OSU’s Metro Center thriving in Syracuse

The Metro Center, Oswego’s first satellite facility based in Syracuse, is doing well in its first full year. The center opened in May of last year, and offers graduate programs to students in downtown Syracuse.

James Jerose, director of the Metro Center, said the center has been doing extremely well in its maiden year.

"It’s very early in our existence," he said, "But classrooms are filled."

"We seem to be making a very good impression on the Syracuse community," he added. Jerose expects more students to enroll next year "as students find out that this is a convenient place to get their course work."

This past summer, the center offered a special "Course to Connect," which offered new graduate students living in the nine counties of central New York a chance to take a class in the center. All they had to do was show a driver’s license and undergraduate transcript and they "could take one tuition-free graduate course," said David King, dean of graduate studies at Oswego State. The purpose was to get students interested in Oswego State and the center.

"We encouraged them to think about grad studies at Oswego," King said.

About 140 students took advantage of it, and of those, more than a third enrolled for other courses or programs this fall either on campus or at the Metro Center, King said.

Jerose said that the Center is just as popular as he thought it would be, but added, there are still some kinks to be worried about. Training and professional development need more time," Jerose said. "It is easier to attract students, but more difficult to attract professional enrollment."

King added, "I think it’s become a very visible presence for SUNY Oswego in metro Syracuse and that was certainly one of our goals – to showcase Oswego’s academic offerings and reach out to a broader community of working adults in a way that would be difficult to do on campus."

The early success may force Oswego State to look into adding more diverse courses to the center. Jerose said he is looking "at additional offerings and perhaps some courses that haven’t been tried here before, to interest other academic departments. Some departments haven’t explored teaching here."

"As demand grows, we’d like to grow the facility. That’s something that we’re talking about. And as we introduce more programs, one of the goals ultimately will be to upgrade the status of the Metro Center to deliver full degree programs," King said.