Buffalo Next

Recently, we looked at three examples of colleges and universities forging innovative new partnerships to serve the needs of potential students and the region’s growing economy.

The trend continues. Several of our area’s higher education institutions announced they are partnering up with others to expand their offerings and/or help fuel the WNY workforce.

Hilbert College goes global: Hilbert College in Hamburg is partnering with Global Learning Exchange to offer access to its online degree programs through a new global learning platform operated by Sonic Foundry, a leader in video capture, management and streaming solutions.

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The partnership makes Hilbert an early provider of online college courses for Sonic Foundry’s startup, which aims to give students in developing countries access to higher education options.

Sonic Foundry is building its first physical hub for GLX in the Bahamas, with space for in-person admissions and enrollment, studying and tutoring, as well as reliable internet access, laptops and other infrastructure. More hubs in developing countries are planned.

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Hilbert College in Hamburg is partnering with Global Learning Exchange to offer access to its online degree programs through a new global learning platform operated by Sonic Foundry.

Wisconsin-based Sonic Foundry has a presence in 65 countries and 220 employees globally, and CEO Joe Mozden wants to grow the company and “bridge the education gap” in the developing world. Attending college through GLX will be more affordable as tuition costs are “priced into the local markets” of each nation – averaging an expected $5,000 a year, compared with several hundred thousand dollars to study abroad.

Market research for GLX found that countries like Nigeria and Uzbekistan have a huge number of prospective students who apply for college locally but are denied admission. Sonic Foundry says GLX can “provide highly motivated students around the world with life-changing education opportunities by connecting them to world-class higher education programs in a flexible, cost-effective, and locally supported environment.”

The partnership with Hilbert will give GLX students access to Hilbert’s online degree programs, including alcohol and substance abuse counseling, business management, criminal justice, cybersecurity, digital media and communications, liberal studies and psychology, Hilbert President Michael Brophy said.

“This innovative program will allow us to reach an underserved population of prospective students around the world and play a proactive role in addressing the global supply and demand gap in higher education,” Brophy said.

Niagara University in Canada: Lewiston-based Niagara University is expanding its partnership with Seneca College in Canada to offer the first master’s degree programs at Seneca.

Beginning this fall, courses in Niagara’s Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Information Security and Digital Forensics programs will be taught by professors at Seneca’s Newnham Campus in Toronto and at Niagara’s Canadian campus in Vaughan, Ontario.

Seneca College-Seneca partners with Niagara University to delive

Seneca President David Agnew and Niagara University President James Maher sign an agreement giving graduates of Seneca degree programs a pathway to master’s programs.

The programs will also be available online and include a pathway for graduates of nine Seneca degree programs to have up to 18 credits recognized as prerequisite coursework for the two master’s degrees. The partnership builds on current academic pathways between the two institutions in child and youth care, gerontology, social service, tourism, hospitality, and hotel and restaurant service management.

Up to now, Seneca College has had master’s degree pathways with 10 other institutions around the world, but these are the first to be offered at the college.

“Not only can our graduates earn advanced standing and learn close to home, but our outstanding faculty will be able to demonstrate their expertise through master’s-level teaching opportunities,” Seneca College President David Agnew said.

Niagara began offering graduate level programs in Ontario in 1984. In 2019, the university consolidated all of its Ontario programs into a new campus in Vaughan, now known as Niagara University in Ontario.

“Taking this next step to offer courses on site at Seneca further strengthens the commitment of both our institutions to provide high-quality education opportunities that address the needs of our students and the region,” Niagara President James J. Maher said.

Canisius and D’Youville: Canisius College and D’Youville University are teaming up to give sports and exercise health care majors at Canisius guaranteed admission into graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and chiropractics at D’Youville.

The two institutions signed a formal articulation agreement that will help pre-plan their undergraduate and graduate career paths in rehabilitative health science.

“Job growth in the allied health care professions is expected to grow faster than average in the next 10 years,” said Professor Mike Dolan, co-director of the Sports and Exercise Health Care Program at Canisius. “We are excited to partner with D’Youville University to provide our students a clear and accessible path to graduate work in physical therapy, chiropractic care and occupational therapy.”

Want to know more? Three stories to catch you up:

• New Canisius College president aims to meet students ‘right where they are’

• Niagara University’s $10 million gift gives new name to business school

• Hilbert College partners with BestSelf to expand WNY counseling workforce

Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to health care to startups. Read more at BuffaloNext.com.


Catch up on the latest news from Buffalo Next:

The state’s legal cannabis market is still taking shape, but there are plenty of opportunities and pitfalls for stores, growers and anyone else looking to jump into what likely will be a big new business in New York.

A Niagara Falls fitness equipment maker has been acquired by a private-equity-backed company that already owns some big national brands.

Legislation to restore the pension savings of the retired Delphi workers has gained support from the left and the right in Congress. It passed the House on Wednesday and supporters are hopeful the Senate will follow suit.

A bill that would fund a series of technology hubs across the country – and possibly in the Buffalo Niagara region – has been passed by the Senate.

A Northland Workforce Training Center program offers contract manufacturing for companies.

The musical chairs among leaders of local hospitals continues, with a new CEO coming to a Dunkirk hospital.

The organizers of the 5/14 Tops survivors fund have made changes to their plans to allow for immediate payments to more people.

Even though hiring has slowed, the local unemployment rate remains at historic lows.

The Buffalo News has a new executive editor. Longtime journalist Sheila Rayam has been named executive editor of The Buffalo News, the first Black journalist and the second woman to hold the position in The News’ 142-year history.

The state’s biggest solar energy farm proposed for Genesee County has taken a key step forward.

A Buffalo developer is interested in the last remaining parcel in the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park.

Buffalo Next reporters Jonathan D. Epstein, Jon Harris, Natalie Brophy, Matt Glynn, Samantha Christmann, Janet Gramza and Mike Petro contributed to this roundup.


Five reads from Buffalo Next:

1. Don Boyd nearly got the top job at Kaleida Health two years ago. Now, he’s taking over the top job at Western New York’s largest health system. “That wasn’t my time,” Boyd said, “and this is my time.”

2. Amazon’s big distribution center in the Town of Niagara is approved, but it still has plenty of hurdles to clear. Jonathan Epstein explains what challenges remain.

3. How Rich Products keeps its focus on innovation: Rich Products executives take pride in the company’s reputation for innovation. They weren’t about to let up on those plans during the pandemic.

4. Buffalo’s startups aren’t just for coders. They’re luring accountants and sales workers, too: Though more and more startup companies are geared toward technology and there is a demand for tech employees – especially in Western New York – employees such as accountants, customer service representatives and salespeople are vital parts of these organizations, as well.

5. New stadium, new experience: More details are emerging on the Buffalo Bills facility: “We want to really harness the energy of the Buffalo fans and create a unique game-day experience,” said Scott Radecic, a former Bills linebacker who is serving as the project executive for Populous, the stadium’s architect.

The Buffalo Next team gives you the big picture on the region’s economic revitalization. Email tips to [email protected] or reach Buffalo Next Editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.

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