Two Buffalo-area colleges, one of them a two-year public institution and the other a four-year private school, are uniting in a partnership to provide a smooth path to a bachelor's degree for students with military connections.
The partnership was formalized Monday morning when the presidents of Daemen College and Erie Community College signed a memorandum of agreement. Under the partnership, student veterans or military-aligned students - those with a parent in the military, for example - may apply for a dual-admission program which begins with classes at ECC and then transitions smoothly into Daemen.
"They will in advance be preparing to, once they're finished with their associate's degree at SUNY Erie, then immediately come to Daemen," said Gary Olson, president of Daemen College. "There won't be any interruption or break at all."
Eligible students will have the opportunity to transfer into several Daemen programs, including accounting, biology, business administration, nursing, health promotion and social work.
Both schools provide veterans services. At Daemen, the Nancy Haberman Gacioch Center for Veterans, where eligible students may study or network. There is also a Student Veteran Alliance, an advocacy program for student veterans. At ECC, student veterans may apply for veterans benefits or military tuition assistance and obtain specialized tutoring.
"We recognize it's hard for active veterans to have residence here so we have very flexible residency requirements," said ECC president Dan Hocoy. "We also give credit for appropriate military service and training."
Hocoy says more than 1,200 student veterans are enrolled at ECC.