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EOP Summer Institute Gives Students Head Start

eop summer institute

The Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY Plattsburgh is gearing up for its annual EOP Summer Institute during which nearly 75 students will spend four weeks on campus to prepare them for their first semester as college students.

EOP has for nearly 50 years opened the door to higher education for students who might not otherwise have a chance to pursue their college dream because of academic or economic disadvantages. The Summer Institute July 7-Aug. 4 this year takes them one step closer, said Levi Martinez, a counselor in EOP.

“On the academic front, we’ve been finding high school graduates are showing up with weaker and weaker academic skills,” Martinez said. “The Summer Institute is designed to enhance those skills. Students take math courses, English courses and electives in a variety of departments.”

Personal-Development Activities

Additionally, institute students receive several hours of tutoring each week and participate in personal-development activities to help them transition. Students have the opportunity to take care of administration tasks, pre-register for classes, learn about study abroad, exchanges and applied learning grant opportunities, and they can meet with faculty and advisers and participate in a mini open house to see what majors are available and of interest.

A requirement for all first-time freshmen admitted to SUNY Plattsburgh through EOP, students attending the Summer Institute receive free room, board, classes, materials, special events and programs.

Students will stay in Harrington Hall, where EOP offices have been temporary relocated while construction is finished on the new space in Macomb Hall for the start of the 2018-2019 semester.

Student staffers serve as resident assistants and accompany students to meals and plan activities for them during off-hours.


“It’s reassuring and reinforces retention to have these connections,” Martinez said. “It’s a culture shock for many of them, coming up from New York City. We’ve also started encouraging staff to bring students off campus during the institute so they can get to know the area they’re going to be living in.”

The untimely death of beloved EOP Director Kyla Relaford left the office and campus reeling. Her April 15 death came at the time the program was starting to plan for the institute, Cassie Christman, assistant director, said.

“Above all else, Kyla would have wanted us to persevere and make Summer Institute 2018 a success,” she said. Although enrollment near the end of June was in the 50s, Christman said the goal is 65 freshmen.

“We hope to be able to fill in with transfer and re-admit students to reach the 75 student mark,” she said. While traditionally drawing mostly from the New York City area, Christman said the program is starting to see more students from the North Country region — including the Capital District — attending Summer Institute.

Applications are still being accepted. For more information, contact the EOP office at 518-564-2263 or email [email protected].

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