History of Sage College of Albany, 1949-2020

Mission and Purpose

Sage College of Albany is an undergraduate college of applied studies that prepares men and women for life’s commitments and for work in a constantly changing world. The College offers baccalaureate degrees:

  • With programs characterized by interdisciplinary values, multiple pathways, and learning for application;
  • Designed and delivered by a faculty committed to working with students to reach their unique learning goals;
  • For students of strong potential and promise;
  • In an active learning environment.

Special emphasis is placed on preparation for new and emerging professions that draw upon the College’s core competencies in art and design, computing technologies, business, legal studies, writing and information sciences. Applied programs in the liberal arts and sciences complement these central areas, while general education requirements at both introductory and upper levels add value and depth to professional studies.

The innovative iThink curriculum emphasizes problem-based learning and prepares students for the contemporary workplace. Students have multiple opportunities for internships and are encouraged to test their education and skills in the real world.

History of Sage College of Albany

In 1949 Russell Sage College for women in Troy, NY, opened a coeducational Albany Division. Intended to serve the large number of veterans returning from World War II, state government workers, and others seeking an education related to workplace needs, the Albany Division offered associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in an evening schedule to an audience of working adults.

The first classes were offered in buildings located in downtown Albany. Noting the absence of a public community college in Albany County, President Lewis Froman received approval in 1957 to establish a “private junior college” operating on a daytime schedule in the same buildings. In the summer of 1959, the College purchased a portion of the site of the Albany Home for Children at New Scotland and Academy Road and a year later the entire Albany Division moved to the new campus, continuing to coexist in the same buildings in daytime and evening schedules. In 1962, the Junior College of Albany received its own degree-granting power, and henceforth all associate degrees (day and evening) were awarded through JCA.

During the 1970’s, art and design became signature programs for JCA and earned prestigious NASAD accreditation. For many years, the evening division continued to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees under the charter of Russell Sage College. During the 1980’s, the umbrella institution began to be known as The Sage Colleges, the two-year college as Sage Junior College of Albany, and the evening division as the Sage Evening College (now called Schol of Professional & Continuing Education, SPCE) and Sage Graduate School. In 1995, these names were formalized and the Sage Graduate School received separate degree-granting powers.

In 2001, responding to the wishes of SJCA students to remain at Sage for four years, the rising credentials needed for entry-level professional positions, and the emerging workplace needs of the 21st century, Sage Junior College of Albany and Sage Evening College were replaced by a single four-year entity, Sage College of Albany. SCA offers many innovative and interdisciplinary degree programs, retaining its historic prominence in art and design, and the School of Professional and Continuing Studies, SPCE, offers upper-level, bachelor’s degree completion programs for working adults.

Graduates of Sage College of Albany may also take advantage of related graduate degree programs offered by Sage Graduate School in health sciences, management, psychology and education.