Bright Spots from Every Campus

SUNY campuses have been hard at work expanding successful programs and developing new tools to help students reach their goals and complete their degrees. You can learn more about these efforts, organized by campus, below.

Click the campus name on the map for more info.

Community Colleges
Technology Colleges
University Colleges
University Centers/Doctoral Degree Granting Institutions

Adirondack Community CollegeX

Adirondack Completes, launched in 2014-15, helps past students complete their outstanding degree requirements or receive reverse-transfer credit from further study. This innovative initiative led to the largest graduating class in SUNY Adirondack's history. The Class of 2015 represented a 41 percent increase in graduates and an 8 percent increase in the college’s graduation rate, a trend that continued in 2016, with the second-largest class.

University at AlbanyX

UAlbany Advantage combines cutting-edge data analytics and personalized support systems to ensure faculty and staff have the advanced advising tools needed to conduct early outreach and intervention for students in academic distress, before they reach a tipping point. Launching in Fall 2016, teams of faculty and staff will pay close attention not only to a student’s academic success but also to their engagement of campus life, flagging someone who stops going to the dining hall, for example. Teams will meet regularly, share information, and alert others to academic or personal services a student may need to stay on track.

Alfred State CollegeX

Alfred State continues to add new degree programs that prepare students for employment in high-need fields. For 2016, the college has added seven majors. Students interested in radiological technology and diagnostic medical sonography filled 100 percent of the available seats within a month of the programs being announced. The other new programs are criminal justice, health sciences, interdisciplinary studies and both an associate and bachelor’s degree in graphic and media design. The new majors generated applications from more than 500 students even before they were officially added to the course catalog.

SUNY College of Ceramics at Alfred UniversityX

Alfred University created a Life Skills program for student-athletes to improve time-management and organizational skills, academic performance, and retention. Now in its third year, the program requires first-year student athletes to attend a kick-off meeting and meet regularly with the life skills coordinator. AU’s 19 athletic teams post an average GPA of 3.08, with only 7 percent falling below 2.0; and 90 percent of student athletes say they would recommend the program.

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Binghamton UniversityX

A 17-year program at Binghamton University, Bridges to the Baccalaureate helps underrepresented students transition from community colleges to four-year baccalaureate programs in the biomedical and behavioral research arenas by allowing students to work alongside expert researchers. Of the students who participate, 88 percent transfer to a four-year college and 95 percent earn a baccalaureate degree from BU. In addition to the benefits for students, the program engages faculty from BU together with those at area community colleges, lifting up the SUNY portfolio through collective impact.

SUNY College at BrockportX

Launching the Re-Enroll to Complete program, SUNY College at Brockport created a records search to identify former students who earned at least 105 of the 120 needed to complete their degree but didn’t finish. The college then reached out to those students and urged them to return. Of the approximately 300 former students who were reached, 160 have gone back to school and either earned – or are completing – their degree. A small number didn't even have to take additional classes; they qualified for a degree because course requirements had changed since they left. The Investment and Performance Fund is enabling the scale up of Re-Enroll to Complete to colleges throughout SUNY.

University at BuffaloX

The University at Buffalo launched Finish in 4 in 2012, with 63 percent of the first enrollees graduating this semester, far exceeding the national average of 34 percent for public institutions. Through Finish in 4, UB commits to providing students with resources, such as seats in required classes, and a semester-by-semester outline of the courses they need to earn a degree in four years. In exchange, students pledge to follow the plan, register on time, communicate with an academic adviser at least once per semester, and take a major and career assessment their first year. Participants who fulfill all program obligations but are unable to graduate in four years can finish their degree at UB free. Finish in 4 has been replicated by colleges and universities throughout SUNY.

SUNY Buffalo State CollegeX

Launched in 2016, Roar in 4 guarantees incoming full-time freshmen that they will be able to take the courses they need to complete a bachelor’s degree within four years. If a major course is not available during a students’ fourth year of attendance—and the student has met all aspects of the Roar in 4 pledge—Buffalo State will cover tuition for that course the following academic year, or make accommodations to complete the course in the fourth year.

