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05-07-2009

Clarkson University Partnership Will Help Underserved Students Move toward College Access and Success

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/heopstaff.jpg ]

Clarkson University has again taken the lead in promoting higher education for underserved students.HEOPstaff

During the spring semester, 50 New York City public school educators and 24 college representatives gathered at a workshop organized by College For Every Student (CFES), a nonprofit organization committed to raising aspirations and achievements for students in over 130 low-income communities nationwide.

Amanda J. Pickering, director of Clarkson’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), attended the meeting and created an initiative to host 50 students from Harlem’s A. Philip Randolph and Mott Hall high schools to introduce them to a college outside New York City and establish mentoring relationships between Clarkson students and CFES Scholars.

The CFES workshop at One World Financial Center was the fourth school-college event in as many months for CFES teams in New York City. Eager to follow up with current contacts and forge new alliances, NYC principals, assistant principals, teachers, and college advisors, along with several students (known as CFES Scholars), from CFES schools in the Bronx, Harlem, and Brooklyn met with admissions deans, financial aid officers, and outreach staff.

"The outcomes of this workshop wholly support the needs of our country and President Obama’s vision to move more students toward college success. Our K-16 partnerships couldn’t be more timely," said CFES President and CEO Rick Dalton.

Pickering was asked by Clarkson University President Tony Collins to represent Clarkson with CFES.

"The initiative really took off," said Pickering, "We went into action to make connections with staff to service these high school students toward their goals of higher education.

"As part of the initiative, Admission Director Brian Grant worked with us to bring the students to campus for the spring open house in April and Associate Vice President for Diversity Initiatives Jennifer deCoste funded a bus for the students through her office."

More than 90 percent of the 15,000 students in CFES schools nationwide will be the first in their families to attend college, and CFES believes that these young people need exposure to college and what it offers, that they need a taste of college life, and that they need to know that any student with a dream and the drive can go to college and be successful there.

CFES says that their veteran educators have witnessed this remarkable transformation from potential dropout to college contender among even the most entrenched underachievers, and Clarkson University is at the forefront of this transformation.

The CFES workshop produced 35 partnership initiatives to be implemented between March and June 2009.

For 18 years, CFES has successfully used linkages to higher education institutions as a tool to raise aspirations and achievement. Since its founding in 1991, CFES has helped more than 100,000 youth in 380 schools nationwide strengthen academic performance, graduate from high school, and pursue post-secondary education.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University is working with College For Every Student (CFES) to promote higher education for underserved students. Clarkson’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) staff (left to right): Amanda J. Pickering, director; Deborah Sutliff, senior department secretary; Nicole Tracy, assistant director; and Marilu McCambly, counselor.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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