SUNY/Empire State College
- SUNY Empire State College
SUNY ESC has prepared guidelines on how to successfully study online: https://esc.edu/distance-learning/academic-support/success-tips/
- Student Roadmap to Empire State College Admission and GraduationThis topic
1. Admission to Empire State College
1.1 Application requirements
1.2 ESC Application essay and Application form
1.3 Transfer of credits from third-party academic institutions
2. Student rights and responsibilities
3. Smarthinking Step-by-Step Manual
4. Rationale Essay
5. Senior Project Proposal and Senior Project Thesis
7. Empire State College mentors
9. FAQ - Frequently asked questions
- 1. Admission to Empire State College
1.1 ESC APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
At the time of application to Empire State College, students should have:
- Completed 60+ credits of college-level work with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above. In cases where there is a borderline GPA, or a deficit of credits, the Academic Program Director will make a recommendation for or against admission based on the student’s overall application.
- Completed English Composition I and II, or equivalent courses, with grades of at least C-.
Students who are found eligible to join Empire State College will receive an email from the ESC office one semester in advance and will be invited to attend the ESC Orientation session. For this purpose, please keep an eye on your email and reply to the invitation.
To apply to Empire State College (ESC), students will:
1. Provide one of the following documents as proof of high school completion:
- official high school
transcript (school leaving certificate);
- a notarized copy of original
high school diploma, GED or TASC score report;
- official transcript from
U.S. regionally accredited college or university showing conferral of a degree;
- original international baccalaureate (IB)
transcript which states that the student earned a diploma;
2. Demonstrate the ability to pursue college-level work in English through the following:
- completion of the ESC application essay
- completion of the ESC application form
3. Provide official transcripts from all institutions the student intends to transfer credit from. Official transcripts should be sent directly by the institution to ESC’s Center for International Programs at:
Center for International Programs,
SUNY Empire State College, 1 Union Ave.,
Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866
4. Pay a nonrefundable $50.00 orientation fee (waived for U.S. veterans and active military).
1.2 ESC APPLICATION ESSAY AND APPLICATION FORM
Students applying to Empire State College are required to fill in their details in an Application Form.
Students are also required to write an Application Essay, in which they should express their motivation for joining Empire State College. Guidelines for the Essay, as well as the Application Form, can be found at the end of this section.
1.3 TRANSFER OF CREDITS FROM THIRD-PARTY ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS
Students planning to transfer credits from a third-party academic institution are required to send the official corresponding documents both to UNYP's Admissions office, as well as to our main Empire State College campus in New York State, at the address:
Center for International Programs,
SUNY Empire State College, 1 Union Ave.,
Saratoga Springs, NY
1) Students who have previously attended a U.S accredited institution: official transcripts are to be sent directly by the institution to the ESC address above;
2) Students who are transferring credits from an I.B program: official I.B grades are to be sent directly by the institution to the ESC address above;
2) Students who have previously attended a non-U.S/ non-Czech accredited university: an external evaluation will be required. Empire State College accepts evaluations from one of the following services:
- Academic Evaluation Services, Inc. (AES); (http://aes-edu.org)
- Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE); (https://www.ece.org)
- Educational Perspectives, (EP) (https://www.edperspective.org/)
- World Education Services, (WES) (https://www.wes.org/)
Students should apply to one of the four above evaluating institutions and instruct that the results of the evaluation be sent directly to the Empire State College address above.
- 2. STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Students’ Rights and Responsibilities
You, the student, have the right and responsibility to:
- choose whether or not to disclose your disability. If you don’t want the institution to know or feel that you don’t need or want accommodations, no one is going to make you disclose or force you to use accommodations.
- provide documentation of your disability and how it impacts your academic performance. At Empire State College, most accommodations do not require documentation; however, you will be required to provide documentation if you request books in alternative formats, ADA Part-Time TAP or Reader’s Aid Funds.
- communicate in a timely manner with appropriate personnel about your disability, accommodations or what is or is not working
- success vs. access. No college is required to lower the academic, course, and/or program expectations; again, the legislative focus in higher education is on participation and access and does not guarantee success.
