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Maria, Siena Announce Enhanced Partnerships

 Articulation agreements, new graduate program being developed

LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena College and Maria College announce today that they will continue to develop their academic partnership to prepare students for careers in the health and caring professions.

The colleges are moving forward with a multi-pronged enhancement to their existing partnership, which reflects a shared commitment to their mutual Catholic heritage and the mindful delivery of patient- and client-centered care. The new developments that are already in the planning stages include:

  • An articulation agreement for Siena students to obtain a master of science degree (M.S.) in occupational therapy at Maria. Details of this agreement could be finalized as soon as the end of 2020, for submission for approval to the New York State Education Department. Siena students would be offered conditional admission to the master’s program at Maria following successful completion of a Siena bachelor’s degree in health studies, biology, nursing or related field. Maria currently offers weekend graduate courses in occupational therapy.
  • Articulation 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. These Maria students would receive conditional admission to Siena; identified courses taken at Maria would transfer to Siena programs provided students maintain a minimum grade point average.
  • Scheduling nursing coursework in Maria’s classrooms, labs and facilities for Siena’s bachelor of science degree in nursing. Classes in anatomy and physiology will most likely be among the first classes held for Siena students at Maria.

The Colleges will also look to collaborate on administrative services, information technology services, extracurricular activities and campus ministries for these programs.

Siena and Maria announced last September that they received state approval for a joint four-year nursing program. The program awards an associate of science in nursing from Maria at the end of the junior year, and a bachelor of science in nursing from Siena at the end of the senior year. The first cohort of students will be studying at Maria this fall.

“Collaborations and partnerships like this between like-minded colleges will result in enhanced institutional strength, and more importantly, they will provide more educational and career development opportunities for students,” said Christopher P. Gibson, Ph.D., president of Siena. “The ultimate beneficiaries are the students, and the communities they will live in and serve when they graduate.”

“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. “With their shared Catholic traditions, it was only natural that Maria and Siena look to find ways to further collaborate. In the landscape of higher education today, colleges and universities are called upon to reach out and create synergies to benefit their students and communities. With Maria and Siena, we recognized not only a mutual affinity and desire for closer cooperation, but also a shared vision in how we could use these opportunities to positively impact our region.”

Margaret E. Madden, Ph.D., Provost, Siena College

“Siena College and Maria College both offer top-rated health care education programs, and given our proximity in the Capital Region it makes sense for us to further develop our collaboration with each other. With the increasing demand for highly-skilled graduates in the health care and caring professions, we look forward to seeing the fruits of this enhanced partnership benefit our community.”

Anne Jung, Ph.D., Dean of the College and Chief Academic Officer, Maria College

“As the first cohort of Siena nursing students arrives on campus next week at Maria for the dual degree program we are co-sponsoring, we’re looking forward to inviting them into our academic and campus community for lecture, simulation lab and clinical experience. Students from Maria and Siena will be working side by side in the nursing program to learn, engage in discussion, and prepare for a better tomorrow, and we look forward to adding other programs to this collaboration.”

Fr. Mark Reamer, O.F.M., D.Min. Vice President for Mission and Guardian of the Friary, Siena College

“Our announcement today 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. 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.” 

Victoria Battell, Senior Vice President and Chief Mission Officer, Maria College 

“Delivering a Catholic higher education in the Franciscan and Mercy traditions helps strengthen our Capital Region communities. Both institutions are strongly grounded in our complementary missions that carry on the Franciscan and Mercy traditions in the spirit of our founding communities; to provide the light of wisdom and help the underserved in our region.”


Siena College is a private, co-educational liberal arts college in the Franciscan and Catholic tradition. Founded in 1937, Siena offers nearly 40 majors, 80-plus minors and certificates, and prestigious joint-degree programs in liberal arts, science and business. A wide range of student activities join with immersive service learning, research opportunities, extensive study abroad options and an NCAA Division I athletic program in providing more than 3,000 students the opportunity to prepare for a lifetime of making a difference.


Founded in 1958, Maria College is one of 17 colleges and universities in the United States sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The private, co-educational, Catholic college in Albany serves approximately 800 students in a variety of bachelor’s degree, associate degree, and certificate programs including liberal arts, healthcare management, nursing, psychology, occupational therapy assistant, and health and occupational sciences, and a master of science degree in occupational therapy.