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Hochul advances $75 million SUNY Transformation Fund to improve student success, support innovation, help meet workforce needs


Thu, Jun 22nd 2023 07:15 pm

Fund helps students stay on track with proven, cost-effective supports; addresses housing and food insecurity; and increases economic mobility

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced guidance to advance the $75 million SUNY Transformation Fund to improve student success, support innovation, and help meet the state's future workforce needs.

Her team said, “Part of the governor's historic investment in SUNY and higher education within the 2024 enacted budget, the Transformation Fund is designed to help students stay on track toward a college degree or credential with proven, cost-effective supports, while addressing housing and food insecurity, and increasing economic mobility.”

Hochul said, "Quality public higher education is an engine of social mobility that has the power to change lives, like it did for my own family. My administration is committed to creating the best public education institution in the country so that more students can build a bright future for themselves and be equipped to take on the jobs of the future."

As approved by the SUNY board of trustees, all SUNY campuses will receive funding during the 2023-24 academic year. The Transformation Fund will also be used to enhance student support services, improve academic programs, increase enrollment, and modernize campus operations.

SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. said, "Thanks to Gov. Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, SUNY saw an unprecedented investment to bolster systemwide and campus initiatives, opening the doors to a college education for all New Yorkers. Through the Transformation Fund, SUNY and our 64 campuses will fund evidence-based strategies that prepare more students for careers in high-demand jobs, and that overcome obstacles preventing students from completing their education in a timely manner."

President of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association Rob Anderson said, "SUNY is leading the way in transformational programs to support students through higher education and into the workforce. We applaud this significant investment by New York to improve student success and look forward to seeing the impacts of putting student needs at the forefront."

Campuses will submit plans in line with the following categories:

•At least half of each campus's allocation must be used for:

√ Enhancing economic mobility through expansion of education and workforce training opportunities: Expand education and workforce training opportunities in partnership with employers in high-demand fields such as semiconductor-related professions, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and renewable energy; increase workforce development program spots for students and adult learners aligned with regional needs.

√ Increasing retention and completion of degree-seeking students: Replicate the successful evidence-based completion program models “Accelerated Study in Associate Programs” (ASAP) and “Accelerate. Complete, and Engage” (ACE), which have been shown in randomized controlled trials to significantly improve associate and bachelor's degree completion rates and help close opportunity gaps. Support includes tuition waivers, funding to help with commuting expenses and textbooks, academic assistance, comprehensive personalized advisement, and career development activities.

•Up to half of each campus's allocation may be used for:

√ Expanding or launching seamless transfer pathways: Expand or launch joint/automatic admissions programs for students between community colleges and bachelor's degree-granting institutions (like the Binghamton Advantage Program), improve transfer advisement and streamline credit evaluation processes, and enhance or create orientation and advisement programs specifically for transfer students to improve the transition and enhance students' sense of belonging at baccalaureate colleges.

√ Increasing operational efficiency and eliminating redundancy: Develop and implement shared services and administrative functions to streamline the delivery of services and realize cost savings for campuses, and improve regional specializations to deliver more focused recruitment efforts and respond to local workforce needs. An example of this work is jointly registered high-cost programs where students complete general education requirements on one campus and receive specialized education and training on another campus.

√ Delivering essential student supports for targeted underserved populations: Address barriers faced by specific student groups – e.g., Pell recipients, students with housing insecurity, veterans, students with disabilities – through clearly defined supports such as addressing food insecurity, mental health, and transportation solutions using evidence-based models.

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