State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher recently awarded SUNY Canton and Jefferson Community College more than $1 million for two initiatives aimed at increasing enrollment.
The grants are part of SUNY’s Investment and Performance Fund, which helps support the goal of boosting the number of degrees awarded annually statewide to 150,000 by 2020.
“These awards are a remarkable sample of what SUNY campuses are prepared to do in order to help more students complete their degree,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Whether it’s working with area high schools to get students ready for college, supporting students at risk of falling behind, or providing an applied learning opportunity to ensure career success, SUNY is committed to improving student outcomes at every stage.”
SUNY Canton will receive $575,000 to expand “Jump Start,” a program that furthers the college’s mission of accessibility. The eight-week intensive boot camp is designed to allow more than 100 incoming freshmen students fulfill general education requirements before the start of their first semester. They will also take three credits of life-skills training, including the college’s First Year Experience class, and will have full access to the college’s outstanding tutoring and academic support services.
“The Jump Start award will allow hundreds of students the possibility of a college degree and a life-changing experience,” said SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran. “It will strengthen their foundation in Math, Science, and English, and provide coaching in time management, critical thinking and public speaking.”
In addition, SUNY Canton and Jefferson Community College will be awarded $500,000 to implement an initiative called “Transitioning Veterans from Boots and Books and Beyond.” The program will provide support services exclusively for former military members who are transitioning to a college environment.
“We are simply thrilled that our veterans services proposal developed in partnership with SUNY Canton has been funded by SUNY,” said Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College. “Research tells us that one of the biggest obstacles for degree completion among veterans is the transition from the highly structured military culture to a less structured, self-driven learning culture. This grant will allow the veterans services offices at both campuses to provide enhanced support tailored specifically for veterans.”
The colleges will work together to develop a strong advising and academic support network for veterans who begin their academic career by earning an associate degree at Jefferson Community College and transfer to SUNY Canton to complete a bachelor’s degree. Services will include academic coaching, financial literacy training, a free book loan program and specialized workshops.
“We look forward to this collaboration with Jefferson Community College in helping our nation’s veterans reach their educational goals,” Szafran added. “This program will improve retention and graduation rates among former military service members, which aligns perfectly with SUNY’s objective to increase the number of degrees by 2020.”
About SUNY Canton
SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college’s faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as ten exclusively online bachelor’s degrees. The college’s 14 athletic teams compete as members of the NCAA Division III.
About Jefferson Community College
One of 30 community colleges supervised by the State University of New York, Jefferson was chartered in 1961 and is accredited by the Middle States Association. Jefferson is the community’s leading resource for leading better lives, offering Associate degrees for career preparation or for transfer to a 4-year college, certificate programs; online learning; lifelong learning through personal enrichment workshops; business and industry training; and cultural enrichment opportunities for the entire Watertown/Fort Drum region. It currently serves approximately 4,000 full- and part-time students from Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties, including a significant number of service members and their families from nearby Fort Drum.