Farmingdale State College has been awarded $2.9 million in federal funding to increase mentoring research programs for at-risk students at at its local caampus and schools in three other states.
Farmingdale is the only school in the state and one of only 17 nationally to win the grant, which comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s First in the World program. The school hopes the money, which will be used to provide what Farmingdale President W. Hubert Keen called “innovative mentored research experiences,” can increase four-year graduation rates by 20 percent.
Keen said the funds would help traditionally underserved students “gain experiences that will serve them well in the development of their career.” The school will admit 350 students annually to the four-year program, which will offer students added faculty support.
Farmingdale is partnering with Bowie State University in Maryland, Central Connecticut State University, Kean University in New Jersey and SUNY College at Old Westbury.
Locally, students will work with researchers and faculty at Broadhollow Bioscience Park, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Stony Brook University and the Feinstein Institute, the research arm of Northwell Health, the former North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Farmingdale expects 3,600 students will benefit from the program over the grant’s four years, including 1,400 at Farmingdale and 500 at SUNY Old Westbury.
First in the World grants target students at risk from not completing post-secondary programs, including older students, working students, part-time students, students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities and first-generation students.