College Leads Project on Transfers’ Degree Attainment

SUNY Oswego won a nationally competitive “First in the World” grant of $2.8 million to lead an innovative program to spur degree completion rates among underrepresented transfer students.

Teaming with On Point for College and Mohawk Valley and Onondaga community colleges, Oswego’s four-year grant was one of 24 awards announced under the U.S. Department of Education program, which supports innovation in higher education aimed at helping more students access college and complete a degree. Nearly 500 applications were submitted for the grants, part of President Obama’s agenda aimed at keeping college affordable and improving educational outcomes.

Oswego will target more than 1,100 underrepresented and underprepared students who stand to benefit from higher education. The program will encourage community college students to raise their sights to a bachelor’s degree and help them transfer to Oswego and succeed once there, with the goal of increasing both two-year and four-year degree completion rates.

“We’re thrilled to receive federal support for a collaborative effort that targets some of the most vulnerable members of the Upstate New York community, and we are grateful to Congressmen Dan Maffei and Richard Hanna and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer for helping us win this highly competitive grant,” said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley.

Lorrie Clemo, vice president of academic affairs and provost at SUNY Oswego, heads up the four-part “Transfer Gateways and Completion” program for improving transfer students’ success and persistence to a bachelor’s degree.

The collaborative effort involves aligning coursework between the community colleges and Oswego in targeted degree programs, advisement and support for students in the program, a transfer bridge camp before they start classes at Oswego, and dual enrollment—enrolling students simultaneously in a community college and Oswego.

“We will begin immediately with our plans to target low-income, first-generation, two-year college students to help them transfer seamlessly on the path to a four-year degree,” Clemo said.

—Public Affairs

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