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SUNY CantonX

SUNY Canton has increased the number of completions over the last five years by 43 percent (+290 completions), with plans to increase another 45 percent by 2020 (+429 completions). The college attributes its success to a compilation of programs, including Degree Works, seamless transfer, expanded EOP, support for Veterans, and added investment in evidence-based practices such as tutoring and early alert systems. The college recently established a Ready Center as a central location for all students to become college and career ready. It houses the Advising Center, Career Services, and International Programs.

SUNY Canton’s Jump Start program helps students transition from high school to college five weeks before the start of the Fall semester. The program helps strengthen students’ English, writing and math skills, with a special segment targeting financial literacy funded by the SUNY Investment and Performance Fund. By the end of the five week program, students are better prepared for classes, in stronger physical condition, and will have a group of friends who can help support each other throughout college. 

Cayuga Community CollegeX

Cayuga Community College, which enrolls approximately 4,200 students each Fall, recently created a Student Success Advocate program for first-time students to help ease their transition to college. Advocates foster student engagement with students at risk of academic failure through holistic advisement, targeted outreach, programming, and early academic interventions in collaboration with the campus community.

Clinton Community CollegeX

In Fall 2016, Clinton Community College will begin working more closely with high school students on degree planning as a result of a grant that will help fund placement of an Academic Outreach Coordinator in local high schools. Students will have the opportunity to learn what is available to them and help develop a clear roadmap to college completion.

SUNY CobleskillX

Expanding in a successful partnership with the Agriculture Pathways in Technology Early College High School (Ag-PTECH), SUNY Cobleskill is establishing a Degree Pathways program with Cobleskill-Richmondville High School. Similar to the P-TECH model, students will begin taking college courses during their freshman year of high school with the ability to complete an associate degree within one or two years and a bachelor’s degree within two to three years.

Columbia-Greene Community CollegeX

Columbia-Greene Community College is in the second year of its Be a Graduate program, through which the college reaches out to former students who did not complete a degree. To date, the college has contacted more than 200 former students and 14 have graduated.

SUNY College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Cornell UniversityX

The SUNY College of Agriculture & Life Sciences last year began pro-active outreach to students struggling in Cornell courses. The process begins with professors using a web-based portal to report the names of students falling behind. The portal is connected to a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that produces an instant email to the student and creates a notification to student services staff. The email directs students to standard resources such as advising and tutoring, and offers meetings with relative staff who can help. The system also enables the college to collect data to inform their student support services. There were 538 notifications by professors last year; from this total 101 were first generation college students and 249 were underrepresented minorities. 

SUNY College of Human Ecology at Cornell UniversityX

The Peer Partnership Program pairs faculty and student mentors with new students from traditionally under-represented backgrounds. They meet regularly for activities on and off-campus, work through any obstacles or challenges the student faces, and even help critique some of the student’s academic work. The program has served more than 1000 students to date, with many later serving as a mentor.

SUNY Colleges at Cornell UniversityX

The four SUNY colleges at Cornell University participate in Summer College, which provides high school students access to 30 university programs in fields such as architecture, fashion, robotics, business, engineering, government, biology, and veterinary medicine. Students spend two-to-six weeks on campus with resident counselors and take part in a number of activities while also studying alongside Cornell undergrads, faculty, and staff. Summer College saw its largest class ever in 2016, with more than 1,300 participating students. The four SUNY Colleges at Cornell University are: Agriculture & Life Sciences, Human Ecology, Industrial & Labor Relations, and Veterinary Medicine.

Corning Community CollegeX

Corning Community College and Binghamton University just launched Binghamton Express, a joint admissions program that allows Corning students to gain automatic acceptance to the schools of Liberal Arts and Nursing at Binghamton University. While enrolled at Corning, students are mentored by BU faculty and staff, and have access to the campus as they prepare for the next step in their higher education.

SUNY CortlandX

The Completion Path Collaborative program will help students at nearby community colleges successfully transition to SUNY Cortland and earn a bachelor’s degree. The four-year pilot, set to begin in Fall 2016 with support from the SUNY Investment and Performance Fund, seeks to build a well-defined, resource-rich path for ambitious students who begin their education at SUNY’s Tompkins-Cortland or Broome Community Colleges.

