Monday, 11 January 2016 11:43

SUNY Oswego Receives Over $1 Million to Help More Complete Degrees

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In the SUNY-wide competition for project grants from the SUNY Investment and Performance Fund, SUNY Oswego will receive $1,025,000 for two projects, Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher announced Monday.

One of Oswego's winning projects focuses on helping students who encounter mathematics as a barrier to academic success, and the other partners with Jefferson Community College to build an alternative path to college for students who are not accepted at Oswego.

In addition, Oswego is partner to a third project, funded at $575,000, to establish a cancer study and care center at Upstate Medical University.

Oswego's SUNY Excels/Tomorrow Plan Advisory Group generated the college's proposals. The group is made up of 54 faculty, staff, students, administrators and College Council members and chaired by President Deborah F. Stanley. Additional faculty and staff members helped draft the project proposals.

"These projects grow out of efforts we have already been pursuing with notable results," Stanley said. "This welcome infusion of resources will allow us to prove and formalize programs that other campuses can then replicate to help even more students finish college and go on to successful careers. We are grateful to the governor, the Legislature and Chancellor Zimpher for their vision in providing this additional support that will benefit New York citizens and communities."

In all, 32 project grants totaling $18 million were awarded to SUNY campuses Monday as a result of the university system's Investment and Performance Fund, established in the 2015-16 state budget. Campus awards will support SUNY's Completion Agenda, which aims to boost the number of degrees awarded annually by bringing evidence-based programs to scale.

The local projects are:

"SUMS": This program aims to increase retention and graduation rates of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), education and eventually all students who find math to be a stumbling block. It will combine and expand several strategies already proving successful at Oswego. It will create an on-campus and virtually accessible math tutoring center; offer a weeklong summer bridge camp for all incoming STEM and childhood education students; and institute hybrid instruction models and learning cohorts for select introductory math courses.

"Start Now": This project will expand upon and formalize an existing Oswego and Jefferson Community College initiative. In 2015, 2,500 students from New York City alone were not accepted at Oswego. "Start Now" directs these prospective students to JCC, which recently added a residence hall, to develop study skills, become successful at completing college-level work and earn credits that transfer into one of Oswego's four-year programs. It redirects denied applicants, through a structured and supportive process, to an alternative entrance into higher education, expanding access and increasing student success.

Cancer Institute: The SUNY Institute for Precision Cancer Research, Education and Care will fuse a patient's personal data to cancer treatments they receive in the clinic. SUNY Upstate Medical University originated the proposal with partnering campuses SUNY Oswego, Onondaga Community College and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Oswego's software engineering faculty and students are among those who will participate in the institute's work.

In addition to the awards above, Chancellor Zimpher announced that SUNY is committed to funding campus proposals in areas that were common among applicants. Among them is the Smart Track Re-Enroll to Complete initiative. SUNY Oswego is one of the more than 25 SUNY campuses involved in that initiative to proactively engage with students who have withdrawn and encourage them to return and finish their degree.

Delivering her annual State of the University Address on Monday in Albany, Chancellor Zimpher said, "With the creation of the Investment and Performance Fund last year, New York State challenged SUNY to prove it can move the dial on college completion, and our campuses delivered. Now, we are counting on Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to keep the momentum going and expand their investment in SUNY."

In November, Chancellor Zimpher launched the "Stand with SUNY" campaign to secure increased state investment for the system in the upcoming 2016-17 state budget. In addition to growing the Investment and Performance Fund, the goals of the campaign are to build base funding for all campuses and extend NYSUNY 2020.

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