SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career. Students engage in guided independent studies and course work onsite, online or a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to learn at the time, place and pace they choose.
The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at more than 35 locations in the state of New York and online. Its 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more. More information about the college is available here.


Campus Metrics

    • We offer Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
    • Our institution serves 20,000+ students (headcount).
    • All our undergraduate students design their degrees through a portfolio process and are moving to an ePortfolio process; we currently have institution-wide program(s) and/or majors actively using ePortfolio.
    • ePortfolio is used for Assessment on our campus at the Degree Program Planning process.
    • Our professional development is provided via: Short focused training workshops or webinars, f2f meetings/online meetings.

Empire & the Catalyst Framework

Pedagogy (PED) Location

    • Educational Degree Planning and Prior Learning Assessment

Professional Development (PD) Focus

    • Faculty mentoring students through the degree planning process

Outcome Assessment (OA) Level

    • Extensive paper process has been in place to review degree planning process; this is just emerging as an ePortfolio practice

Technology (TECH) Platform

    • Mahara

Scaling Up (SU) Strategies

    • Connecting with High Impact Practices
    • Developing an Effective Leadership Team


Browse Empire State College's Stories and Practices:

SUNY Empire State College – Project Profile

Project Description The ePortfolio project in which SUNY Empire State College engaged focused on shifting a long-standing paper-based degree planning portfolio process, which is partially managed in homegrown systems, fully into an ePortfolio process. The project concept seemed to be straightforward (move paper and management workflow fully into digital), but proved to be much more complex than anticipated. In part, this has to do with the degree planning process itself and in part it was due Read more [...]

Empire State College – Bridging Lived, Experienced and Delivered Curricula: Student Agency, Educational Planning and Reflective Degree Design

Empire State College is distributed throughout the state of New York in 35 locations and in the fully online Center for Distance Learning, as well as students enrolled through international partner institutions. Every undergraduate student at every center engages in some form of educational planning. The process and expected outcome of educational planning is described in college resources, but each faculty mentor can develop individualized approaches to meet his or her students’ needs. As a result, Read more [...]

Empire State College – Scaling Up Story

The current C2L project is focused on using ePortfolios for student degree planning and prior learning assessment. Our institution requires that all undergraduate students develop a degree program plan, which can utilize many forms of prior learning assessment. This has always been a portfolio process and over the years the college had developed its own electronic tool to manage the process with students and faculty. Read more [...]

Empire State College – Professional Development Practice

Professional Development Across the College Faculty and professional staff development at Empire State College has extreme importance to the college. It occurs in a variety of ways. The college uses Boyer’s scholarship framework, which expands the definition of scholarship to include discovery, integration, application, and teaching, as an underpinning to professional development across the college. As part of this definition of scholarship, our faculty are encouraged to engage in creative activities Read more [...]

Empire State College – Technology Story

The technology platform story at SUNY Empire State College is a sad story. We hope that this story can help other institutions starting off from making some of the same mistakes. When we started off to choose our platform, we had honest intentions to be as wise as we could and to take into consideration what we needed. This is what transcribed: Fall 2010 - Spring 2011: We had a college-wide ePortfolio team exploring all aspects of integrating ePortfolios into our college community. This team divided Read more [...]

Empire State College – Outcomes Assessment Story

At Empire State College, we have three projects underway that relate to outcomes assessment and ePortfolios. These practices are not conventional (as seems most of our practices). On one hand, our institution has been using outcomes assessment since its inception in the early 1970’s. The degree guidelines are designed on outcomes rather than course-based curriculum. Students design their degrees using the guidelines and also some students design courses with faculty to meet the expectations of Read more [...]
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