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College Earns $2 Million Grant Renewal for Schenectady Smart Transfer Early College High School Program

Graduates of the Schenectady Smart Transfer Early College High School program at the 2021 SUNY Schenectady Commencement ceremony.


SUNY Schenectady will continue to make it possible for Schenectady High School students to earn their associate degrees while still in high school through the renewal of a grant totaling $2 million from the New York State Department of Education.

The College first introduced the Schenectady Smart Transfer Early College High School (ST-ECHS) Program in 2017 after earning a $1 million grant for the program. With renewal of the grant through June 30, 2026, the College will continue to welcome Smart Transfer students into SUNY Schenectady academic programs in Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Liberal Arts: Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science as they earn their high school diplomas and College degrees at the same time.

Smart Transfer graduate in cap and gown outside at SUNY Schenectady


“We are absolutely delighted to announce that the Smart Transfer Early College High School program grant has been renewed for another four years. Through this innovative program, students have earned their associate degrees while still in high school and then transferred on for their bachelor’s degree as juniors. This is impressive on many levels and we are proud to serve as the pipeline for students to start on their pathway in higher education and achieve their goals.”

Smart Transfer is a partnership among SUNY Schenectady, the University at Albany, SUNY Delhi, and Schenectady High School (SHS). Every year a cohort of approximately 32 students are admitted to the program.

The students spend their first two years of high school full-time at Schenectady High School and their junior and senior years primarily at SUNY Schenectady. Students can then transfer to a four-year institution to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Anibal Soler Jr., Superintendent of the Schenectady City School District, noted how successful Smart Transfer students have been in the program.

“I am extremely grateful for this partnership and program which presents an incredible opportunity and pathway for our students to continue their educational journey, earn college credits while in high school, and ultimately achieve their educational goals. The program truly makes a difference, especially in the lives of those students who earn a college degree while still in high school. This is the strength of partnership and community. We are thrilled that the funding is renewed and the opportunity will continue.”

Pamela McCall has overseen the program since its inception as the College’s Director of College and High School Partnerships.

“When I wrote the grant six years ago, I never realized the impact this would have on the students at Schenectady High School, our community, and SUNY Schenectady. My greatest moment last year was seeing our seniors graduate from both SUNY Schenectady and Schenectady High School. Being able to continue to recruit, support, and positively impact our local students is incredible.”

Of the students who have participated in the program, 100 percent have graduated from Schenectady High School and 70 percent of students in the program have graduated from SUNY Schenectady with an associate degree. They have gone on to transfer to four-year institutions including the University at Albany, SUNY Delhi, the College of Saint Rose, and Wellesley College.