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Stony Brook University One of Six SUNY Institutions to Debut Open SUNY

Stony Brook University One of Six SUNY Institutions to Debut Open SUNY

BS in Electric Engineering Selected to Answer New York’s Workforce Needs, Expand Access, Completion, and Success

Albany, January 14, 2014 – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that Stony Brook University will play a leadership role in the system’s introduction of Open SUNY, offering one of the first degree programs to be powered by this signature initiative. Stony Brook’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering online degree will now be offered to students with a comprehensive suite of supports and services to aid in degree completion.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher introduced the new “Open SUNY+” degree programs during her annual State of the University Address today in Albany.

“Open SUNY will provide our students with the nation’s leading online learning experience, drawing on the power of SUNY to expand access, improve completion, and prepare more students for success,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “In addition to these new, fully-online degree programs, Open SUNY will take every online course we offer at every SUNY campus—now upwards of 12,000 course selections conducted by 7,000 faculty—and make them easy to find and accessible for every SUNY student and prospective leaners around the globe.”

“We are proud of our collaboration and success in serving a qualified student population that may not otherwise be able to pursue a degree in electrical engineering,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. “We are joining forces with our colleagues at Binghamton University and the University at Buffalo to make a difference. We look forward to implementation of Open SUNY – a worthy and timely initiative led by Chancellor Zimpher. This is truly an exciting time to be involved in higher education in New York State.”

Across New York, 6.9 million adults have a high school degree but no college degree. Many want to pursue a degree but life commitments such as jobs, children, aging parents, financial limitations, and community ties limit their access to higher education. Open SUNY aims to reach these non-traditional students as well.

“Open SUNY will completely redefine access to a college degree in our state, reaching every child and adult in every school and home in New York,” added Chancellor Zimpher, “and reaching them on their terms—in their homes and communities, and on their time, adapting to their schedules.” 

Included as part of Open SUNY are built-in supports for students and faculty, such as 24/7 assistance for students, whether they need technical help, tutoring, financial planning, or academic advisement services; and a Center for Online Teaching Excellence where faculty can opt-in to training programs and online forums to broaden their knowledge about developing effective online courses or share best practices and learn directly from colleagues across SUNY.

The eight Open SUNY+ degree programs to debut in January were chosen based on a number of factors, including student interest, accreditation, and their capacity to meet current and future workforce demand throughout New York State. They are:


Background on Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Online at Stony Brook University

  • The Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Online Program is a collaborative project among the three SUNY University Centers: Stony Brook, Binghamton and Buffalo.
  • The project, led by Stony Brook University, has been offering online Electrical Engineering courses to students for more than five years
  • It received regional accreditation by NY State Department of Education as a degree program in May 2011.
  • Students in the program are mostly working professionals with family seeking career advancement.
  • Some of our faculty with a long career in education are saying that they have seen their best students in these online courses.  

About Stony Brook University

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with more than 24,000 students and 2,200 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation and Kiplinger named it the 29th best value in public colleges for in-state students and 20th for out-of-state students. One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.

About the State University of New York

The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 463,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs, and more than 1.8 million NYS citizens in professional development and personal enrichment programs, on 64 college and university campuses. There are nearly 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit



Reporter Contact: 
Lauren M. Sheprow
University Media Relations Officer

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