- file a grievance if you feel there is discrimination against you.
- formal vs. informal: the difference between having a conversation with your mentor or disability representative and making a written complaint using institutional processes
- institutional vs. outside the institution: following institutional processes versus filing a complaint with an external agency such as the Office of Civil Rights
The institution has the right and responsibility to:
- admit you as a student. If you meet the same admissions requirements as other students (known as being ‘otherwise qualified’), no college can deny you admission based solely on your disability.
- request documentation of the presence of a current disability, how that disability impacts educational tasks and learning and the need for accommodations.
- deny an accommodation that would:
- fundamentally alter a course or program
- reduce course or program standards
- result in undue burden.
This includes requests for certain types of personal aides and services, such as assistance with eating, toileting or dressing.
This also includes providing financial assistance to students for the purchase of any personal equipment or technology such as software programs, laptops, computers or personal assistive technology.
For more information visit: Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
Rights and Responsibilities for Students Receiving Financial Assistance
- Criteria for continued student eligibility of students receiving financial assistance and specifically under the Title IV HEA programs
- Standards which the student must maintain in order to be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress
- Criteria by which a student who had failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress may reestablish his or her eligibility for financial assistance
- Method and frequency of financial aid disbursements including the option for an advance of excess funds for books and supplies
- Terms of loans
- General conditions and terms applicable to federal work study employment
- Exit counseling for federal Perkins loans and federal Stafford loans is provided to borrowers.
- The institution shall provide and collect exit counseling information for borrowers under the federal Perkins loan program and for borrowers under the federal Stafford loan program.
- Exit counseling for the federal Perkins loan program is provided online to borrowers.
- Exit counseling for the federal direct loan program is provided online to borrowers.
- You may obtain a deferment on the repayment principal and/or the interest of a loan for service under the Peace Corps Act, for service under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act and for comparable service as a volunteer for a tax-exempt organization of demonstrated effectiveness in the field of community service. Contact your lender or servicer for specific information on qualifying for one of these deferments:
- Students Protecting Themselves from Financial Aid Scams: This is a reminder that if you receive correspondence from an outside agency asking for significant personal information and a processing fee for financial aid, it is most likely a scam. We highly encourage you not to respond to this type of request, as you could lose the fee and jeopardize your personally identifiable information.
- 3. Smarthinking Step-by-Step Manual
Please see the file below containing information on setting up your Smarthinking account.
Familiarize yourself with this resource. If English is not your primary language, click the ESL box to be routed to a specialist.
A response/feedback from a tutor will be received within 24-36 hours. So submit your assignments early to get feedback in time.
This resource can be used for all classes.
- 4. The Rationale Essay (deadline - March 22, 2020)
During the first semester of the last year of studies, students are required to submit the ESC Rationale Essay. Please make sure to check your email regularly, as the deadline for the Essay submission will be communicated by the ESC office.
The rationale is not an autobiography, nor is it a listing of degree components or courses. It is a narrative of your educational journey in a substantive way. Look at the Rationale Essay as a way to reflect and arm yourself with understanding your degree choice, doing a bit of research on your goals and professional expectations and allowing yourself to look into exactly how you will accomplish your incredible journey ahead.
The Rationale Essay is a mandatory component for graduation. Alongside your Degree Plan, it will be reviewed by the Empire State College Assessment Committee, which will decide whether the student has fulfilled the graduation requirements, and whether his/ her motivation for pursuing a particular concentration is in line with the program undertaken.
SUNY Empire State College is a mentor and student centered college and believes a student should be involved in understanding their educational pursuit. It is more than simply taking courses to get to the end. As a result, Empire State College wants its students to understand how they met the guidelines for their particular Area of Study, what was the knowledge gained in terms of the guidelines, mentioning courses that allowed them to broaden their knowledge on particular topics and how this occured.
