Who Are We
The University of the State of New York (USNY) Education Department is the most
complete, interconnected system of educational services in the
United States. USNY
- More than 7,000 public and private elementary and secondary
- 248 public and private colleges and universities;
- 251 proprietary (for-profit) schools;
- Nearly 7,000 libraries;
- 750 museums;
- The State Archives;
- Vocational rehabilitation and other services for adults with
- Special education services for pre-school and school-age
children and teenagers;
- A special School for the Blind;
- A special School for the Deaf;
- 25 public broadcasting facilities, including seven public
- More than half a million professionals practicing in 38
licensed professions, including pharmacy, architecture,
accounting, and nursing; and
- 200,000 certified public school teachers, counselors, and
Who We Are Not
The University of the State of New York (USNY) is not the same
as The State University of New York (SUNY). SUNY is the State's
system of public colleges and universities. While the SUNY system is
part of the 248 colleges and universities included in The
University of the State of New York, SUNY is a separate and
distinct organization with its own administration.
The Board of Regents and the
Commissioner of Education
The Board of Regents sets overall education policy for the
State of New York and heads The University of the State of New
York. While USNY has one main
purpose - providing knowledge and skills to all - it carries this
policy out in many ways.
The Board of Regents includes 16 members elected by the State
Legislature for five-year terms. Twelve of the Regents represent
the State's 12 judicial districts, one from each district,
and four are at-large. The Regents serve without salary.
The Regents choose a Commissioner of Education who heads The
State Education Department and also serves as the President of
the University of the State of New York. Generally, the Regents
set policy while the Commissioner has responsibility for carrying
Five Main Branches
Currently, USNY and The
State Education Department have five main branches, each under
the direction of the Commissioner of Education:
- Elementary, Middle,
Secondary and Continuing Education (EMSC)
EMSC oversees pre-K through 12th grade programs, as well as
continuing education. The division has diverse responsibilities,
including learning and curriculum standards, Regents exams and
other State tests, non-public school services, facilities
planning, the GED program, and school report cards.
- Higher Education
This division oversees colleges, universities and proprietary
schools; is responsible for the certification of teachers and
other school professionals; and oversees programs to improve
teacher preparation and recruitment.
- Office of Cultural
OCE is home to the State Archives, the State Library, the State
Museum, and the Public Broadcasting Office.
- Office of the
The Education Law contains general provisions affecting all
professions and gives the Board of Regents and SED the final
authority for supervising and administering 39 licensed
- Vocational and
Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities
VESID promotes educational equity for students with
disabilities; assures appropriate continuity between the child
and adult services systems; and provides vocational
rehabilitation and independent living services to all eligible
persons to enable them to work and live independent,
New York State Education Department is a publicly funded organization
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