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The Academic Exploration Program (AEP) focuses on increasing access and completion for underrepresented, underprepared and low-income students through improved advisement services and support. The program served 65 students in its first year, most of whom are first-generation college students who benefit from additional guidance throughout their first year of college.

Downstate Medical CenterX

The SUNY Downstate Advanced Certificate in Public Health is focused on providing students with the necessary public health knowledge and skills to address the emerging challenges related to population health. The program also facilitates workforce entry in a variety of local, state, and federal health agencies or community-based organizations. In 2015, 18 advanced certificates in public health were granted by Downstate, rising to 29 in 2016.

Dutchess Community CollegeX

Dutchess Community College’s SmartStart is an intensive four-week summer program for incoming freshmen who place into two or more remedial courses. On average, for students participating in SmartStart over the past three years, placement into College English jumped 46 percent, College Reading rose by 17 percent, and the number of students placing into the College’s lowest-level math course decreased by 11 percent. The fall-to-fall persistence of SmartStart students is about the same as the general student population, and up to 25 percent higher than that of students who were recommended for SmartStart but did not participate.

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Empire State CollegeX

The Black Male Initiative, centered at ESC's Manhattan location, pairs volunteer black alumni with men of color who are current students struggling to complete their degrees because of difficulties with studies, job and home pressures, or lack of financial resources. The alumni act as peer coaches, meeting with students individually and in groups to offer frequent advice on how to approach and solve the problems students face. Many of the alumni are also graduates of the program.

SUNY College of Environmental Science and ForestryX

SUNY ESF’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) is an enrichment program designed to foster the academic success of students in typically underrepresented groups and those financially disadvantaged. CSTEP follows students from the time they arrive until they graduate, providing coaching, enrichment activities, faculty mentoring, skill development, internship/research opportunities, graduate school/career preparation, and career development. At any one time, 50 students are enrolled.

Erie Community CollegeX

Erie Community College’s START program helps new students navigate college by setting incoming students on a solid path of personal and academic success so they can “START strong and finish stronger.” After studying national retention models and research on retention, ECC worked to make sweeping changes, from how the college orientates its incoming students via student-related services, to preparing them for new realities of academic success. Now in its second year, the START program has become an institutional process that determines how students are orientated, advised, and registered.

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Farmingdale State CollegeX

Farmingdale State College was one of only 17 academic institutions nationally to receive a federal “First in the World” grant in 2015. With it, the college has put in place a multi-faceted plan to increase graduation rates and expand student learning opportunities through Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM). As part of the program, participating students are placed in a research experience with a faculty mentor, either on campus or off campus at a major research university, national lab, industry, or business the summer after their sophomore year. The college has selected 250 students for the program in Fall 2016.

In 2014, the Educational Opportunity Program at Farmingdale began the Academic Intervention Program (AIP), an intensive program targeting the college’s most at-risk students as well as those with pending suspension or withdrawal from their studies. Students showing inconsistent academic performance or experiencing personal matters that place them at risk of dropping out are enrolled in the program, which begins with an academic boot camp before the next semester begins, followed by consistent sessions throughout the semester with a counselor, academic coordinator, and relevant tutors. 

Fashion Institute of TechnologyX

FIT plans to double its 200-student Educational Opportunity Program over the next four years, with support from the SUNY Investment and Performance Fund. The college’s career-focused curricula and New York City location make it a destination school for hundreds of interested EOP-eligible applicants every year. In the last three years, EOP students have seen a 61 percent completion rate, with 11 percent still on track to graduate. The program celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016.

