Partnership paves the way for Long Island EOC students, graduates, employees, and their family members to earn an online bachelor’s degree through SUNY Empire

(FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK, December 7, 2021) SUNY Empire State College and Long Island Educational Opportunity Center (Long Island EOC), finalized a partnership agreement offering college degree options to the program’s students, graduates, employees and their family members. Long Island EOC provides Long Island residents with innovative academic and vocational training programs leading to gainful employment and economic self-sufficiency.

The partnership agreement allows Long Island EOC participants to participate in SUNY Empire’s Corporate and Community Partnership Benefits Program. As part of the agreement, SUNY Empire will waive the orientation fee for incoming students and provide a $100 Better Together scholarship for participants who enroll in a degree-seeking program at SUNY Empire State College.

All programs can be completed entirely online to fit the busy lives of working students. Participants will also benefit from SUNY Empire’s prior learning assessment, which awards college credit for relevant work and life experience, reducing the overall cost and time needed to complete a degree.

Long Island EOC participants may also qualify to apply for admission to one of SUNY Empire’s opportunity programs, which provide academic and/or financial support to underserved students who show promise for college success. SUNY Empire’s opportunity programs serve students at all stages of life and learning, full or part time.

SUNY Empire State College Officer in Charge Nathan Gonyea said, “Studies consistently show that workers with college education make more than workers without one. Today’s partnership signing with Long Island EOC makes it more convenient and affordable for those working and living on Long Island to get that education. Long Island EOC is dedicated to providing the training and resources necessary to create a skilled workforce and career opportunities in significant regional industries, including healthcare and business. This partnership enhances their work, providing an educational pathway to a flexible, online college degree through SUNY Empire. We look forward to working with Long Island EOC, and we are excited to welcome its members, employees, students, and retirees to the SUNY Empire community.”

SUNY Empire State College Senior Director of Opportunity Programs Dana Brown said, “I am so pleased to partner with Long Island EOC. A significant number of students in our opportunity programs live on Long Island and having another resource to support our students is vitally important. We look forward to working with Long Island EOC to increase supports and opportunities for success for students across the board.”


SUNY Empire State College Director of Corporate and Community Partnerships Kylie Byrne said, “For five decades, Long Island EOC has offered services to underserved adults, a commitment SUNY Empire also has shared over the last 50 years. Our partnership will strengthen the work of both organizations and ensure that students have a pathway to college success.”

Long Island Educational Opportunity Center Interim Executive Director Charles Miranda said, “The agreement between SUNY Empire State College and the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center is the latest example of connecting SUNY’s wide-ranging higher-education programs with Long Island EOC students. Our partnership with SUNY Empire enables our students and the communities we serve the opportunity to achieve life-altering accomplishments through SUNY Empire’s certificate and degree programs. The Long Island EOC strives to create a positive influence in our students’ everyday lives, and our relationship with SUNY Empire will help make a difference in our student’s quality of life, changing their future for the better.”

About SUNY Empire State College
SUNY Empire State College educates 17,000 students per year in person, online, and through a blend of both, at locations in every region of New York and at eight international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire’s 700 faculty mentors, each student designs their own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates their schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards approximately 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 92,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.

About Long Island Educational Opportunity Center
Sponsored by the State University of New York and Farmingdale State College, the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center helps eligible members of our communities enhance the academic and workforce development skills they need to become self-sufficient, empowered, and committed to excellence. Visit for more information. 

SUNY Empire State College
Cherie Haughney, Director of Communications
p: 518-587-2867


Developments on Long Island

The Long Island Educational Opportunity Center (LIEOC) has developed a reputation for creatively breaking barriers and leading innovation as it relates to meeting students where they are. 58% of EOC students were receiving welfare before entering the Long Island EOC. After completion, 80% were off welfare between a year. In addition, EOC Students who have engaged in an entrepreneurial activity due to LIEOC reported that they have increased their annual income by up to $20K.

LIEOC was able to expand its use of SMART technology in the Brentwood and Hempstead facilities. The addition of these SMART systems means that virtually all classrooms at all three LIEOC locations are equipped with their SMART technology or with computer-overhead projector combinations. This broad deployment of technology allows any instructor to deliver material through Google Classroom and to use any of a growing number of computer-aided learning sources. LIEOC also created an Allied Health simulation lab in Brentwood that allows students located throughout the different classrooms to have remote visual access to what is happening in the simulation lab.

LIEOC has an Entrepreneurship and Technology Center that expanded programs for the EOC students. In agreement with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Learning initiative, the LIEOC offered a certificate for the course “You Can Innovate: User Innovation & Entrepreneurship” lead by MIT professor (Erdin Beshimov), and a facilitator at the Long Island EOC. The EOC students received an MIT certification. Students who completed the course founded companies or social agencies, or are attending college to learn business. Luis Lino (in the picture left) was one of the graduates. He has founded a company similar to “eBay” but
focuses on the Hispanic community in the USA.

In 2018, the LIEOC started to pilot the Virtual Assistant (VA) Entrepreneur program to give the students the skills and knowledge they need to be self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical assistance to clients remotely. LIEOC partnered with the Small Business Development Center of Farmingdale State College to offer a workshop mini-series on how to start a business. Students learned the business skills and startup mindset needed to embark on the entrepreneurial path. Alumna Wendy Pierre (in the picture right to Dr. Morote) founded a VA company currently providing employment to more than 50 people.