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A Collaborative Effort to Help The Underrepresented Around Us Succeed

Students talk to college representatives at the SUNY-EOC Community College Fair in Brooklyn.

Student success isn’t a singular effort. For as much as the student puts into their success, a school’s leadership can do the same to help students succeed. It’s why SUNY continues to create new partnerships with external organizations to support underrepresented student populations and help them reach success in college. Meylin Andares, Director, and Mark Sanders, Assistant Director of Enrollment Management & Student Success at SUNY, met with the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness and the Brooklyn Education Opportunity Center (BEOC) to identify ways to support a wide range of students in New York City. Collectively, all parties agreed to host a SUNY Community College Fair at the Brooklyn Education Opportunity Center this past October.

The Community College Fair allowed the NYC community and nontraditional students a chance to talk first-hand to 22 admissions representatives and explore the wide range of attainable academic programs and resources available on SUNY campuses. Additionally, the community and nontraditional students learned about the services provided at the Brooklyn EOC to help transition them into career path or to a SUNY two-year or technology campus.

Both Meylin and Mark saw positive results in the work that took place to bring this event to life, telling us “The purpose of this collaboration was to introduce two-year and technology degrees to underrepresented populations such as over-age under-credited students. It was very exciting because this was the first event of its kind in which SUNY teamed up with the Brooklyn Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), Department of Education (DOE) and the community to expose variety of pathways ranging from High School Equivalency (HSE), vocational training, college preparation and two-year community college programs. The room was filled with enthusiasm and eagerness to learn about the unlimited opportunities available at our SUNY campuses.”

These SUNY EOC Community College Fairs serve the purpose of creating trust, enrollment opportunities, and pathways to attaining a college degree among our underrepresented populations. Each year a SUNY community college fair will take place at a different EOC location throughout NYC to allow convenient access for local communities, with the goal of creating a culture of college enrollment and community development that goes through SUNY.

Written by Sarah Petrak

Sarah Petrak is a student assistant with the Office of Communications and New Media for SUNY System Administration. She is a studying Public Policy at the University at Albany.

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