State, SUNY Funding, Increased Full-Time Enrollment Bolster SUNY Canton


Investments from New York State, the State University of New York and increased full-time enrollment are allowing SUNY Canton to pursue innovative initiatives.

The college received more than $2.7 million, including a more than $1 million increase in operational funding from the State, another nearly $1 million from the SUNY Transformation Fund and an additional investment of more than $720,000 designated for specific projects.

Kelsey Guerard speaks with students in her office in SUNY Canton’s Dana Hall.
Advancing Completion through Engagement (ACE) Program Director Kelsey Guerard speaks with students in her office in SUNY Canton’s Dana Hall. The ACE program was paid for through SUNY’s Transformation Fund.

“Substantial funding increases and additional allocations help us continue our college mission of providing an affordable and accessible education that engages students where they are,” Szafran said. “Combined with a modest uptick in spring enrollment, the new funding serves as an investment in the continuing success of SUNY Canton.”

Total spring enrollment is 2,758 students, which includes an increase of more than 40 full-time students when compared to spring 2023.

The $1 million in State funding will be used for institutional expenses or fixed costs, including salaries for existing employees, new hires, and for the continuing student support efforts, according to Shawn K. Miller, the college’s Vice President for Administration and CFO.

“Historically, SUNY Canton budgets very conservatively for the fiscal year,” Miller said. “By continuing this strategy, we are in a solid position to pursue new and innovative revenue sources while maintaining our high-quality educational offerings. We are also able to invest heavily to support the success of our students.”

SUNY’s Transformation Fund provided approximately $940,000. Most of the allocation is being used for the Advancing Completion through Engagement (ACE) Program, which is currently operating at projected capacity. ACE provides qualifying students with additional advising, extra support services and scholarship funding, in addition to money for textbooks, groceries and transportation while attending college.

“We’ve just received an additional $64,000 to expand the ACE program through the Robin Hood Foundation,” noted Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Peggy A. De Cooke. “This will allow us to provide all of the services to 30 to 35 additional students in the fall 2024 semester.”

A portion of the Transformation Fund money will support workforce development and the college’s flourishing microcredential programs. Microcredentials serve as targeted learning pathways, allowing students to acquire specific skills aligned with the needs of employers. Microcredentials are available for both traditional degree and non-degree-seeking students.

“SUNY Canton’s microcredentials are a growing part of our students’ professional journeys,” said Vice President for Strategic Relations and Communications Lenore VanderZee. “Our microcredentials, which ladder to our academic programs, demonstrate our commitment to creating a workforce that is both academically proficient and equipped with the practical skills necessary for success.”

The Transformation Fund allocation will also be used to bolster the summer Jump Start program, which increases access to students who might be underprepared for college.

Other SUNY and State funding was designated for specific projects, including:

  • $250,000 for mental health support, which allows the college’s Counseling Center to hire additional staff and offer expanded programming.
  • $250,000 to support students with disabilities.
  • $193,000 for the college’s thriving internship programs. The funding allows for more on-campus internships and stipends for off-campus positions.
  • $33,400 to combat food insecurity among students. The funding will be used to support the college’s Renzi Food Pantry.

“SUNY Canton continues on an upward trajectory of success,” said College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill. “I’m inspired by the college’s ability to continually adapt to a changing academic landscape while maintaining its commitment to providing an affordable education that prepares students for careers in high-needs fields. The forward-thinking approach by the college’s faculty, staff and administration is the key to creating skilled and successful graduates.”

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.