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President Stanley Attends White House Summit on Expanding College Opportunities; Submits Stony Brook's Initiatives in 'Commitment to Action'
Pledges to improve four-year graduation rate to 60% by 2018

WASHINGTON, DC, January 16, 2014  – Responding to a call to action from the President Obama and the First Lady, Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., joined State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and college and university presidents and leaders from nonprofits, foundations, state governments, and businesses from across the country at the White House today to discuss the expansion of college opportunity for students from the country’s neediest school districts and low-income families.  

 

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SBU President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., MD, visited the White House to discuss the expansion of college opportunity for students from the country's neediest school districts and low-income families.

As part of the Administration’s efforts to increase college opportunity, outlined in a report released today, the President and First Lady made a call to action, asking colleges and universities, nonprofits, foundations, businesses, state officials and other leaders to make new commitments to increase college opportunity, resulting in a comprehensive set of commitments released at the Jan. 16 event.

Stony Brook University’s commitment, highlighted on page 48 of the document, pledged a number of initiatives, with the overarching objective being to improve its four-year graduation rate to 60 percent by 2018.

“In order to accomplish this goal, Stony Brook will expand academic intervention and support, tutoring, experiential learning, and academic advising,” said President Stanley. “We will greatly expand the use of evidence-based approaches to learning and teaching, and enhance SBU’s leadership role in increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities, economically disadvantaged students, and women students in STEM education and the workforce.”

According to Dr. Stanley, this builds on Stony Brook’s existing efforts, since more than one third (37 percent) of SBU’s undergraduate students qualify for Pell Grants, and Pell recipients graduate at a rate three to four percent higher than the overall student body at Stony Brook.  

Stony Brook’s commitment also includes the strategic scheduling of courses and expanding customized learning opportunities for students.

“This will help maximize flexibility and increase graduation rates,” said Dr. Stanley.

Stony Brook will make its commitment to expand college opportunity work by marrying existing programs with new initiatives and identifying new funding sources. Overall, the University will invest $5 million dollars over the next five years in additional academic support, advising, and tutoring for undergraduates as well as expand experiential learning, internship, STEM education, and research opportunities, increasing the annual number of research placements by 400 students by 2019.

“To build upon the proven success of our Educational Opportunity Program/Advancement on Individual Merit (EOP/AIM), which serves low-income students who graduate at a significantly higher rate than the general student population, Stony Brook will invest an additional $1 million dollars in EOP/AIM over the next four years,” said Dr. Stanley. “We will also hold low-income students harmless from future tuition increases by investing more than $2.2 million dollars in financial aid over the next two years, and rebuild and expand our focus on data analysis to support student success by investing $600,000 over the next five years in early intervention tracking software.”  

“It was a great honor to have been invited to represent Stony Brook University at this groundbreaking event at the White House,” said Dr. Stanley. “The invigorating discourse and idea sharing process has been inspiring, and we look forward to implementing the initiatives that will help us guide our disadvantaged student population through their college experience with greater academic success than ever before.”

About Stony Brook University
Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with more than 24,000 students and 2,200 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation and Kiplinger named it the 29th best value in public colleges for in-state students and 20th for out-of-state students. One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.