Finger Lakes Community CollegeX

Addressing historically low retention of students who seek admission to the college’s rigorous nursing program, the Aspiring Nurses Project, launched in 2014-15, provides a series of roundtable workshops for students as well as a secondary advisor who follows up regularly with participating students to keep them focused on their goals, track academic progress, and facilitate the exploration of alternative career paths. In the program’s first year, fall to fall persistence for those who identify themselves as pre-nursing students rose from 47 to 57 percent

SUNY FredoniaX

Like many predominantly white, rural campuses, SUNY Fredonia struggles to retain and graduate African-American students at a rate comparable to whites. However, a comprehensive effort to attract more diverse students and help them complete their degrees at Fredonia is showing great success. The push is highlighted by groups for African-American women and men who meet regularly to discuss everything from self-esteem to finances. In 2009, the gap between black and white graduation rates at Fredonia was 40 percentage points. By 2014, the gap had closed to just 7 percentage points, andAfrican-American enrollment reached more than 5 percent, up from 1 percent 10 years prior. 

Fulton-Montgomery Community CollegeX

FMCC’s Summer Bridge Program offers a week-long program for incoming freshman to help prepare them for college, including academic, social, and residential experiences. Following a successful 2015 launch for NYC-based students, the college has expanded it to other programs such as TRiO, which serves first-time college students from low-income families; Quest for Success, which supports diverse students through targeted services, Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), which serves students from under-represented groups who are pursuing professional licensure and careers in mathematics, science, technology and health-related fields; and the Educational Opportunity Program, which gives high school students a start on their college education.

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Genesee Community CollegeX

Genesee Community College has broken ground on a new Student Success Center, a one-stop service center that will feature new success coaches for incoming students who will provide each new GCC student with a single point of contact from their first day on campus through to commencement. The Student Success Center brings the admissions, financial aid, academic advisement, job and career counseling and a variety of other student services into one building. 

SUNY GeneseoX

In June 2016, SUNY Geneseo reorganized the academic dean’s office to focus on face-to-face student assistance that will emphasize mentoring, coaching, support, and resilience-training through an integrative approach to student services. The initiative will include recharging faculty advisers, training undergraduate peer academic advisers, coordinating services with the Career Development Department, helping students communicate with the Financial Aid Office, and meeting with at-risk students on a regular basis.

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Herkimer County Community CollegeX

Herkimer County Community College implemented a learning community pilot program in Fall 2013 to serve at-risk students with a high school grade point average of 75 and below, who shared any combination of two the following classes: Developmental Math, First Year Experience, Sociology, and Structured Study. Students participate in one-hour of supervised lab time each week, and are given grade and attendance reports every three weeks. They also meet with an academic coach to discuss reports available interventions. The program saw a 78 percent retention rate in its first year (Fall 2013-Spring 2014).

Hudson Valley Community CollegeX

In addition to offering nearly 100 college courses at 25 high schools in the Capital Region, HVCC and Ballston Spa Central School District created the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College High School at the TEC-SMART extension center in Malta, NY. In this state-of-the-art learning environment, 300 students from 25 school districts take college coursework, earning more than 25 credits while still in high school. Students are placed in four academic pathways leading to associate degrees offered by HVCC.

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Jamestown Community CollegeX

Jamestown Community College was among the first SUNY campuses to begin using Degree Works, a web-based, degree planning and auditing software that allows students to quickly see how far along they are in completing their degree requirements, and helps them chart the best path forward. Across SUNY, in the system’s first year offering this tool at scale, campuses saw 2.8 million logins by 180,000 unique users. JCC created a series of award-winning videos to stimulate interest among students on the value of completion.

Jefferson Community CollegeX

Jefferson Community College celebrated the opening of the John W. Deans Collaborative Learning Center (CLC) in March 2016. This innovative new learning space for students fosters collaboration among their peers as well as interaction with staff and faculty, and provides convenient access to campus services that support academic success and degree completion.

The Jefferson Community School (JCS) grant program removes common barriers to completion experienced by low-income students, veterans, and students with disabilities, allowing them to attend classes and work toward a degree. Between March and July 2016, 87 students received transportation assistance; 200 hours of childcare were provided for children of students; and the on-campus food pantry provided resources to 41 students. Sixty-eight percent of Jefferson students are first-generation, 9 percent are veterans, 16 percent have a disability, and 15 percent are considered low-income.