Discussing your professional expectations offers you the opportunity to look into what education or entry level requirements that lead to your goals are needed. Dependent on your plans, you might discuss requirements for more education that will allow you to be better suited and prepared for the future. It may be that you are not completely sure. That is fine, but you should be able to discuss some of the important aspects of what you need to succeed, and what a particular career choice requires. Is it internships, is it a Master‘s degree etc?
Before submitting your Rationale Essay, please proofread it by submitting to the ESC service Smarthinking: https://www.esc.edu/myesc/academics/smarthinking/
More info about the Rationale Essay : https://www.esc.edu/policies/?search=cid%3D36989 and in the Guidelines file below.
Submit your rationale essay to your mentor by March 22, 2020 and cc ESC office (email@example.com). Unless you submit the Rationale Essay, you will not be able to pre-register for your last semester.
- 5. Senior Project Proposal and Senior Project Thesis
Writing the Senior Project Thesis is a condition for graduation from the American Bachelor´s program and for being granted an Empire State College diploma  . The Senior Project Thesis is a vehicle allowing the student to reflect and integrate their learning over their four years of study, and create an original work in an area of their interest related to the major. In writing the final thesis, the student will employ theoretical constructs drawn from course work, application of theory and various academic skills, such as writing and presentation, critical analysis and independent research.
In your work on the Proposal and Thesis, you will be guided by your Empire State College mentor (see section 5). The mentor is an Empire State College academic, specialized in your field of study and able to guide and answer any questions you have along the way. He/ she will set a time plan for you with clear assignments and a due date for each assignment. It is your responsibility to adhere to the time plan and fulfill all requirements of the course.
All communication, assignments and work for the Senior Project Proposal will be done via ESC Moodle, the ESC online course environment (please see Section 4 below).
 Students interested in obtaining the UNYP diploma as well, will sit the State Examinations and defend their Senior Project Thesis as part of the examination. For more information on State Examinations, please consult the eLearning section found at For Students - > State Examinations.
- 6. Moodlerooms & online courses
Attention: Please note your UNYP login details for eLearning are different from your MyESC login details.ESC students receive, upon admission to Empire State College, a MyESC login. WIth this login, they are able to access all the resources on the MyESC page (https://www.esc.edu/myesc/), including the ESC Online Library, the Smarthinking service, ESC Academic Records and the Moodlerooms (online course platform).
Please be advised that, starting with the Summer 2018 semester, in order to be able to take online courses, students should have a GPA above 3.00. Requests from students with a GPA between 2.00 and 3.00 for taking an online course are subject to the approval of the ESC Academic Director.
In order to access Moodlerooms, log-on this page. You will later be prompted to the menu showing all the online courses you are enrolled for the current semester.
By clicking on each course, you can later view its modules, readings, requirements, deadlines and you can contact your instructor via the message board, to address any questions you might have.
The Senior Project Proposal and Thesis are courses held entirely in Moodlerooms.
Blended courses offered during the semester are also, except with a few in-class sessions, held in Moodlerooms.
Students have access to online courses 1 week before the official start of the course, in order to familiarize themselves with the content. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to check Moodlerooms before the start of the semester, in order to familiarize yourself with the contents of the course.
Learn To Use Moodle
- Returning and Non-Matriculated Students : Enroll in the self-paced online tutorial “A Student Introduction to Moodle: Getting Started” which provides an introduction to the basic features needed to use the new LMS. The tutorial takes about 45 minutes to complete. You will be prompted to self-enroll in this course when you click on the course link for the first time.
- New Students: Look for “My Courses” on the blue menu bar to find your orientation tutorial. Start with your orientation. The Student Introduction to Moodle is included as one section of this online orientation. New students who are not required to complete an online orientation should follow the instructions for returning students.
If you encounter issues with your MyESC login, please, contact ESC IT Service Desk (https://www.esc.edu/service-desk) as soon as possible.
- 7. Empire State College Faculty Mentors
After becoming an officially enrolled ESC student, you will be assigned an ESC Faculty mentor, according to your concentration. The ESC Mentor will guide you in the completion of your academic program and development of you Senior Project.
