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SUNY Adirondack To Create Associate Degree For Pipefitter Trades - Program Grew Out Of Discussions With The UA Plumbers & Pipefitters Union

Published Thursday, December 5, 2019
by Michael Goot/The Post Star
SUNY Adirondack To Create Associate Degree For Pipefitter Trades - Program Grew Out Of Discussions With The UA Plumbers & Pipefitters Union

(QUEENSBURY, NEW YORK) – The State University at New York (SUNY) Adirondack is proposing a new program that would allow local Apprentices in the Plumbing and Pipefitting Trade to earn an Associate Degree that could help them advance in their careers.

The Community College’s Board of Trustees recently voted to approve the proposal for a Journeyman-Technical Trades Management Associate of Occupational Studies Degree.

The program grew out of discussions with the United Association (UA) Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 773.

John Jablonski, Vice President for Academic Affairs, said the Union had a partnership with Washtenaw Community College out of Michigan, and SUNY Adirondack wanted to see if it could provide a local option.

The goal of the program would allow the Apprentices to earn an Associate Degree with an additional year of coursework in topics such as college writing, principles of management, accounting, business law, public speaking and human resource management, according to the application.

Jablonski said the program is not trying to teach students the skills they would learn the Apprenticeship, but to go beyond them: “This would be a ‘nice complement to the learning that is already taking place in the Apprenticeship and really give these people a chance to become business owners in their own right and managers in a larger organization.’”

Jablonski said this program could also be useful for the Trades, such as electrical, mechanical or mechatronic, which is a combination of electrical and mechanical engineering.

College officials believe there’s a pool of several hundred Journeymen who could take advantage of this program, according to Jablonski.

The Apprenticeship Program has been around for years, so there may be a lot of people in the area who would want to go back to college.

“We recognize that people especially today in the twenty-first century ‘acquire learning in a lot of ways,’” he said. “There ‘used to be only one pathway to higher education, but now we live in an age where people can take different pathways and really go through some meaningful learning experiences,’ even before they get to SUNY Adirondack, ‘and this is a way we can recognize that learning.’”

Now the program heads to the state for its approval.

College Officials hope to start enrolling students for the Fall of 2020.

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