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04/26/2002
The Sage Colleges and Hudson Valley Community College Announce Physical Education Degree Partnership

CONTACT: Bruce Robertson (518) 244-4537, Martha Milcarek (518) 244-2246 {Sage Colleges}
Judith White (518) 629-8063, Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8071 {Hudson Valley Community College}

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 26, 2002

Image of Sage President Jeanne Neff and Hudson Valley President John BuonoPresidents of The Sage Colleges and Hudson Valley Community College announced Friday an academic collaboration that will allow Hudson Valley physical education graduates to complete their bachelor's degree in physical education on the Hudson Valley Community College campus through the Sage College of Albany.

Sage President Jeanne Neff and Hudson Valley President John Buono announced the public/private partnership, recently approved by the New York State Department of Education, during a news conference at the McDonough Sports Complex at Hudson Valley before a gathering of administrators, faculty and students from both colleges. The new program will begin in the fall.

Currently, no other area college offers a bachelor's degree in physical education, the credential required for K-12 grade physical education teachers in New York public schools.

President Buono said that Hudson Valley has long offered an associate's degree in physical education studies, but that graduates wanting to pursue a bachelor's degree in physical education have been forced to leave the Capital Region to do so. The closest available locations are SUNY Cortland, SUNY Brockport, Ithaca College, Castleton State College in Vermont and Springfield College in Massachusetts.

"In a world where attention is often focused on differences, I am pleased that Hudson Valley Community College and The Sage Colleges have found common purpose in serving the needs of the students in this area," said Buono, explaining that the partnership will complement existing transfer opportunities, as well as filling a gap where no opportunities existed.

Russell Sage College for women offered a four-year physical education program for more than fifty years, but phased it out in 1987. The physical education major was gradually supplanted by current majors in athletic training, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nutrition. Faculty from these areas will contribute expertise to the new bachelor's degree program, which will be delivered by Sage's Division of Education. Sage's education unit is the only one in the Capital Region and one of only seven in the state of New York to be accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

"Sage has a history of innovation and collaboration," President Neff said. "With this new concept we gain a very strong partner in Hudson Valley Community College in a plan that will benefit our students and the community at large. Hudson Valley already turns out an excellent associate degree graduate; we expect that with the Sage degree added, these individuals will be exceptionally well prepared to meet the needs of today's schools."

The Sage bachelor's degree program will admit a maximum of 30 upper-level students each year. Hudson Valley's physical education program currently serves 150 to 175 students per year and has graduating classes of around 60.

New York State is facing a critical shortage of teachers, and this program will permit many students to enter that field. Hudson Valley's students include many who have dependent families locally, or who face other obstacles and financial constraints limiting their ability to transfer to a four-year college, according to Phil Brown, Hudson Valley's chairperson for physical education.

The Hudson Valley Associate in Arts in physical education consists of 45 hours in liberal arts courses and 17 hours in physical education. To earn the B.S. in physical education from Sage, students will complete an additional 21 credits in the arts and sciences (including two required support courses in psychology and science), 24 credits in pedagogy, 12 credits in physical education, and 3 credits in a professional support course.

A "Sage Center for Physical Education" will be established on the Hudson Valley campus and courses will be offered on the Hudson Valley campus to take advantage of the outstanding athletic and training facilities there. In June, the 4,500-seat Joseph L. Bruno Stadium will open, housing an exercise physiology lab with state of the art human performance measurement equipment as well as new classroom space for physical education courses. Hudson Valley's McDonough Sports Complex houses a field house, an ice arena, weight training and exercise rooms. Outdoor facilities at the college will include new softball and football fields to be relocated near the Sports Complex by this fall. The college will also install new tennis courts. A new ropes challenge course was installed this spring.

During the news conference, Buono introduced a current Hudson Valley student and an alumna who already have applied to study in The Sage Colleges' new physical education program.

Elisabeth Duncan of Voorheesville, who will graduate with an associate's degree from Hudson Valley's physical education program this spring, had considered transferring to a four-year college in North Carolina until she learned about Sage's new program. Christina Bieg of Brunswick, a 1998 physical education graduate at Hudson Valley, had pursued other educational programs locally, but never lost her primary interest in becoming a physical education teacher. Married, she had considered uprooting her husband from his job so that they could move away together to an area offering her chosen course.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.

The coeducational Sage College of Albany offers both associate and bachelor's degrees in a "two plus two" format. Its Center for Extended Learning provides bachelor's degree completion options for working adults in a flexible schedule of evening/weekend/online formats. The other members of The Sage Colleges are Russell Sage College for women, in Troy, and Sage Graduate School. Together, they make up one of the five largest educational institutions in the Capital Region, serving nearly 3,300 students annually.

A high resolution color photo of this event is available by request to: editor@hvcc.edu.