Often times people have to shelve the idea of higher education because of responsibilities like jobs and family. Campuses in their chosen field are just too far away, especially in rural areas like Jefferson County. But as our Brian Dwyer reports, Jefferson Community College is joining forces with bigger schools so classes at those far away campuses can be taught locally.
WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- And with two quick signatures, Jefferson Community College becomes the rare two-year school to offer a doctorate degree.
Here's how it works. JCC reached a deal with St. John Fisher College in Rochester for students to have St. John Fisher instructors and earn a St. John Fisher doctorate in Executive Leadership in Education.
But the classes would be offered right in Watertown on JCC's campus. Jefferson officials say it's perfect for those who can't just pack up and head to to a campus away from home.
"I know people who are driving to Syracuse and to Potsdam at night or on the weekends to try and get their education done," JCC President Dr. Carole McCoy said. "That's hard."
St. John Fisher already does this with a school in New Rochelle and says it has been a big success raising the school's reach and profile. Its president says this deal shouldn't be any different.
"We have similar views of how we deal with students," Dr. Donald Bain said. "What our purpose is to help students, men and women build lives and create careers and serve the community they live in."
This is just one of several deals JCC has with bigger schools to offer advanced education, but the previous have all been based on helping students get into bachelor-level programs.
Dr. McCoy says the goal isn't to change what JCC is meant to do, but rather to help get more people the chance at an education.
"It positions us to be a hub of education for all of Jefferson County. We're the only physical campus within a fifty mile radius. One of the things we've worked very hard on is being able to meet our communities educational needs," Dr. McCoy said.
McCoy says with both military families and those with jobs and families around town, this program will do just that.
For those interested in learning more about this specific program, there's an information session at the JCC Extended Learning Center on Wednesday, March 14th. It'll run from 5:30 pm until 7.