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SUNY Maritime CollegeX

Over the past four years, Maritime’s four- and six-year graduation rates have increased 10 percent, in large part due to expanded tutoring services through the college Learning Center, where tutoring enables Maritime graduates to meet 20 credits in addition to their merchant mariner credentials. Session attendance at the center has increased nearly 30 percent in the past year.To build upon its success, SUNY awarded the college a competitive $750,000 grant to expand student support services including additional tutoring and supplemental instruction, establishing a writing center, and hiring a full-time academic coach.

Mohawk Valley Community CollegeX

Mohawk Valley Community College is using a $2 million federal grant to create the Pathway to Graduation Project, which will co-locate the functions of tutoring, study groups, library resources, computer labs, technical assistance, an iTeach Learning Lab for faculty/staff, and seminar areas. There will also be five offices for “Completion Coaches” in this location and a commons area for students to share academic information and experiences such as ideas on studying and coping methods.

Monroe Community CollegeX

Monroe Community College launched Save for Success in 2014 to make higher education more affordable for economically-disadvantaged students. The program allows eligible students in the region a chance to invest in their futures by offering an 8-1 matching program on dollars saved that results in a tuition grant of $3,000 to be used at MCC. Students also receive one-on-one financial and life skills counseling from a professional mentor. Data show that Save for Success participants are more likely to stay in school: 64 percent of Save for Success students in fall 2014 returned to MCC the following fall, compared with the retention rate of 44 percent of students who were not in the program.

Morrisville State CollegeX

Retention of first-year, first-time students is up two years in a row at Morrisville State College after beginning a First Year Experience program. More than two-thirds of the freshman class enrolls in this two-credit course designed to help students integrate into the college environment. Weekly topics include financial literacy, stress relief and balance, task management, sustainability, civility and other areas designed to improve college success. After the first year of offering FYE, retention climbed from 52.9 percent in 2012-13 to 56.6 in 2013-14, and increased to 62.3 percent in 2014-15.

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Nassau Community CollegeX

Nassau Community College encourages all students to take NCC 101: The College Experience, a single-credit course that eases their transition to college and encourages completion of their two-year degree and, later, pursuit of a four-year degree or career. Students are provided with information about the campus as well as assistance in understanding the goals and expectations of higher education through engaging and interactive workgroup sessions. NCC 101 covers learning styles, time management, degree requirements and the ins-and-outs of advisement and academic planning. As a result of high demand, the college now offers 80 sections in the fall and 40 in the spring.

SUNY New PaltzX

The Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY New Paltz is one of the best in the state at preparing and supporting students in overcoming socio-economic and academic challenges to higher education success. First-year retention rates typically exceed the 90 percent rate for all New Paltz students, and six-year graduation rates for EOP students are 65 percent—well above the 57 percent average graduation rate for all students across all U.S. public institutions.

Niagara County Community CollegeX

Niagara County Community College has reconfigured its class schedule to better accommodate working adult students as well as those who have earned college credits but not yet completed their degree. The college is offering more evening classes and courses in an accelerated format. The college has also expanded its summer boot camp offerings to include reading and Anatomy/Physiology; and will add a Winter intersession, beginning in January 2017.

North Country Community CollegeX

North Country Community College recently introduced its first fully-online degree program, a Liberal Arts Associate Degree in Humanities and Social Science. The degree will allow students to transfer into four-year programs such as psychology, English, political science, anthropology, history, education, and many other fields of study at any one of SUNY’s four-year colleges or universities as well as private institutions in New York and nationally.

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SUNY Old WestburyX

Through its Smart Scholars and Early College High School programs, SUNY Old Westbury annually offers college-level courses at no cost to more than 300 local high school students from New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties. In 2015-16, those students were on track to earn 6,200 total credits.

SUNY OneontaX

SUNY Oneonta's Making Cents series drew hundreds of students to seminars on credit cards, identity theft, student loan repayment options, and money management during the 2015-2106 academic year. Students are awarded “Red Dollars” to spend on rent, food, utilities, transportation as part of a role playing event designed to sharpen participants’ budgeting skills. Programming focuses on improving students’ understanding of personal finance throughout college and following graduation.

