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May 2, 2016

District and SCCC establish first international student program partnership of its kind in New York State

picture from signing ceremony

From left, Schenectady County Community College President Dr. Steady H. Moono and Niskayuna Superintendent Dr. Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. shake hands after signing the memorandum of agreement establishing the international student program partnership.

Agreement will allow students to take Niskayuna High School and SCCC courses and provide pathway to college education

Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) President Dr. Steady H. Moono and Niskayuna School Superintendent Dr. Cosimo Tangorra Jr. today signed a memorandum of agreement to allow international students to continue their education and provide a pathway to college education. It is the first partnership of its kind in New York State.

This new partnership between the Niskayuna Central School District and SCCC will allow international students who have completed one year of full-time study at Niskayuna High School through the school district's International Scholars Program to continue their education for a second or third year through concurrent enrollment in SCCC courses taught at Niskayuna High School.

"We are so pleased to be part of this unique program with Dr. Tangorra and his faculty and staff at the Niskayuna School District,"" said Dr. Steady H. Moono, President of SCCC. "We are passionate about giving all students — local, regional and/or international — opportunities to get an education, and this program will do just that. We are hopeful that many of these students will explore higher education after graduating from Niskayuna High School and continue their studies at SCCC."

"I am very pleased that we will be able to enhance and grow the International Scholars Program with a strong partner like Schenectady County Community College," said Niskayuna Superintendent of Schools Cosimo Tangorra, Jr. "This will bring more students from across the globe to our area, increase opportunities for cross-cultural exchanges and, notably, raise the international profile of the high-quality educational opportunities available in Schenectady County. It's a win for all involved."

Current regulations allow a public school like Niskayuna to accept international students for a single year on an F-1 visa. However, the partnership with SCCC will allow international students to get an I-20 for a second or third year of study at Niskayuna as long as they take several college-level courses that will be taught on Niskayuna's campus. This option would allow a well- qualified international student to remain at Niskayuna High School for up to three years and eventually graduate.

Right now, Niskayuna offers 17 courses for concurrent credit through SCCC. There are advanced placement (AP) courses in the sciences, business, psychology, English, math, engineering and world languages. These courses range from three to eight credits each and are taught by Niskayuna faculty on the high school campus.

picture from signing ceremony picture from signing ceremony
Dr. Tangorra and Niskayuna High School Principal John Rickert talk with SCCC President Dr. Moono at Monday's signing ceremony. For more pictures from the event, visit SCCC's gallery on Flickr.


To participate in this program, students must take at least ten credits per year. Students earning college credits through this program can use the credits to earn an Associate's Degree from SCCC. They may also choose to transfer the credits to another college or university depending upon the institution's policy for accepting transfer credits.

Interested families can contact the International Scholars Program Coordinator, Edward Alston at the Niskayuna Central School District, or (518) 382-2511 ext. 21706 to learn more about this unique opportunity.


About Schenectady County Community College: One of the 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the nation's largest comprehensive system of higher education, Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) in upstate New York enrolls more than 7,000 students. SCCC offers more than 45 career degree, transfer degree and certificate programs. The College opened its doors for classes in 1969 and continues to provide affordable comprehensive higher education and adult educational opportunities in response to local educational needs. To learn more, visit

About Niskayuna School District: The Niskayuna Central School District serves approximately 4,100 students in grades K-12. It is home to five neighborhood elementary schools, two middle schools and a comprehensive 9-12 high school. The district was founded in 1953 by citizens devoted to providing the highest quality education to the community's children. It continues to pride itself on academic excellence, a world-class faculty and staff, a strong commitment to music and the visual arts, and co-curricular learning experiences that contribute to preparing students after they graduate.

About Niskayuna's International Scholars Program: Through the district's International Scholars Program, established in 2014, international students apply to attend Niskayuna High School on a tuition basis. This program complements a longstanding tradition of hosting international exchange students in the district and provides cross-cultural experiences and educational opportunities that benefit Niskayuna High School and international students alike. To date, nine students have come to Niskayuna through the program, which is coordinated by Edward Alston.


picture from signing ceremony

Dr. Moono and Dr. Tangorra sign the memorandum of agreement establishing the partnership at Monday's signing ceremony. For more pictures from the event, visit SCCC's gallery on Flickr.