The 37 State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) community colleges have set aside October 3 to send a simple message: Students who complete an associate degree have better prospects for jobs, scholarships and transfer to four-year schools.
The drive is empirically supported: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee with an associate’s degree makes nearly $50 more per week than a worker with either some or no college at all. That figure adds up to almost $200 per month, or $2400 over the course of a year—money that would surely benefit all New Yorkers.
Aside from the monetary benefits of holding a two-year degree, it also serves as a platform for a brighter future. A student that holds and associate’s degree is guaranteed to get into four-year programs at SUNY schools and the types of jobs that a graduate may be qualified for drastically changes between holding a high school diploma and associate’s degree.
To help communicate this message, community colleges statewide will host workshops, guest lectures, special events, and counseling sessions to help students understand how completing a degree can change their lives, change their communities and change the nation.
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Maxwell is the Coordinator of Digital Engagement for The State University of New York.