By Jill Nagy
A group of 10 students and six adjunct faculty
members are nearing the end of their first trimester
at Bryant & Stratton College’s new campus in Malta.
The school, located in the Bluth Building on
Route 9, offers associate degree programs for
medical assistants and medical administrative
assistants and, in January, will add certificate
programs in the medical coding and medical technician
areas, according to Bryan Gregory, director
of the professional skills center in Malta.
Medical assistants are often the first people patients encounter at a doctor’s office. They check blood pressure, pulse, temperature and check on a patient’s allergic to any medications. They also perform administrative chores. The school’s two-year program includes courses in anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.
Medical administrative assistants have no clinical duties, but may keep records, make appointments, do medical coding and perform other administrative duties.
The professional skills center which Gregory heads offers continuing education and certification training for people already working in the health services field. He said the school chose to concentrate on the health care field at the new Malta campus because they felt that was where the jobs will be.
“We will only offer majors that make sense in the community. If students aren’t getting jobs, we are not fulfilling our mission,” said Michael Gutierrez, Bryant & Stratton marketing director for Albany and Saratoga counties.
Gutierrez said Bryant & Stratton does not want to duplicate the technology education already provided in Malta by Hudson Valley Community College. The hope is to find other fields that might meet employment needs created by the microchip manufacturing facility GlobalFoundries.
Longer-term plans include introduction of a bachelor’s degree program in health services administration, a four-year program that will qualify graduates for administrative positions in hospitals. The curriculum would include clinical aspects of health care as well the business aspects, Gutierrez said.
He envisions graduates spending some time in low-level hospital administration positions and then continuing their education in the masters program at the Sage Colleges and, possibly, going on to a Ph.D. program at SUNY Albany.
Bryan & Stratton has had a full campus in Albany since 1989. Six other New York state campuses are located in the Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo areas. According to Gutierrez, the college has been in business nationally for 160 years. It also has an online division.
He noted that the college is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the same association that accredits the other colleges in the area.
The college concentrates on training students for careers and, according to Gutierrez, 82 percent of last year’s graduates from the Albany division found jobs in the fields they studied. Some of the graduates go on to four-year colleges.
Tuition at Bryant & Stratton is $551 per credit. A typical associate degree program requires 60 credits. Gutierrez estimated that about 95 percent of students receive financial aid in the form of grants, loans or scholarships, usually federal student loans.
Currently, the college is renting 7,000 square feet of space in the Bluth Building. They have a five-year lease. By the end of that time, Gutierrez predicts, they will have outgrown the rented space and will probably construct a building of their own.
The phone number for Bryant & Stratton is 437-1802. Its website is www.bryantstratton.edu.