even awards a degree in veterinary technology, the only one of its kind in the region.) Computer facilities on campus are top-notch, especially in the science laboratories: the biology facilities feature advanced imaging and anatomy software; and computers in the physics lab come equipped with motion detectors, force sensors, magnetic field sensors, and temperature probes. All of this isn’t to say the college is entirely hardware-focused. In 2006, the school launched a new theatre arts program and students have access to real-world amenities such as childcare, a 500-seat theater, athletic fields, and an art gallery. Additionally, adventurous souls interested in foreign study have the option of spending a semester abroad in one of more than 60 countries. The college even has an international programs director right on campus to help find the destination right for you.
Cottekill Rd., Stone Ridge. 845-687-5000;


Up next: Rockland Community College


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