SUNY Sullivan in Federal Project to Expand College Access

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The U.S. Department of Education has announced that Sullivan County Community College (SUNY Sullivan) has been selected to participate in the Experimental Sites 2015 Dual Enrollment Initiative that will provide Federal PELL grants to high school students dually enrolled in college. SUNY Sullivan is one of six SUNY community colleges and 44 colleges nation-wide invited to participate.

Dr. Karin Hilgersom, President of SUNY Sullivan

The grant will allow high school students to enroll on one of five targeted degree programs at SUNY Sullivan; two STEM-related and one linked to emerging career paths in the local economy. The programs include: Information Technology (an umbrella program that includes Computer Programming, Computer Information Systems and Simulation and Game Development), Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Hospitality and Tourism Management.

According to SUNY Sullivan President Dr. Karin Hilgersom, the college has partnered with three Sullivan County high schools: Fallsburg Central School District, Liberty Central School District, and Monticello School District. “SUNY Sullivan is excited that these three districts have opted to participate in the program,” said SUNY Sullivan President Dr. Karin Hilgersom. “Thanks to superintendents Tammy Mangus of Monticello, Bill Silver of Liberty and Ivan Katz of Fallsburg for partnering with us and for recognizing how important it is that we work together to increase the percentage of Sullivan County residents who have access to higher education.”

Participating students will register as a full-time college student, taking a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Each student’s tuition and fees will be paid through Federal Pell Grants, plus State, local, and institutional aid to assure that students hold no financial responsibility.

SUNY Sullivan expects that the three-year pilot program will attract 19 students the first year, plus 20 new students the second year and 20 new students the third year.

Today’s announcement of dual enrollment grants for select community colleges across the country, including six SUNY campuses throughout New York State, comes at a critical time for public education. As half of all community college students enroll in at least one remedial course, the importance of programs that prepare students for college-level coursework cannot be overstated.

“Congratulations to the SUNY Community Colleges on having earned a spot in this exciting national program, which will enable high school students not only to begin earning college credit but also expand access among our neediest students through Pell Grant eligibility.

“President Obama continues to commit our country and our colleges to higher performance. I commend him for his leadership on college readiness and look forward to bringing the benefits of the Dual Enrollment Pell Experiment to SUNY students through our six participating campuses.”