Meet the ESC mentors below!
Max Hilaire is an Empire State College mentor and undergraduate thesis supervisor for International Relations. Dr. Hilaire is a summa cum laude graduate of Morgan State University. He holds a M.A, M.Phil, and Ph.D degrees in International Relations, with concentrations in International Law and International Organizations from Columbia University in New York. He is the first person of color to complete a Ph.D. in International Law at Columbia. His expertise includes Public International Law, International Human Rights & International Humanitarian Law, United Nations Law, and U.S. Foreign Relations Law.
Professor Hilaire is the author of four books: The United Nations Security Council and Transnational Armed Conflicts; International Law & United States Military Intervention in the Western Hemisphere, United Nations Law and the Security Council, and The United States and International Law. Professor Hilaire is the current Chair of the Department of Political Science at Morgan State University. Professor Hilaire serves on the Washington Center Faculty in DC, The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin; and the Empire State College in Prague. Professor Hilaire is a member of the American Society of International Law; the American Political Science Association; and the Czech Society of International Law.
Todd Nesbitt ia an Empire State College mentor in Communications and an undergraduate thesis supervisor. He holds a Ph.D., PhDr., and a Master’s Degree from the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism of the faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University, and a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and a letter of equivalency in Linguistics from the University of Windsor, Canada. He has taught courses at the faculties of Law, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Charles University, as well as in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication New York University (Steinhardt). He was awarded the outstanding faculty award for teaching excellence at UNYP in 2004. He has supervised over 130 La Salle University and Charles University Master’s theses since 2004, and over 100 bachelor’s theses for Empire State College since 2005.
His research interests include cognitive and behavioural media effects, strategic political communication, and media ownership and globalization. His community involvement has consisted of holding public talks and seminars, contributing to the local press, and teaching courses at public schools on media-related issues, as well as serving on the editorial board of the street paper Nový Prostor, which helps the homeless reintegrate into society.
Tanweer Ali is a Empire State College mentor and undergraduate thesis advisor in Business. He holds a MA in Mathematics from University of Oxford. Ali,has been teaching for Empire State College,SUNY for fourteen years. He has taught in the ESC programs in Prague, Lebanon, Athens, Tirana and the Dominican Republic.
Prior to his academic career, he had a ten-year career in finance, working both in Prague and in the United Kingdom. He teaches in the Business Administration and International and Economic Relations concentrations, and has taught courses in finance, economics and mathematics. He also has a special interests in teaching about social enterprise and sustainability. Mr. Ali’s research interests are in corporate governance and monetary theory.
Ronnie Mather is a Empire State College mentor and undergraduate thesis advisor in Psychology. Dr. Mather has a very broad interest in general psychology and the link between psychology, psychoanalysis and the expressive arts, particularly painting. One of his favorite courses to teach is History and Systems of psychology, which traces the impact of other disciplines on the way that psychology would develop in the twentieth century. His initial interest in psychology was inspired by Freud, Jung and Lacan. However, Dr. Mather made a complete recovery and turned to some of the critiques of psychology notably by Foucault, his criticisms of the so-called “psy-complex” and the “discursive turn” in social psychology.
Dr. Mather believes that at the moment, psychology is moving in many directions, and is looking at the way that patterns of behavior, individual and collective, are influenced by physiology, neurology, and the interactions between them. Psychology is a dynamic discipline, which is ever changing, and is now at the forefront of modern professional practice in a whole range of areas.
- 8. CONTACTS
Ms. Francesca Cichello, Executive Director of International Education
Dr. Sheila Marie Aird, Director of European Academic Programs
Anna Oravcová, Program Coordinator, Prague
Aleksandra Walczak-Zacierka, Student Services Assistant, Prague
- 9. FAQ - frequently asked questions
1. ESC password – what to do when you lost / forgot or simply can’t access your ESC account?
Immediately contact ESC IT Service Desk https://www.esc.edu/service-desk/. Give them your ESC ID number and your date of birth. If you do not know your ESC ID number – email Anna.Oravcova@esc.edu or Aleksandra.Walczak-Zacierka@esc.edu.
