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SUNY chancellor discusses access to mental health services, tuition assistance

 SUNY Chancellor John King, second from right, stands with OCC president Warren Hilton, right, William Magnarelli, second from left, and Al Stripe.
Abigail Connolly WRVO
From left to right, OCC President Dr. Warren Hilton, SUNY Chancellor Dr. John King, State Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, and State Assemblyman Al Stirpe.

SUNY Chancellor John King is making his rounds on a 64 SUNY campus tour. Onondaga Community College was number 14.

During his tour of OCC on February 17, King met with campus officials and directors about their work and where they see resources might be needed. One area King hopes to make improvements on is access to counseling services.

“We’ve got to do more, across our campuses to make sure that students have more access to counseling,” King said.

King said while improvements have been made in recent years, more work still needs to be done.

“That’s a place where we have made investments over the last few years,” King said. “But we need help from the governor and legislature to invest even more.”

In addition to investments in mental health services, King hopes current affordable access programs will continue to be funded.

“The tuition assistance program, Excelsior, we hope that those investments will grow so that more students can attend tuition-free,” King said.

King said more efforts should be made to help low-income students reach a higher education in New York.

“We’ve got to help, particularly low-income students, working-class students, get access to higher education so that they can build a prosperous life here in New York,” King said.

One way SUNY is trying to improve access to higher education is by offering expanded access to college credit through military experience, technical training and industry certifications. This comes with the updated Prior Learning Assessment, or PLA, policy King announced February 15.

“We are going to make a big push for every New Yorker to know about the Prior Learning Assessment and the opportunities they have to be recognized for the work that they have done,” King said.

King said he hopes the current state administration will continue to support SUNY students.

“We are hopeful that the governor and legislature will continue to invest in SUNY and invest in our students,” King said.

King will continue to promote the new PLA policy as he makes his way to each SUNY campus.

Copyright 2023 WRVO. To see more, visit WRVO.

Abigail Connolly