Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

Schenectady Smart Transfer Early College High School


About the Program

Schenectady Smart Transfer Early College High School is a grant-funded program which allows high school students to pursue and obtain associate’s degrees while earning their high school diplomas. Students then automatically transfer to a 4-year institution to complete their bachelor’s degrees. Funded by New York State Education Department, Smart Transfer is a partnership between SUNY Schenectady, University at Albany, SUNY Delhi and Schenectady High School. Students apply and are accepted in 8th grade, undergoing a multi-stage application process and then participating in a rigorous 6-week summer program at SUNY Schenectady. Smart Transfer is modeled after existing Early College High Schools in the country, but is new for the Schenectady community and in the Capital Region. Two cohorts of students were accepted in Spring, 2018, and will graduate from both SUNY Schenectady and Schenectady High School in 2021 and 2022. Every year a cohort of 32 students are admitted to the program. Smart Transfer students will spend their first two years of high school full-time at SHS and their junior and senior years primarily at SUNY Schenectady.

History of the Smart Transfer Early College High School Program

SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SUNY Schenectady) has been awarded a grant for more than $1 million from the New York State Education Department, the first time the College has received such funding, chosen during a competitive process from among colleges throughout New York State.

The Smart Transfer Early College High School Program (ST-ECHS) grant will make it possible for Schenectady High School students to earn a SUNY Schenectady associate’s degree while still in high school, and then transfer to complete their bachelor’s degree in just two additional years.

SUNY Schenectady will receive the $1,082,119 ST-ECHS grant over the next four years, and in addition to Schenectady High School, the College will partner with the University at Albany and SUNY Delhi. Both institutions have committed to accepting students into their institutions upon successful completion of program requirements. Completion of high school and graduation with a Regents diploma and 60 college credits or an associate’s degree will be considered successful completion.

“We are thrilled that the College is a recipient of this grant for the first time ever,” said Dr. Steady Moono, President of SUNY Schenectady. “We take great pride in empowering our students and are pleased to play such a valuable role in the lives of high school students as they gain the advantage of completing college level work during their high school years, embarking on higher education, and pursuing their dreams.”

“The University at Albany is pleased to be part of this multi-partnered grant that will provide students with a pathway to a bachelor degree. We applaud Schenectady County Community College on their efforts in receiving this grant and look forward to participating in its implementation.”  Ann Marie Murray, Associate Provost and Chief of Staff, Provost Office, University at Albany.

“SUNY Delhi is pleased and excited to form a new partnership with Schenectady County Community College, the Schenectady High School, and the University of Albany on the Smart Transfer grant,” said Dr. Kelli Ligeikis, SUNY Delhi Provost. “Collaborating with SUNY Schenectady and high school faculty will ensure course content that not only prepares students for college work but provides the pathways for seamless transfers and a successful college experience. This partnership will enable graduates to gain up to 60 college credits that can be applied to a bachelor’s degree within only two years of matriculation. SUNY Delhi opens its doors wide and welcomes the next generation of college-ready freshman.” 

Students will take the college level courses at their high schools and on the SUNY Schenectady campus, starting in summer 2018. The courses will be funded by the grant and will be taught both by high school teachers and SUNY Schenectady faculty members. The College will offer the following degree programs as part of the ST-ECHS grant: Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Liberal Arts: Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science. 

“Through this grant, high school students in Schenectady will jumpstart their educations with degrees from SUNY Schenectady, and build their own bridges toward bachelor’s degrees at Albany or Delhi,” said Ann Fleming Brown, Chair of the SUNY Schenectady Board of Trustees. “This is a wonderful collaboration.”

“What a wonderful opportunity to partner with our high school and four-year colleges and universities to identify pathways for high school students,” said Dr. Penny Haynes, Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs/Provost at SUNY Schenectady. “Students will be able to graduate from high school while earning their associate’s degree at the same time and continue to their bachelor's program.

“This program will help us build on our already successful Early College Programs at Schenectady High School,” said Pam McCall, Director of College and High School Partnerships. “We have a thriving Dual Enrollment program and a nationally recognized and hugely successful Smart Scholars Early College High School program. It has been proven time and time again that exposure to college courses at the high school level promotes high school completion and post-secondary enrollment. The ST-ECHS grant will allow us to continue serving the students and families of Schenectady.”

“The Schenectady City School District is very excited to be a partner with SUNY Schenectady in this exciting program,” said Laurence T. Spring, Superintendent of Schools for the Schenectady City School District.  “SUNY Schenectady has routinely demonstrated a commitment to the students of Schenectady and this grant represents a tremendous opportunity to accelerate student access to college programming.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Moono and his team for securing this award and providing this outstanding opportunity for our high school students to jump start their college career,” said Holly Vellano, Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Education and Libraries.  “The Schenectady County Legislature strongly believes in the transformational power of education and this program is another example of the opportunities provided by SUNY Schenectady that will prepare our students for the jobs of the future.”