SUNY Plattsburgh Community Engagement

SUNY Plattsburgh Community Engagement

A snapshot of Community Engagement and Applied Learning at SUNY Plattsburgh


In the spring of 2012, the City of Plattsburgh School District's 21st Century grant funding ended, leaving the district without an afterschool program. SUNY Plattsburgh's Education, Health, and Human Services division was selected to oversee a new program. In fall of 2012, SUNY Plattsburgh's Teacher Education Unit assumed responsibility for running Project CONNECT, an afterschool program at three elementary schools and one middle school in the Plattsburgh City School District. Currently we serve approximately 200 students and their families throughout their school year every Monday through Friday afternoon (including SUNY Plattsburgh school breaks). The overarching goals of the program are consistent with our strategic plan and its mutually beneficial goals of supporting educational partnerships in the community and providing our own students with opportunities for experiential learning.

Campus contact:
Michael Morgan, Dean of Education, Health & Human Services
518 564-3066

Day of Caring

Project HELP is a student-run volunteer clearinghouse that works in partnership with local schools and not-for-profit agencies to match students with volunteer opportunities in the community for ongoing and one-time needs.  Each year, Project HELP partners with approximately 40 agencies and in 2012-13 1,305 volunteers provided 14,427 hours of service. In 2013, 400 student volunteers and 200 community volunteers provided 1,600 hours of service during the Day of Caring. In three years, 1,450 volunteers have provided over 4,000 service hours in three days. Project sites in 2013 included: Imaginarium Children's Museum, Joint Council on Economic Opportunity Head Start, Community Garden/Farmer's Market, Adopt-A-Block, Ausable Chasm State Park, Point Au Roche State Park, Elmore SPCA, Newman Center, Our Lady of Victory Church, Evergreen Nursing Home and Meadowbrook Nursing Home, the City of Plattsburgh Recreation Department Half Marathon, Interfaith Food Shelf, Salvation Army Soup Kitchen, Battle of Plattsburgh Museum, and Champlain Valley Transportation Museum

Campus contact:
Michael Cashman, Assistant Director of Campus Activities
518 564-4830

SHINE ON! Conference

Established 3 years ago in partnership with the Girl Scouts, the program is now managed through the Department of Journalism and Public Relations. The organizing committee is comprised of students in a credit-bearing applied service learning course. Faculty/staff play a role in creating and delivering workshops. An AmeriCorps member supports the efforts to recruit and train student mentors year-round. Educators at local elementary schools identify and refer girls who might benefit from the program. Community and corporate support for the program has grown to total over $47,000. Local, regional, and even national organizations have put support behind Shine On!.

Shine On! has grown from a one-day event attended by 75 3rd-5th grade girls and 15 college mentors to an overnight conference for 185 girls, 60 college mentors, and 50 parents. Participants rotate through 12 interactive workshops with topics such as healthy eating, media messages, confidence building, peer pressure, and effective communication. SUNY Plattsburgh college women act as mentors leading small groups of girls through their Shine On! experience. In addition to the girls' conference, there is a parallel training held for parents entitled Raising Resilient Girls. This includes sessions on Tips for Talking to Your Daughter About Her Body and Boys, Understanding Social Media in Your Daughter's World, and Tips for Encouraging Healthy Eating for Busy Families. 

Campus contact:
Colleen Lemza, Assistant Professor, Journalism and Public Relations
(518) 564-2408

SUNY Plattsburgh

101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
(518) 564-2000