Onondaga Community CollegeX

Through its Community Scholars program, OCC awards $1,000 scholarships to full-time adult students.  A total of 60 scholarships are being awarded in Fall 2016 to help support them achieve their academic and lifetime goals. The Onondaga Community Scholars program is made possible by donors from the local community who are dedicated to investing in the future of Central New York through education.

SUNY College of OptometryX

Specialized field such as Optometry rely heavily on skilled workers who can enter the workforce prepared to see patients right away. SUNY Optometry’s entire curriculum is based on applied learning opportunities for students, including a summer sports elective course where students travel to Fenway Park to examine the visual abilities baseball players hoping to be drafted to Major League Baseball teams. The students test visual function as well as the hand/eye coordination and reaction times of the players. SUNY Optometry boasts a nearly 100 percent completion rate.

SUNY OrangeX

SUNY Orange has developed an internal “I am a Leader” program to foster leadership, growth, and confidence among participating students. Open to all students, the year-long program has served between 10 and 20 students in each of its first two years. The college invites local business, civic, educational, and governmental representatives to speak with participants on a range of topics related to leadership, motivation, and degree completion.

The SUNY Orange College Experience Program (CEP) offers high school students an opportunity to jumpstart their college career. High school juniors and seniors can earn college credits while still in high school; apply credits toward a high school diploma and/or a degree at SUNY Orange, or transfer them to another college or university; and gain experience and confidence in a college setting.

SUNY OswegoX

Start Now is a unique program sponsored by SUNY Oswego in coordination with Jefferson Community College that provides increased access to higher education for underserved students via JCC, seamless transition to Oswego through careful planning and advisement, and ultimately leads to improved completion with degrees from both institutions. Start Now began as a pilot program in 2015, enrolling five students, and is on track to enroll its first official cohort of 25 students this fall.

SUNY Undergraduate Mathematics Success (SUMS) aims to increase retention and graduation rates of education and STEM students who find Math challenging. An on-campus and online math tutoring center is being created, and a weeklong summer bridge camp will be launched for students. The Oswego State Math Success Camp, offered for the first time in the weeks prior to the Fall 2016 semester, is a fully-funded experience for incoming freshmen with an education or math-related major. Classes will be taught by Oswego professors, with evening work being supported by Oswego student mentors.

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SUNY PlattsburghX

SUNY Plattsburgh has forged partnerships with three community-based organizations that collectively serve more than 25,000 students in New York City, offering greater levels of individual academic assistance and career guidance for students in their hometowns in addition to on-campus. The goal is to enable more students to pursue four-year degrees.

SUNY PotsdamX

SUNY Potsdam hosts 100 prospective students from New York City to attend its annual Multicultural Weekend for a whirlwind weekend of activities. Students are brought by bus to campus, where they are paired with student ambassadors, who host them in their dorm rooms and give them advice about the college search process. Most students who attend end up choosing SUNY Potsdam, and many report that they have made lifelong friendships during the trip.

SUNY Potsdam offers Bear Bus service for students from downstate New York, chartering transportation to and from campus for students before and after winter break, spring break, April recess, and summer break. Routes are offered to Albany, Rockland County, Port Authority in NYC, and Long Island. Given that 46 percent of SUNY Potsdam undergraduates come from New York City, the mid- or upper Hudson area or Long Island, the service has proven highly beneficial for the campus’s increasingly diverse student body.

Purchase CollegeX

Purchase College is about to launch the Summer Success Fellows program for first-year students as they become acclimated to campus life. Participating students will be invited to stay on campus for four days following orientation in order to experience college life and create connections with faculty, staff, mentors, and other students. By learning more about the academic, financial, and social resources available to them and receiving personalized support from mentors, the program will help students develop a roadmap for a successful college experience.

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Rockland Community CollegeX

Rockland Community College began a program in Fall 2013 for entering students who place below college-level English 101 courses to be mainstreamed into college-level writing classes using the Community College of Baltimore’s Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) model, with four sections of English 101 that utilize a supplemental support module. The program showed dramatic success rates in its first year, with 85 percent of students enrolled passing English 101. With ongoing success, RCC continues to increase the number of sections offered each Fall – up to 29 in 2016 from the original four.

