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Individual Studies (COCAL)


Excellent, affordable degree programs from a dedicated faculty.


Individual Studies (COCAL)

Individual Studies: Collaborative Career Learning (COCAL)

In this innovative approach to career learning, students learn career skills in fields in which jobs are available locally. Although similar to cooperative education and internship programs, Students learn from practicing professionals who follow competency guidelines prescribed by the College and based on O*NET online specifications, national competency catalogs, and employer input. Students combine collaborative career learning with 12‑18 credits of related college course work to earn a one‑year certificate in Individual Studies.

Students include dislocated workers, displaced homemakers, high school graduates interested in “hands‑on” learning and immediate employment, as well as students who are interested in career exploration prior to committing themselves to four years of college. The primary goal of COCAL is employment upon graduation. Enrollment is competitive. Students should contact the COCAL office for full details at 518-736-3622 x8931.

COCAL Career Titles and Occupational Outlook Handbook Link (Career Outlook)

Administrative Office Assistant

Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerk

Advanced Manufacturing Technologist

Community Health Worker

Construction Carpenter

Customer Service Representative

Dental Assistant

General Office Clerk

Human Resource Assistant

Medical Records and Health Information Technician

Patient Care Technician


Other – FM can create a one-year Individual Studies certificate or a two-year AOS Individual Studies degree program tailored to a student’s specific career goals, combining classroom study with on-the- job-training and close mentoring by practicing professionals in a workplace environment. (Career titles cannot require a licensure or duplicate existing FM programs.)

Gainful Employment

The Department of Education has issued rules surrounding gainful employment.  It is required that institutions of higher education who offer one-year certificate programs provide information on all non-degree programs pertaining to employability.   These programs are defined as programs that prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

Click here for Gainful Employment information.