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  • Contents

    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

    6. Moodlerooms

    7. Empire State College mentors

    • 1. Admission to Empire State College


      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).

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      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.

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      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); (

      - Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE); (

      - Educational Perspectives, (EP) (

      - World Education Services, (WES) (

      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.


      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.

      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
        1. Continued student eligibility under each program
          For federal student aid, all students must maintain good academic standing as outlined in the Eligibility for Federal Student Aid. For the terms and conditions governing all aid programs, see the financial aid brochures.
      • Standards which the student must maintain in order to be considered to be making satisfactory academic progress
        1. 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
        1. Sample Repayment Schedule.xls (file 29kB)
        2. Terms and Conditions of Federal 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.
        1. 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:
        1. Service under the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2501)
        2. Service under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4951)
        3. Comparable service as a volunteer for a tax-exempt organization of demonstrated effectiveness in the field of community service
      • 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.
      For more information visit: Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

      • 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 - 28th of October)

        Rationale Essay

        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:

        More info about the Rationale Essay : and in the Guidelines file below.

        Submit your rationale essay to ESC Office ( by October 28th 2018.

      • 5. Senior Project Proposal and Senior Project Thesis

        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 [1] . 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).

        [1] 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 (, 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. 

        Moodlerooms printscreen

        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. 

        Inside an online course

        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. 

        If you encounter issues with your MyESC login details and are unable to access Moodlerooms, please let the ESC office ( know about the issue 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!

          Proffessor Max Hilaire

           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.

           David Starr-Glass is a Empire State College mentor and undergraduate thesis supervisor in business, with the International Programs  (Prague) of SUNY Empire State College. He has Master’s  degrees in Business Administration (Notre Dame de Namur,  California), Organizational Psychology (Birkbeck College, University of London), and Education (University of  Southern Queensland, Australia). He worked extensively as  an accountant and budget analyst with firms in California’s  Silicon (Santa Clara) Valley and has taught business-related subjects for the last thirty-five years. 

          His teaching and research interests include mentoring, distance learning, organizational behavior, cross-cultural management, and international human resource management. Over the last twenty years has published about one hundred peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in these areas. When not in Prague, he lives in Jerusalem (Israel) and teaches economic and business-related courses with a number of local colleges.

          Dr. Ronnie Mather

          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.