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Schenectady County Community CollegeX

As part of the SCCC’s commitment to applied learning, it has introduced an Entrepreneur Boot Camp in partnership with the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce. This program requires students to design a small business plan, which later culminates into a competition judged by members of the Capital Region business community and is implemented locally when possible.  

Following an analysis of the minority students enrolled at SCCC, the college will be introducing a Minority Student Mentoring program designed to help minority students face common impediments to degree completion.

Stony Brook UniversityX

Stony Brook University established a Finish In Four Fund in 2014 to support degree completion by 15 students each year who are in good academic standing but may not be able to afford that last class needed to graduate. The fund provides these students with the financial support needed when they have been allotted the maximum amount of financial aid.

In July 2015, Stony Brook University’s School of Professional Development became the first within SUNY to offer digital badges, which are verified micro-credentials demonstrating that a student has earned a specific set of skills that align with workforce demand. Badges can be built into existing courses or serve as a stand-alone credential. Following the success of digital badges at SBU and nationally, SUNY has convened a system-wide task force to determine how these and other micro credentials may be brought to scale within the university system.

Suffolk County Community CollegeX

The College recently completed a five-year Student Engagement through Informed Support (SEIS) project, which improved student success and engagement by growing the college’s capacity to support students through electronically-enabled enrollment and admissions processes, a reorganization and improvement of academic advising, enabling and early warning student intervention system, the creation of repositories for faculty-developed online learning resources for 20 high-enrollment gateway courses, and the combination of on-line and in-person student support resources through a Virtual Learning Commons. The project also added supports for students with disabilities, such as access to screen-reading software for the vision-impaired students and voice-output calculators for the deaf.

SUNY SullivanX

SUNY Sullivan instituted an Academic and Financial Probation (FP) program in Fall 2015 to help students continue working toward their associate degrees following one semester or more of poor academic standing. Participating students are assigned an FP coordinator who helps them design their class schedule and meets regularly with them to assess their progress toward completion and put them in touch with other campus mentors and support programs as necessary. FP is available any semester for any student. In Spring 2016, 83 students participated, with 38 faculty and staff members serving as mentors.

SUNY Polytechnic InstituteX

The SUNY Polytechnic Institute Foundation established an Emergency Loan Fund to assist students who are close to completing their degrees but do not have the financial capability to pay for the remaining credits. While there is no repayment timeline, students who receive assistance agree to replenish the Fund once they find employment in their chosen profession and are able. SUNY Poly recently received a grant in the amount of $7,500 dollars to support the Fund, and the college expects to see continued growth.

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Tompkins Cortland Community College X

The Network Peer Mentor Program at Tompkins Cortland Community College assists first-generation students and students from historically underrepresented groups in making successful academic and social transitions to college. Peer mentors undergo specialized training and offer social, academic, and philosophical support to students. In the past year, the college has also added the Vector Scholars program, which provides personal support for students with an intensive pre-semester program in the fall and programming throughout the semester, helping dedicated students to identify a clear academic direction, develop academic success skills, and navigate a path to completion.

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Upstate Medical UniversityX

The Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) at SUNY Upstate provides tools and resources for underrepresented and economically disadvantaged students such as mentoring, tutoring, internships, career counseling, clinical skills development, and professionalism workshops. Seventy-five students are currently enrolled across Upstate's four colleges.

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Westchester Community CollegeX

Westchester Community College recently hired eight Completion Coaches to connect with individual students and ensure they are on track to meet their academic and career goals, with their primary focus on helping students earn their degree. They have seen approximately 500 students.

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SUNY System Efforts

Achieving the Dream

Nearly one-half of all students seeking higher education choose a community college, and fewer than half of those students finish. That's why seven SUNY community colleges have joined Achieving the Dream, a national network of higher education institutions, coaches and advisors, state policy teams, investors and partners that aims to help more than 4 million community college students complete their degree. Member institutions include: Broome, Dutchess, Mohawk, Onondaga, Schenectady, Suffolk, and Westchester Community Colleges.

