SUNY Orange to Implement Programs to Enhance Persistence, Retention, Graduation and Transfer Rates

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- SUNY Orange will use a $1.1 million TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant, awarded by the United States Department of Education, to increase the persistence, retention, graduation and transfer rates of low-income first generation students and students with disabilities.

The five-year grant will provide the College with $220,000 annually to facilitate its Student Success Project. With those funds, SUNY Orange expects to serve at least 140 eligible students each year (at least 700 in total over the next five years). By September 2020, when the grant cycle concludes, the College hopes to improve completion rates of SSS-eligible students.

The Student Success Project will feature a proactive “intrusive advising” approach that includes individualized student success coaching, financial literacy training, peer mentoring and personal counseling; mid-term progress evaluations; tutoring groups; financial aid assistance; career enrichment activities; and transfer advising. The program will be overseen by a full-time director, two part-time “success coaches” and a part-time administrative assistant.

“A college education is a critical resource to ensuring our young men and women have the skills they need to compete in a 21st Century global economy. For many students, however, there are simply too many obstacles standing in the way of obtaining that diploma, and these federal funds will help clear those obstacles by enabling the SUNY Orange Student Success Project to expand its programs focusing on financial literacy, career counseling, peer mentoring, tutoring and more. This federal grant will allow the college to grow these critical programs so it can improve completion rates and empower students to pursue fulfilling careers following graduation,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, who announced the grant award following notification from the Department of Education. “I will continue fighting to make sure a college education is an obtainable goal for every New Yorker who wants one.”

“This grant award is great news for SUNY Orange, but more importantly, it is profound news for those eligible students that we currently serve, as well as those who will be on our campus in the coming years,” says Dr. Kristine Young, president of SUNY Orange. “These students face obstacles that others may not. The services we will provide with this grant will help us to alleviate some of their roadblocks, enhance their academic development and support their progress toward successful completion of their degree.”

Many SSS-eligible students may be unfamiliar with college expectations, lack the basic skills required for college-level work, have limited experience with setting goals, and face time and work obstacles to their education. These factors all contribute to lower college retention, graduation, grade point average, and transfer rates among these eligible students compared to their peers. Helping students adjust academically and socially is a critical element of college success and a focus of the TRIO initiative.

To be eligible for SSS programs, students must be enrolled in a degree program or accepted for enrollment into a degree program, must be receiving federal Pell Grants and must meet certain income or disability guidelines as established by the federal government.

In addition to the grant funding, the College will provide additional financial and personnel resources to support the programming (furnished space, technology support/internet access, staff and supplies).

For more information on the Student Success Project at SUNY Orange, contact Madeline Torres-Diaz, associate vice president for Student Engagement & Completion, at (845) 341-4407.

» Back to Headlines

Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940