2. How to check your ESC ID number?
Log into your MyESC. Click on: Self Service Banner -> Student -> Student profile. Your ESC ID number will be in brackets next to your name, in the left, top corner.Log into your MyESC. Click on: Self Service Banner -> Student -> Student profile -> Academic transcript. Hit "Submit" button.
3. How to check your ESC transcript?
4. State Examinations – what, when and how do I register?
Upon completion of the requirements for the ESC degree you may also choose to take the Czech State Exam, which if passed will allow you to acquire a Czech degree from UNYP.
Please, visit UNYP’s Elearning to learn more about the examinations and registration (For Students -> State Examinations -> Undergraduate).
If you have any questions - visit Rector’s Office or appropriate School / Dean.
5. What degree will I receive upon graduation? Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)?
- Business Administration - B.S.
- Communication and Media - B.A.
- English Language and Literature - B.A.
- International Relations - B.A.
- IT Management - B.S.
- Psychology – the default title is
Bachelor of Arts, but you can choose to have a Bachelor of Science instead.
Visit our office to learn more.
6. ESC online courses – what do I need to know?
Taking courses online offers convenience and flexibility for students with busy lives. Of course there are deadlines, but students can work at differing times, days and locations that are convenient to their schedule.
How do I contact the instructor?
Use the message tool within the course to stay in touch with the instructor. Follow the instructions and pay attention to the deadlines for participation and submission of papers.
Instructors are specialists in the course content and available to help you in your studies, evaluate assignments and monitor your progress throughout the course.
Are online courses easy?
Many think that online learning is easy. However, the reality is that online-learning courses require dedication and discipline.
How can I succeed?
- Stay abreast of your reading assignments.
participate in the online discussions. Post and respond early.
clearly and watch grammatical errors. Do not copy from the internet.
instructor immediately if you need clarity or are facing any problems.
Successful online learners set aside substantial blocks of time to study and to participate in the online community. Be careful with deadlines, which are usually based on NY time.
IMPORTANT - in case of a final grade change - inform our office in Prague, so we can make an adjustment in the UNYP system.
How do I register?
Register for courses at the ESC Prague office during preregistration, or any day before the courses start.
Below FAQ, we have attached the guide on how to browse the catalog for online courses.
Online courses usually start before the regular UNYP semester starts and end before the Prague finals. Deadline for payment is earlier as well.
Online courses are usually for 4 credits.
The add/drop period for online courses is the first week of the course.
Graduation is organized by UNYP. It happens once a year, in June.
If you have one or two courses needed, at the end of the semester you are scheduled to graduate, please stop by the ESC office to discuss your options.
To learn more about the ceremony and registration, go to Elearning -> For Students -> Graduation Ceremony.
In case you have any questions – that relate to the graduation ceremony, please, visit Registrar office at UNYP. For questions about your ESC credits and other ESC information, stop by the ESC office.
8. What is an Intensive ESC Semester?
ESC in Prague offers Intensive 2 week sessions when available. The course operates for two weeks and meets every day for 4 hours, except weekends. It is worth 3 credits. Check the Schedule on Elearning (List of Classes) to view what is offered.
To learn more/ register – visit ESC office on the 4th floor.
9. What is the deadline for Thesis and why do I need to defend it with UNYP?
The deadline is enclosed within the Moodle environment. After you submit your thesis to Smarthinking and edit your work, you upload it to Moodle. When you receive final approval (with any further comments) from your Mentor – you work on final edits and resubmit to Moodle.
Always check the due dates for all deadlines contained in the course.
If you are registered for the state exams – you will have to deliver a printed version to the Rector’s Office. Check the deadline on Elearning (For Students -> State Examinations -> Undergraduate).
If you wish to receive the local degree, you must defend your thesis, written for ESC, and take the state exam. If you wish to receive only the SUNY/Empire State College degree, you do not have to sit the state exam and defend your thesis.