MALTA – Executives from Bryant & Stratton College, state and local politicians and community members celebrated the grand opening of the school’s new Malta campus Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house.
The site, an annex to the college’s Albany location, is located on the second floor of the 34,000-square-foot Bluth building at 2452 Route 9. There are five classrooms, including two medical labs, as well as a computer resource room and student lounge.
Bryant & Stratton College is a private, accredited for-profit college with campuses in New York, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and online. Founded in 1854, the college offers two-year programs at all campuses and four-year programs at select locations. The school focuses on providing students with real-world training and skills necessary to begin a career in their field immediately after graduation.
Programs to be offered at the Malta location include Associates degrees in medical assisting and medical administrative assisting and a Bachelor of Science degree in health services administration. Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other health practitioners.
The extension site’s first class in medical assisting started in September, with 10 students currently enrolled. Interest is growing, said Malta Campus Director Michael Guttierez, with five more students having already signed up for next semester.
Bryant & Stratton President and CEO Cindy Susienka said the school can serve up to 300 students in the future. Susienka estimated a two-year timeline for when the school can be expected to reach maximum enrollment.
“We’re very excited to expand,” Susienka said. “This program will meet a need in the community, and we’re committed to student success and meeting community needs.”
Guttierez said the process of creating the satellite location started in 2011, with research into which programs could be offered that would fill a void in the area and be the most advantageous for students in terms of future employment.
The college did not want to duplicate the services provided by other area schools, such as Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART campus, Skidmore College and SUNY Adirondack, Guttierez said. The research showed that healthcare education would be the most useful programs to provide. Malta was selected for the location of the new campus because of its proximity to the Northway, Guttierez said, making it convenient to access and close to home for students.
The campus is just minutes away from the new 60,000-square-foot, $17.5 million Malta Med Emergent Care Center in the Saratoga Medical Park at Malta, an urgent and emergency care satellite hospital founded as a partnership between Saratoga Hospital and Albany Medical Center.
Robert Ferrell, director of admissions for the Malta campus, said no direct partnerships with the nearby facility have yet been made. However, Ferrell said, one of the school’s central missions is to help their students find employment after graduation, and the college’s Career Services department is always looking to work with local businesses to help fill their positions.
“Our job is to educate for employment,” Ferrell said.
State Sen. Kathleen Marchione, R-Halfmoon, welcomed officials of the college to Saratoga County, and said statistics predict an explosion in the amount of jobs that will be available in the healthcare industry in the near future.
“Something like 26 percent more positions will be available next year than there was in 2008, so there is an absolute need for this type of school, and we’re thrilled that you’re located here,” Marchione said.
State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, said the type of education Bryant & Stratton provides is an asset to the local economy.
“We need campuses and opportunities like this if we’re going to turn this economy around, if we’re going to keep that ‘brain drain’ here in New York state, and get some ‘brain gain,’” Tedisco said. “We’re going to need colleges and campuses and Bryant and Strattons that provide those opportunities for future growth.”
Also present at the event were Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville and Town Board Member Peter Klotz, President of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County Peter Bardunias and Craig Warner, president of the Malta Sunrise Rotary Club.
For information, visit Bryant & Strattons’s website.