Applied Learning

Applied Learning a teaching and learning strategy that promotes student success outcomes like increased retention, graduation, engagement, employment and well-being. It is also one of the most valuable experiences SUNY offers students. These opportunities have proven to increase student engagement and success during college and result in a higher rate of job placement following graduation. SUNY ensures that every student has access to an applied learning opportunity.


SUNY students have an opportunity to use a customized version of Degree Works, a web-based, degree planning and auditing software that allows parents, faculty advisors, and admissions counselors to quickly see how far along a student is toward completing degree requirements, and to see how their status may vary depending on the institution or degree program they select. This powerful tool enables students to quickly see their progress toward degree completion at their home or even at a potential transfer campus within SUNY. In SUNY’s first year of offering the tool to students, SUNY campuses saw 2.8 million logins by 180,000 unique users.

Developmental Math Pathways

SUNY has partnered with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford University to support the scale and spread of Carnegie’s Math Pathways throughout the SUNY system. The Pathways include Quantway and Statway, innovative pedagogical approaches to teaching developmental mathematics that boast a national student success rate that is double the average of traditional remedial classes. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and SUNY, the following 12 SUNY colleges are offering Quantway: Adirondack, Broome, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Mohawk Valley, Niagara, Onondaga, Rockland, Schenectady, Suffolk, Tompkins Cortland, and Westchester Community Colleges and Morrisville State College.

Educational Opportunity Programs & Centers

Currently active on 43 SUNY campuses, the EOP program provides access, academic support, and financial aid to more than 10,000 academically and economically disadvantaged students, helping them prepare for and succeed in college. SUNY’s EOP program has a six-year baccalaureate graduation rate of 65 percent, far exceeding the national rate of 56 percent for all public institutions. Programs offered by 40 SUNY campuses helped nearly 3,000 students bridge the gap between K-12 and higher ed in Summer 2016.

In concert with the EOP program, SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC) and Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) Labs deliver community-based, academic and workforce development programs, and services to more than 20,000 adult learners at more than 40 locations.

Innovative New High School Designs

Innovative new high school designs offer advanced college credit and serve the needs of students who are traditionally under-represented in college while making a critical connection between K-12 and higher ed. In New York, 20early college high schools offer dual enrollment for students who are traditionally underrepresented in college; 33P-TECH partnerships enable students to complete an industry-aligned curriculum; and five New Tech Schools use a project-based learning model and emphasize the integration of technology in the classroom. Some are transitioning to Smart Schools, which will provide a streamlined program where students acquire an associate degree in high school, at no cost, and then transfer to one of SUNY’s four-year colleges to earn a higher degree. In New York, these models share an average graduation rate that exceeds 90 percent.

Seamless Transfer

In service to the nearly 30,000 students who transfer within the system each year, SUNY now has the country’s most comprehensive transfer policy, which assures the seamless transfer to and from all campuses of every course approved for SUNY’s 30 credit general education requirement, and the coursework students need to complete the degree requirements of their major.

SUNY Smart Track

SUNY Smart Track is the nation’s most aggressive and comprehensive initiative to ensure financial aid transparency. Smart Track resources - including SUNY’s own Net Price Calculator – are designed to help students and families understand college costs and develop a financial plan for the future. The program follows a student from the time they begin considering SUNY as a college option, to and through college, and even into career.

Based on the success of a 17-campus pilot program, SUNY Smart Track Re-Enroll to Complete is reaching recently withdrawn student loan borrowers to get them back to campus to complete their degree, and avoid the greatest known predictor of student loan default – early separation from college. Beginning in 2017, 29 SUNY campuses will participate.


We know that excellently trained teachers are the number one in-school factor for student success. And while New York is home to some of the best schools and teachers in the country, there are still too many students here who never experience great teaching. TeachNY, a partnership between SUNY and the State Education Department, is a movement to lift up the teaching profession and to ensure that New York and the nation will have the high quality educators needed for the future.