The main purpose of the observatory is education. Union College students benefit from hands-on experience with current high-tech instrumentation. A lab course in which students make professional type observations is offered regularly. The observatory is used for senior theses, summer research, astronomy practicum and independent projects. For example, students have used the telescope to study cataclysmic variable stars, exoplanets, and asteroids. During 2019 students have submitted follow-up observations to NASA's TESS mission to confirm exoplanet candidates.