New Education Trust Reports Highlight Increased Graduation Rates for Underrepresented Students at Stony Brook University
Closed 11 percent graduation-rate gap between Hispanic, white students
STONY BROOK, NY, September 21, 2012 – Stony Brook University was mentioned in two reports released today by The Education Trust, spotlighting colleges and universities that have been narrowing the graduation-rate gaps of underrepresented students. In the reports, Stony Brook was recognized for increased graduation rate among Hispanic students and for its continued success with African-American students.
According to the report, “Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students,” graduation rates for Hispanic students at Stony Brook University increased by more than 16 points between 2004 and 2010, closing an 11.5 percentage-point gap between white and Hispanic students.
“Progress is possible for all institutions, especially when institutions like Stony Brook University take responsibility for the outcomes of their students,” said Mary Nguyen, higher education research and policy analyst at The Education Trust. “Stony Brook has provided its students with intensive academic support programs designed to equip them with the tools and communities of support they need to graduate. This support has helped close a gap of more than 11 percentage points between the outcomes for Hispanic and white students, while also maintaining equitable success for black students. By making a conscious effort to support its underrepresented students, Stony Brook has proven that low graduation rates for its black and Hispanic students are not inevitable.”
Stony Brook University President, Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., credits students, faculty and staff for elevating the academic success rate for the students identified in the new Education Trust report, expressing that support from leadership is vital to the success of improving graduation rates for students who face a variety of hardships.
“On behalf of Stony Brook, I am gratified that the hard work of our students, faculty and staff has improved the graduation rates for African American and Hispanic students,” said President Stanley. “We are not content to rest on these laurels; rather, we are committed to provide additional opportunities to improve access and success for all students, especially those from under-represented backgrounds.”
Stony Brook University was also featured in the report, “Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for African-American students,” for being “a school that made the top of The Education Trust’s “Smallest White-Black Graduation-Rate Gap” list from 2010.
Dr. David Ferguson, Distinguished Service Professor and Chair, Department of Technology and Society at Stony Brook, and the newly appointed Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, noted that Stony Brook has succeeded in creating “communities of engagement that empower students and involve faculty,” he said. “These communities are manifest in strong support programs such as STEM Smart, particularly in the STEM fields, that target low-income and first generation students and that engage minority students rather than isolate and marginalize them,” he said.
The report also highlights the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) at Stony Brook University (featured in a September 2010 segment of “The News Hour” on PBS), which provides economically disadvantaged students who possess the potential to go to college but whose high school experience has not fully prepared them to succeed in college. EOP provides an array of support services, including a five-week summer “boot camp” program, personal counseling and academic advising at least three times a semester, and a mandatory study skill workshop for students falling behind, which includes an academic success contract to get back on track. It also provides supplemental instruction, structured tutorial support, culturally sensitive advising, counseling and mentoring. According to Cheryl Hamilton, Director of the EOP/AIM program at Stony Brook, the program’s proactive and holistic approach to addressing all aspects of the student (academic, personal, social, financial, cultural, etc.) contribute to the success of program participants.
© Stony Brook University 2012