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New York Higher Ed Partnerships to Expand Tech Programs

Several institutions in Western New York are partnering with other colleges and universities to expand access to online and in-person degree programs in fields such as cybersecurity, digital media and digital forensics.

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(TNS) — Recently, we looked at three examples of colleges and universities forging innovative new partnerships to serve the needs of potential students and the region's growing economy.

The trend continues. Several of our area's higher education institutions announced they are partnering up with others to expand their offerings and/or help fuel the WNY workforce.


Hilbert College in Hamburg is partnering with Global Learning Exchange to offer access to its online degree programs through a new global learning platform operated by Sonic Foundry, a leader in video capture, management and streaming solutions.

The partnership makes Hilbert an early provider of online college courses for Sonic Foundry's startup, which aims to give students in developing countries access to higher education options.

Sonic Foundry is building its first physical hub for GLX in the Bahamas, with space for in-person admissions and enrollment, studying and tutoring, as well as reliable Internet access, laptops and other infrastructure. More hubs in developing countries are planned.

Wisconsin-based Sonic Foundry has a presence in 65 countries and 220 employees globally, and CEO Joe Mozden wants to grow the company and "bridge the education gap" in the developing world. Attending college through GLX will be more affordable as tuition costs are "priced into the local markets" of each nation — averaging an expected $5,000 a year, compared with several hundred thousand dollars to study abroad.

Market research for GLX found that countries like Nigeria and Uzbekistan have a huge number of prospective students who apply for college locally but are denied admission. Sonic Foundry says GLX can "provide highly motivated students around the world with life-changing education opportunities by connecting them to world-class higher education programs in a flexible, cost-effective, and locally supported environment."

The partnership with Hilbert will give GLX students access to Hilbert's online degree programs, including alcohol and substance abuse counseling, business management, criminal justice, cybersecurity, digital media and communications, liberal studies and psychology, Hilbert President Michael Brophy said.

"This innovative program will allow us to reach an underserved population of prospective students around the world and play a proactive role in addressing the global supply and demand gap in higher education," Brophy said.


Lewiston-based Niagara University is expanding its partnership with Seneca College in Canada to offer the first master's degree programs at Seneca.

Beginning this fall, courses in Niagara's Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Information Security and Digital Forensics programs will be taught by professors at Seneca's Newnham Campus in Toronto and at Niagara's Canadian campus in Vaughan, Ontario.

The programs will also be available online and include a pathway for graduates of nine Seneca degree programs to have up to 18 credits recognized as prerequisite coursework for the two master's degrees. The partnership builds on current academic pathways between the two institutions in child and youth care, gerontology, social service, tourism, hospitality, and hotel and restaurant service management.

Up to now, Seneca College has had master's degree pathways with 10 other institutions around the world, but these are the first to be offered at the college.

"Not only can our graduates earn advanced standing and learn close to home, but our outstanding faculty will be able to demonstrate their expertise through master's-level teaching opportunities," Seneca College President David Agnew said.

Niagara began offering graduate level programs in Ontario in 1984. In 2019, the university consolidated all of its Ontario programs into a new campus in Vaughan, now known as Niagara University in Ontario.

"Taking this next step to offer courses on site at Seneca further strengthens the commitment of both our institutions to provide high-quality education opportunities that address the needs of our students and the region," Niagara President James J. Maher said.


Canisius College and D'Youville University are teaming up to give sports and exercise health care majors at Canisius guaranteed admission into graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and chiropractics at D'Youville.

The two institutions signed a formal articulation agreement that will help pre-plan their undergraduate and graduate career paths in rehabilitative health science.

"Job growth in the allied health care professions is expected to grow faster than average in the next 10 years," said Professor Mike Dolan, co-director of the Sports and Exercise Health Care Program at Canisius. "We are excited to partner with D'Youville University to provide our students a clear and accessible path to graduate work in physical therapy, chiropractic care and occupational therapy."

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