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Education

SUNY Oswego receives $2.9 million to promote higher education

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SUNY Oswego is one of only 24 colleges and universities in the United States to receive a portion of $75 million in federal grants through the U.S. Department of Education that are meant to help make higher education possible for more students. The college plans to use its share of the grant to promote education throughout the region.

SUNY Oswego received about $2.9 million to work with Onondaga Community College and Mohawk Valley Community College to help underrepresented and lower-income students succeed. SUNY Oswego is also partnering with On Point for College, a Syracuse-based initiative that helps first-generation students get into college and eventually graduate.

"We not only wanted to provide a pilot where we could work with some well-known community colleges that we've worked with in the past, but we wanted to work with a community organization that we knew had some very successful practices in advising students, and through the transition into college and completion of their degrees," said SUNY Oswego Provost Lorrie Clemo.

Clemo says she anticipates the grant will help more than 1,000 students with the transition from a two-year to four-year school. And if the program works, she says even more students could be assisted.

"I think one of the most important things to come out of this is that being part of the SUNY system, we'll be working very closely with SUNY to share our best practices out through all of the 64 campuses and our two-year to four-year institutions, so they can begin to adopt as early as we have evidence that suggests practices are working," Clemo said.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says nearly 500 colleges and universities applied for the "First in the World" grants. The grant money will help the institutions across the country improve learning, while attempting to reduce the costs of getting a degree.

"I say all the time the best solutions to our greatest educational challenges won't come from anyone here in Washington, but rather from great schools and great presidents, like the ones that competed for these awards," Duncan said. "And our goal is simply to support their efforts and then to help them scale what works."