SUNY Ulster president encourages more residents to earn degree

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SUNY Ulster President Dr. Alison Buckley addressing the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce

KINGSTON – Dr. Alison Buckley became president of SUNY Ulster this past summer, and her main priority is to help residents earn an accredited degree – especially since a community college grad earns a median annual income of $50,000 versus a high school grad earning a median annual income of $30,000.

“That’s a huge gap,” she said.

Buckley was the guest speaker at the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s regular monthly breakfast Tuesday, and she said it’s important for individuals to continue their education beyond high school.

“I think our biggest driver at the college is to really accelerate degree completion,” said Buckley. “And ensuring that folks who live in this county have a credential after high school because, I think, that is the best pathway to wages that support a family. It changes just not the trajectory of an individual’s life it changes the trajectory of a family. So that’s our priority.”

And collective individual achievements that lead to greater financial gain eventually strengthen a community’s overall wealth and prosperity.

“It builds a community. Our graduates stay and work here,” she said. “This is about making a more robust, a more financially, economically strong community here.”