MALONE – Big games, awesome concerts, can’t-miss festivals – none of them happen without skilled event managers and planners behind the scenes.
Now residents of Malone and surrounding areas can get started on a career path in Sports and Events Management right in their backyard. The state recently approved the expansion of North Country Community College’s Sports and Events Management program to the college’s Malone campus.
“We are very excited about the Sports and Events Management Program being approved by SUNY and the state Education Department for our Malone campus,” said Larry McFaddin, the program’s director. “There is a growing need for professionals in the Sports and Events Management and planning career field. This program will provide great opportunities for students in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties to develop the business skills that will prepare them to manage and run leisure, recreation, and sports events and facilities.”
The program was established at the college’s Saranac Lake campus in 1986. Its graduates have gone on to careers in sports and recreation facility management, convention and event planning, marketing, public relations and many other fields.
Mike Lavoie of Malone graduate from the college’s Sports and Events Management program in 2016 with the goal of becoming an athletic director. He later transferred to SUNY Cortland, graduated last month with a bachelor’s in physical education and will be student teaching in the Malone school system.
“The Sports and Events Management program gave me a great start in learning how to plan, implement and manage programs and events,” Lavoie said. “Adding it to the Malone campus gives more people that same opportunity and adds to the diversity of the college’s offerings here.”
Ryan Grady of Lake Placid graduated from North Country in 2015 with a Sports and Events Management degree. He later got a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Canton and is now working as research director for the marketing firm McWhorter Driscoll LLC. He’s currently helping organize the 2019 Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid and the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in West Virginia.
“Growing up in the Olympic region and the Adirondacks, I developed a real love and passion for sports and events, and the Sports and Events Management program at North Country fit my interests perfectly,” Grady said. “I wanted to be able to stay close to home so I could continue working while going to school. And I really loved the small campus, small-school feel of North Country. It gave me a great foundation to build off of.”
Johnny Muldowney of Saranac Lake tried going to a four-year college right after graduating high school but it didn’t work out. He came home, got a job as the youth coordinator for the Olympic Regional Development Authority and started taking classes at North Country at age 24, graduating in 2009 with a Sports and Events Management degree. He’s since served as ORDA’s events manager and the executive director of the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I was getting into Sports and Events Management in real life at the same time I was taking classes at North Country,” he said. “It was great to have the college here where it’s accessible and affordable. It wasn’t just a stop gap for me. I knew once I completed my work here, all my credits were transferable. I rolled it into Plattsburgh State for my bachelor’s degree, and now I’m working on my MBA with Oswego State.”
The decision to add Sports and Events Management to the Malone campus was based in part on interest from NCCC students in Malone who wanted to enroll in the program but couldn’t because it wasn’t offered there. It was also driven by data from the National Research Center for College and University Admissions, which tracks and reports on the academic interests of high school juniors and seniors. The center found more than 150 high school juniors and seniors in Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties who were interested in studying sports and events management over the next two years. New York State Department of Labor projections have also indicated a strong workforce demand for meeting, convention and event planners.
The college’s Sports and Events Management program includes 25 core credits that provide business and sports and events management classes, 31 credits of liberal arts and sciences, six credits of electives and two health or physical education courses. The program also includes an internship requirement that gives students practical, hands-on experience. Past and potential internship sites in the Malone area include Titus Mountain, the Malone Golf Course, the Malone YMCA, high school athletic departments, fitness and training facilities, prison recreation departments and chambers of commerce, among others.
Spring semester classes start Jan. 22. For more information on the Sports and Events Management program, or to apply, call 877-TRY-NCCC, email email@example.com, or visit www.nccc.edu.