SUNY Awarded $500,000 National Designation As Jobs For the Future Student Success Center

January 22, 2016

Community Colleges To Increase Access & Completion Among Low-Income Students

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that SUNY is one of five recipients nationally to receive a $500,000 investment from The Kresge Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a national designation as a Jobs for the Future (JFF) Student Success Center.

With the designation, SUNY joins a thriving national network of JFF Student Success Centers, which provide vision, support, and a shared venue for a state’s community colleges to collectively advance access and completion. The Center will help low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students earn college credentials.

"Jobs for the Future is a natural partner for SUNY and for New York State, as the work that JFF is undertaking with community colleges across the country aligns with our own completion agenda," said Chancellor Zimpher. "This new investment is certain to bolster our efforts to bring evidence-based programs to scale and help more SUNY students complete their degree. Thank you to The Kresge Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their continued support."

Chris Baldwin, Jobs for the Future’s Senior Director, said SUNY "demonstrated a clear vision of a statewide policy agenda to increase community college persistence and completion, as well as the capacity for meaningful data analysis and strong commitment from a broad group of stakeholders."

"These centers build a cohesive approach to engagement, learning, and policy advocacy across each state’s two-year institutions," said Caroline Altman Smith, Deputy Director of Kresge’s Education Program. "The colleges can then spend their resources more effectively, and create reforms that help the most students possible graduate."

SUNY will receive $250,000 a year for each of the next two years, joining community colleges in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio,  Texas, Virginia, and Washington as part of the JFF Network.

JFF Student Success Centers are statewide intermediary organizations that provide faculty and staff with venues to share and learn, aggregate technical assistance efforts, and help colleges collaborate. The Centers build a cohesive approach to policy advocacy across their state’s community colleges so that resources are spent efficiently and reforms help as many students as possible earn postsecondary credentials.

With funding from The Kresge Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, JFF’s Postsecondary State Policy team manages the Student Success Center Network, providing technical assistance and creating connective tissue between the existing Centers. Since the first Center was established in 2010, JFF has grown to manage a robust network of 12 Centers, serving over half of the nation’s community college students.

New York’s Center will support SUNY’s efforts to identify evidence-based practices used in New York State and nationally, and help SUNY facilitate the expansion of those practices throughout its community colleges. Current practices will also be evaluated to ensure alignment across the sector and spur stronger student outcomes state-wide.

"This is an important opportunity to help more of our community college students graduate from college prepared for the workforce," said Johanna Duncan-Poitier, SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor of Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline. "This Center will support collaboration, data development, and continuous improvement for access, completion, and student success across the state."

About Jobs for the Future
Jobs for the Future is a national nonprofit that works to ensure educational and economic opportunity for all. We develop innovative career pathways, educational resources, and public policies that increase college readiness and career success, and build a more highly skilled workforce. With over 30 years of experience, JFF is the national leader in bridging education and work to increase mobility and strengthen our economy.; @JFFtweets

About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America's cities through grant making and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, community development in Detroit. In 2014, the Board of Trustees approved 408 awards totaling $242.5 million. That included a $100 million award to the Foundation for Detroit’s Future, a fund created to soften the impact of the city’s bankruptcy on pensioners and safeguard cultural assets at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A total of $138.1 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, our Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $20.4 million in 2014.; @kresgefdn; @kresgedu



About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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