October 1, 2013

Spotlight on degree completion


---- — PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College is putting the spotlight on the value of an associate degree during Completion Week.

The Plattsburgh school is among 30 SUNY colleges and and seven City University of New York schools holding special events this week to send a simple message: Students who complete an associate degree have better prospects for jobs, scholarships and transfer to four-year schools. 

“We are offering this week of activities and information to kick off the new academic year with a focus on success,” Clinton Community College Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Cheryl Lesser said in a news release. 

“In addition, we want to stimulate conversations around completing the associate degree so that students are best prepared to compete for their future career. 

“We know that, nationwide, there is an incredible need for associate-degree-level employees for a myriad of skilled jobs.”


At noon Wednesday, students, faculty and staff will be invited to sign a Call to Action during a Commit to Complete event in the theater of the Ronald B. Stafford Center for Art, Science and Technology. 

Signatures of faculty and staff will represent a promise to support and guide students to graduation, and students taking part will commit to complete their certificate or degree.

CCC President John E. Jablonski will highlight the benefits of degree and certificate completion and emphasize the importance for students to plan their own long-term goals. 

“All of us at Clinton Community College are committed to support students in achieving their goals at the college and preparing them to be successful in their future career or at a four-year institution,” Lesser said. 

“The faculty and staff are experts in their field, and moreover, they are caring and work each day to bring out the best in our students.”


Throughout the week, CCC will host transfer information sessions, with representatives from SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Potsdam, Cazenovia College, SUNY Oneonta and other four-year institutions meeting with students about transferring to complete their bachelor’s degree.

And Completion Week will wrap up with the North Country Region Manufacturing Day on Friday, when business and industry representatives will take part in panel discussions to share information on how to prepare and compete for jobs. 

High-school guidance counselors, teachers and administrators, as well as CCC students, faculty and staff have been invited.


The State Labor Department projects that middle-skill and high-skill jobs will continue to dominate the economy, the release said, accounting for 44 and 34 percent of the jobs in 2018, respectively.

Middle-skill jobs are those that require education beyond high school, from short-term job training up to a two-year degree. 

High-skill jobs require a four-year degree or better, the release said. State residents who transfer directly from a SUNY or CUNY two-year college after completing an associate degree are guaranteed entry to a four-year SUNY college, according to SUNY Transfer Guarantee Program Guidelines.

Students who complete an associate degree can expect to earn $400,000 more in a lifetime than a high-school graduate.

And unemployment for community college graduates is typically 30 percent lower than for high-school grads, the release said.

For more information or to apply to Clinton Community College, go to or call 562-4170.