SUNY Canton
Promoted by SUNY Canton

From West Africa to SUNY Canton: Where top talents become award-winning students and graduates

Nestled amidst the picturesque banks of the Grasse River in Canton, New York, is the State University of New York at Canton (SUNY Canton). This public, coeducational residential college has a rich history dating back to 1906, when it was established as the first postsecondary institution in New York State. Today, SUNY Canton continues to be a leader in its field, consistently ranking among the top 10 colleges of its kind in the nation.

SUNY Canton offers a unique blend of academic excellence and a diverse mix of races, ethnicities and backgrounds represented in the student body. Accredited by both ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) and IACBE (International Accreditation Council For Business Education), the college provides students with a rigorous education that prepares them for success in their chosen careers. The US News & World Report placed SUNY Canton sixth on their “Top Public Regional Colleges – North” list. 

International students worldwide are always welcome to join this prestigious institution. A recent influx of students from the PKFokam Institute of Excellence in Yaoundé, Cameroon, highlights SUNY Canton’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment. “They have a huge impact on our campus community,” says Erin Lassial, Director of International Programmes. “They certainly add value to the entire campus experience.”

The whole campus has embraced the new students, who have gotten involved with the Student Government Association, Admissions Office, Presidential Internship programme, and more. It’s been a great experience thus far for Yvan F. Tekam from Cameroon’s capital  city Yaoundé. He’s already ready to recommend the experience to friends and family back home. “There are really great people here,” Tekam says. “SUNY Canton is really trying to make it easy for people from the outside to integrate.”

West African students like Tekam are just as impressed by the beautiful campus and its surroundings. Canton’s vibrant downtown area is a short walk away, while multicultural Montreal and Ottawa are just a two-hour drive away. Nature lovers can find solace in the majestic Adirondack Mountains, perfect for hiking, fishing, and other outdoor adventures.

SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton offers hands-on training with a focus on leadership, business ethics, and project innovation in real-world scenarios. Source: SUNY Canton

However, SUNY Canton’s true strength lies in its forward-thinking academic programmes. The college offers a wide range of 21st-century-focused degrees, including Electrical Engineering Technology (B. Tech), Management (BBA), and Finance (BBA) — all of which provide hands-on training through projects and participation in real-world scenarios.

The B.Tech programme, for instance, prepares graduates to address the ever-evolving needs of the electrical power, electronics, industrial controls, and telecommunications sectors. The programme provides a strong foundation in mathematics, social sciences, and humanities while emphasising the application of science and engineering principles in product development, design, manufacturing, and operational functions.

Pierre Nzuah, a Cameroonian student who chose SUNY Canton for his electrical engineering studies, highlights two key factors that influenced his decision. “Firstly, because it had my major of interest: Electrical Engineering Technology. And secondly, because it was affordable and several scholarships were available to offset my attendance cost,” he says.

Nzuah’s experience at SUNY Canton was enriching, with his favourite classes being those with hands-on lab components, particularly those focusing on electric and electronic circuits.  He credits these engaging sessions for making learning not only enjoyable but also for bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world application. “I even worked with Dr. Stephen E. Frempong on a portable internet radio project,” he says. “Researching to make this project a success and writing reports established a good foundation for me when I got into graduate school and was tasked with research on unfamiliar topics.”

For students interested in business, SUNY Canton offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management programme. This programme equips students with a comprehensive understanding of current management theory and practices, covering key areas like accounting, finance, marketing, strategy, operations, human resources, economics, ethics, and communication. Case studies, internships, and real-world applications in corporate, non-profit, and government settings are integral components of this stimulating four-year programme. 

SUNY Canton

Samuel Diffo achieved the highest honour for a student in the state system by winning a SUNY Chancellor’s Award. Source: SUNY Canton

“I knew it would best prepare me for jobs after graduation,” says Tekam, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management student. “All of my professors are either business owners or still work within the field. They are all very approachable and want their students to succeed.”

Recognising the growing importance of financial services in today’s world, SUNY Canton offers a Finance programme that provides a strong foundation in business, accounting, and liberal arts. It includes the opportunity to undertake a full semester internship within the financial industry, preparing graduates not only for the workforce but also for further study. 

“Students have the chance to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life situations,” says Umesh Kumar, Associate Professor. “This programme exposes them to the intricacies and nuances of financial success.”

Samuel Dieubeni T. Diffo, another international student from Yaoundé, Cameroon, exemplifies the programme’s impact. He leveraged his focus on entrepreneurship to launch his own successful perfume business, “Elpanda Perfumes,” and soft skills gained at SUNY Canton to master social media marketing strategies. This venture fuelled his American college education dream before he went on to earn the SUNY Chancellor’s Award, the highest honour bestowed upon students within the state university system.

Follow SUNY Canton on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.