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At FM, your future matters and FM is prepared to help

For many students and families, it is a very big decision where to attend college. There are many options which means there are many factors to consider including academic programs, location, and affordability.

For students who are the first in their families to attend college, a lot is unknown — and rightfully .so. Many students who begin college have not yet decided on a career path and that is okay. Our most popular major among “undecided” students is General Studies.

This program is not only very transferrable to a four-year college, it also allows for the completion of SUNY’s general education requirements, and is also very flexible and allows students to get a taste of different classes to see what they are interested in. As an academic advisor, I’ve often heard students say that they don’t want to “waste time” taking courses to figure out what career path they might be interested in, but when you gain knowledge, that is something that can never be taken away. Just as it is important to know your strengths and what you will like, it is equally important to rule out what you don’t like. It is okay to not have an exact plan– the FM faculty and staff are here to help you with that.

Another misconception that students often have is that once they transfer on to a four-year institution from FM, they will still have four years remaining to complete a bachelor’s degree. This is not the case. In fact, when a student attends a community college with the intent to earn a bachelor’s degree, the idea is that they are completing the first two years of their four-year degree at FM so they will only have two years remaining when they transfer on. Whether a student begins their studies at FM or a four-year institution, the end result is the same.

The students will earn the same bachelor’s degree, but those who start at FM, will earn both an Associate and Bachelor’s degree, while saving tuition dollars. A good example of this are the agreements that FM has with many partnering 4-year institutions. FM has dual admission agreements and transfer agreements with many colleges. Dual Admission agreements allow students to apply to select schools and FM simultaneously. A student will complete their first two years at FM, but have support from the four-year school along the way and is already accepted to the four-year institution while completing their Associate degree at FM. This allows students to be sure they are taking the classes they know will transfer and it keeps them on track and motivated to continue their education. Currently, FM has dual admission agreements or 2+2 programs with The College of Saint Rose, SUNY Cobleskill, Excelsior College, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Upstate Medical University, and Maria College.

Choosing to attend a community college also allows students to gain confidence. Often times, students plan to only complete an Associate degree, but after realizing their potential, they then choose to transfer on to further their education. By working with FM’s transfer counselor, students (first generation or not) can be supported during the transfer process. No matter what your end goal, FM is a smart first step and students will feel the support of faculty and staff.

This article was written by Andrea Scribner. Scribner is FM’s Education and Career Planning Specialist. Scribner can be reached at (518) 736-3622, Ext. 8161 or ascribner@fmcc.edu

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