Siena President Chris Gibson (l.) and Maria College President Thomas Gamble speak during Monday's press conference. (Noah Ailendato/Relentless Awareness)
Siena President Chris Gibson (l.) and Maria College President Thomas Gamble speak during Monday's press conference. (Noah Ailendato/Relentless Awareness)

Siena and Maria colleges announced last week they will continue to develop their new dual-degree nursing program to prepare students for careers in the health and caring professions.


The new four-year, 122-credit program will grant students an associate of science in nursing from Maria College in Albany, and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from nearby Siena College upon graduation. 

“Our announcement is the result of a natural partnership forged through the great working relationships we have developed over these years, rooted in the common foundation we share in the Catholic intellectual tradition.” said Father Mark Reamer, vice president for Mission at Siena and guardian of the Friary. “This tradition desires to form the hearts of our students in seeking truth – the pursuit of knowledge that is best accomplished when faith and reason are viewed as mutually illuminating components of discovery.”

The new developments that are already in the planning stages include:

An agreement for Siena students to obtain a Master of Science in occupational therapy at Maria. Details of this agreement could be finalized as soon as the end of 2020; transfer agreements between Maria’s associate degree programs in liberal arts and general studies, and Siena’s Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science programs; scheduling nursing coursework in Maria’s classrooms, labs and facilities for Siena’s Bachelor of Science degree in nursing; and the colleges will also collaborate on administrative services, information technology services, extracurricular activities and campus ministries for these programs.

“Each college brings its strengths to this partnership, and this is truly a case where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” said Thomas J. Gamble, Ph.D., president of Maria College. “With their shared Catholic traditions, it was only natural that Maria and Siena look to find ways to further collaborate.”

Siena and Maria announced last September the colleges had received state approval for a joint four-year nursing program. The first group of students will be studying at Maria this fall.

“As you look across higher-ed now, the thing that Maria College and Siena share in common is a belief - that the best way to prepare an individual for life, is whole-person development,” Siena President Chris Gibson said. “Siena and Maria college, we focus on not only intellectual development, we focus on physical, moral, ethical development, religious development, and spiritual development, putting that all together, we believe, that creates agents of change.”