A new partnership between Wells College and neighboring Cayuga Community College will give exceptional local students a steady path to earning their bachelor’s degree. The recently established Presidential Scholarship Agreement provides a direct connection between the Cayuga Presidential Scholars program and Wells’ President’s Award—meaning that not only will qualifying students be guaranteed admission to Wells, but that they’ll receive a significant annual scholarship as they work towards their four-year diploma.
The presidents of each college officially signed the agreement at a special ceremony October 5 on Cayuga’s campus in Auburn, N.Y. The event included a small celebration of the strengthened partnership with leadership from each college in attendance.
“We live in a county that has two really fine educational institutions,” Wells’ President Jonathan Gibralter said before the signing. “The opportunities now created through this program go beyond just the academic — how well qualified [students] are, how well they may persist in school — but actually gives them a leg up to be able to succeed financially.”
“One of our goals this year is to be able to clearly articulate what our transfer pathways can be for our students. It’s part of our mission and vision to make sure that it’s as seamless as possible for our students,” Cayuga Community College President Brian Durant added.
Cayuga’s Presidential Scholars program enables Cayuga and Oswego county students in the top 20% of their class to attend tuition free. Under the new agreement, they’re also guaranteed admission to Wells and the Wells College President’s Award—currently valued at a minimum of $22,000 per year. Participants must have completed a minimum of two semesters of full-time study in the liberal arts and sciences at Cayuga Community College while maintaining a cumulative 3.5 grade point average.
“We really appreciate the chance to welcome more students from our area,” said Kishan Zuber, Wells’ Vice President for Enrollment Services. “They already know and love the region and the lake, and they’re able to help their classmates feel at home here—an important part of sustaining a welcoming community. Beyond that, the Presidential Scholars are valuable academic role models for their peers.”
“We have a vested interest in supporting and sustaining the institutions that exist in our county,” said Jeff Rosenthal, Vice President of Student Affairs at Cayuga. “If we can make connections like this we should be doing that and more. The essence of a community college is more than the first two years of your higher education. For students, this is their home.”
Wells and Cayuga have an existing articulation agreement, meaning that students at either institution can freely register for individual classes at the other. However, both colleges recognized the need to formalize this relationship.
“The question that so many students have is, ‘How will my credits transfer?’” said Cayuga transfer coordinator Eric Zizza. “It can take a while once they’re here to figure out what they want to do, and then how that will translate to their future. Having this agreement formalized takes the guesswork out of that. It makes students feel better, makes parents feel better, and reinforces a better process overall.”
“One of the most important outcomes of the Presidential Scholars Transfer Program,” said Wells Provost and Dean of the College Cindy Speaker, “is that it allows Cayuga County students to have a four-year plan that will help them make good curricular choices and provide them access to academic advising from both institutions from the start of their undergraduate career. They will experience a truly personalized education.”
- Learn more about the Cayuga Presidential Scholars Program.