UC History – Text Version

These historical milestones chronicle Syracuse University’s pioneering initiatives in continuing education. The program began in 1902 by offering summer classes to part-time students near and far. Evening classes were added in 1918, and University College was restructured in 1946. Innovative programs and services for lifelong learners have evolved from several facilities over the years.

Milestones: Syracuse University Continuing Education

  • 1918: The first Evening Session was held on October 18 and made SU one of the first universities in the country open to nontraditional, part-time adult students. Later, the Evening Session became the School of Extension Teaching and Adult Education.
  • 1932: The largest of 33 extension centers in the state opened at Endicott. By 1946 it had grown into Triple Cities College – SU’s branch serving Endicott, Johnson City, and Binghamton. (This became Harpur College, which joined the state system in 1950 and later become the liberal arts college of SUNY Binghamton.)
  • 1933: The Utica extension center began. (It grew into a two-year branch college of SU by 1946 and soon after evolved into four-year status, awarding its first degrees in 1953.)
  • 1946: The School of Extension was reorganized to form University College (UC) to better serve “adult,” working, part-time students, placing adult education on an equal status with the other SU colleges and schools.
  • 1947: Peck Hall (built in 1895 for SU’s former College of Medicine) at 610 East Fayette Street was renovated to accommodate UC.
  • 1951-52: The first SU Tax Institute provided educational updates for tax lawyers and CPAs.
  • 1953: The Graduate School of Sales Management and Marketing was initiated with Sales and Marketing Executives International.
  • 1953-54: Institutional branch campuses were established. Rome, Endicott, and Poughkeepsie emphasized engineering and science courses for the U.S. Air Force, IBM, and General Electric. The Chautauqua Center was where UC and the School of Education conducted summer courses.
  • 1957: Reid Hall, also at 610 East Fayette Street, which was built in 1914 to house the Syracuse Dispensary, was remodeled and turned over to UC.
  • 1959: The Humanistic Studies Center began offering short courses and other forms of education to interested adults. A grant supported creation of a General Education Program leading to an Associate of Arts degree (now liberal studies).
  • 1962-67: UC managed SU’s role as the country’s third largest trainer of Peace Corps volunteers.
  • 1963: The Community Leadership Conference first convened political, civic, and business leaders for in-depth discussion of issues.
  • 1964: A center of programs for local business and industry was operated by UC with the business administration school.
  • 1965: Thursday Morning Roundtable began as a public service forum for a cross-section of civic leaders in Syracuse. It has earned numerous national awards.
  • 1966: SU was one of the nation’s first universities to offer independent study degree programs. A grant facilitated the development of a new Bachelor of Liberal Studies for adults.
  • 1968: Project Opportunity began as an antipoverty program, providing SU scholarship support for adults who were academically unprepared and financially disadvantaged so they could attend college. The next year, its first grant from the state Higher Education Opportunity Program made it one of the 24 original schools in New York State to initiate such a program.
  • 1972-73: The Institute for Retired Professionals began, enabling retirees to remain intellectually active and informed on current issues and problems.
  • 1978: The Onondaga Citizens League was established to facilitate study of local long-range problems and public issues.
  • 1979: The English Language Institute was created to offer several levels of formal instruction in English as a second language.

    The Legal Assistant Certificate Program was started in cooperation with members of the judiciary and the state and county bar associations.

  • 1991: SU was the only university to develop The Front Line Series of independent study courses for U.S. Marines deployed in the Persian Gulf. The courses were later adapted for Marines on a military humanitarian mission in Somalia.
  • 1992: UC begins putting course material on the web in support of the college’s independent study and distance programs.
  • 1994: UC is the first college at Syracuse University to offer extended technical support for faculty requesting “multi-media” online content.
  • 1995: The Center for Business Information Technologies was created, offering its first four certificate computer training programs.
  • 1996: UC develops the first online learning management system at Syracuse University.
  • 1997: UC is the first Syracuse University college to offer, manage and support full online credit courses.
  • 1998: UC, also known as Syracuse University Continuing Education (SUCE), moved to 700 University Ave., on the corner of Adams Street and University Avenue adjacent to Marshall Square Mall. The new UC site is the renovated and modernized former Grover Cleveland residence hall, built in the 1920s as an upscale apartment building. The move brought all University College administrative and student services offices, classrooms, and computer clusters under one roof. This consolidation greatly enhanced UC’s ability to provide an accessible, quality college experience for part-time students.
  • 1999: UC is the first Syracuse University college to deploy a dedicated Blackboard™ learning management system in support of full online courses and distance programs (Bb Basic 5.0).
  • 2000: The University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) named an SU part-time student the national Outstanding Continuing Education Student.

    The Leadership Institute for Applied Research on Change was formed.

  • 2001: The state approved UC’s four programs of study for adult, part-time students leading to the Bachelor of Professional Studies degree.

    Syrtis, SU Technology-enhanced Instructional Solutions, was established as a business unit that creates instructional design matched to business objectives of clients.

  • 2002: Two undergraduate credit certificate programs are approved for two Bachelor of Professional Studies degree programs: applied computer technology, and legal studies.

    UC is the first (and currently one of two) colleges to provide formalized instructional design and course develop support for online faculty.

  • 2005: As part of UC’s Professional Studies curriculum, a distance degree and certificate in Organizational Leadership was launched in a learning format combining online courses with short residency courses.
  • 2007: UC becomes the home of Summer Studies at Syracuse University, serving all students studying during the summer.
  • 2009: UC introduces the UC Online Certified™ program to improve and standardize the quality of online course design and instruction at Syracuse University.
  • 2011: The first Veterans Day Recognition Ceremony was launched. This annual event is organized by UC.
  • 2013: UC launches Winterlude, Syracuse University’s four-week online winter session open to full- and part-time SU and non-SU students.

    University College of Syracuse University Online Programs and Services introduced to help SU faculty enhance teaching and learning through online education.

    Legal English summer session introduced in partnership with the College of Law for students seeking to further develop their English-language skills before enrolling in the Master of Law degree program.

  • 2014: UC adds two new degree and certificate programs: Creative Leadership and Knowledge Management.
  • 2017: The Syracuse University Center for Online and Digital Learning is established at University College as a signature One University initiative in response to the rapid growth of online education and to offer world-class online programs.