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State Grant to Expand Educational Opportunity Program

SUNY Plattsburgh has received a state grant to raise the number of students supported through its successful Educational Opportunity Program by 35, to a total of 275.

The program provides access for motivated students who have a history of academic and financial disadvantage. The $122,500 grant is part of $2.3 million awarded Thursday to 16 campuses in the State University of New York system.

"This recognition from SUNY confirms my belief that our EOP program is one of the very best things we do here," said President John Ettling.

According to SUNY Plattsburgh EOP Director Kyla Relaford, the grant will help the campus continue to enrich students' social and educational experiences and prepare them to live in a diverse world.

"Growing EOP enrollment helps our campus increase racial, ethnic, geographic, linguistic and socio-economic diversity," she said. "Increasing and supporting our campus diversity is critical in fulfilling our institutional mission."

The grant will help support a four-week summer bridge program, tuition and non-tuition educational costs and academic support services. Outside of the classroom, students' academic development is supported through academic coaching, tutoring, and other services. Funds will also support a weekend career-focused conference featuring alumni panels, mock interviews, career workshops and networking.

“It is only fitting that we announce these awards today, as we celebrate the success of SUNY’s EOP program with our students and the New York State legislators who have made these awards possible,” said SUNY Chairman H. Carl McCall. “Congratulations to all of the campus communities receiving support for the expansion of this critically important program, which broadens access and increases completion and success for some of New York’s neediest students. Thank you to our partners in the State Legislature for their continued advocacy and support of EOP and SUNY.”

Currently active on 43 SUNY campuses across New York, SUNY’s EOP program has a six-year baccalaureate graduation rate of 65 percent, far exceeding the national rate of 56 percent for all public institutions. In 2014-2015, more than 3,000 EOP students achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater.

“The Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY is one of our most successful and sought after programs, with more than 30,000 students applying for 2,500 available seats every year,” said Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “Bringing programs like EOP to more students – that’s what our completion agenda sets out to do, and it is precisely what the Investment and Performance Fund can accomplish. We are thrilled to be sharing these awards with our campuses today in recognition of their excellent work and dedication to student success.” 

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