SUNY Broome invites academically gifted high school students to do the math: Two years at an Ivy League university = one year at SUNY Broome at 1/10th the cost. The reason? Broome’s new One Year Associate in Arts Degree Program (AA1), which is currently accepting applications for its inaugural fall 2014 class.

“There are multiple reasons to be excited about this program,” said Ryan Dougherty, superintendent of Newark Valley Central School District and a member of the board of educators and administrators who designed AA1.

For one, AA1 allows students to earn an associate degree in one year instead of two. But more significantly, the level of AA1’s instruction is comparable in intellectual rigor to that of four-year institutions, including those in the Ivy League.

“Other programs exist across New York and the country that offer one-year associate programs, but compressing a two-year degree isn’t the emphasis of this new initiative,” said Michael Kinney, dean of liberal arts at SUNY Broome Community College and head of the board that developed AA1. “What distinguishes our program is its focus on academic rigor. I’m not aware of any other associate degree program in New York State that offers this level of intellectual challenge.”

Designed for a cohort of motivated students, AA1 will offer an accelerated, scholarly experience that includes:

  • engagement in four seminar courses,
  • developing an academic portfolio,
  • completing a capstone research project, and
  • building relationships with faculty mentors.

Upon graduation, students will have completed 64 credits in the areas of SUNY-approved general education requirements, advanced scholar studies, and advised electives. Included in those credits are ones earned through advanced placement and international baccalaureates.

“Our focus was to build an accelerated, academically demanding program that would propel students into highly competitive colleges and universities,” Dougherty said. “The courses are deeply rooted in the liberal arts and demand a high level of critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis. At the same time, we’ve incorporated career components that can help students begin to draw their post-collegiate future into view. From a practical standpoint, AA1 is a very fiscally sound option for students bound for top-flight universities.”

For example, the average 2013/14 tuition at the eight universities in the Ivy League was $39,863. The 2013/14 tuition at Broome Community College was $3,690. Tuition at Colgate University for that time was $42,625; at the University of Rochester, $41,040.

“When Dr. Kinney first proposed this program, I found it to be forward thinking,” Dougherty said. “We believe it is a model that will be viewed as unique and timely.”

Students who rank in the top two percent of their graduation class at the time of application will be automatically accepted into AA1, provided they have completed the required high school-level courses in English, mathematics, the sciences, and a foreign language. Students who rank in the top three to ten percent of their graduating class of have minimum GPA of 95 are encouraged to apply for AA1 and will be reviewed by a selection committee.

The deadline for all application materials is March 1, at 5 p.m.
For more information, contact Michael Kinney at 607-778-5021 or visit