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May 12, 2009

Farmingdale State College Awarded $70,000 By NYC Dept Of Education, Good Shepherd And SUNY

Funding Will Support Programs for At-risk HS and Middle School Students

Farmingdale State College announced that over $70,000 in funding has been awarded to support its College Preparatory Program for At-Risk Youth (College Prep). The funds will be used to expand the program's College Visit, Robotics & Engineering, and Life Science Initiatives, which are designed to motivate at-risk youth on Long Island and in New York City to attend college. College Prep is administered by Ben Whitfield, a professor with Farmingdale's English and Humanities Department.

Three awards totaling $40,630 were made by the New York City Department of Education, and another $25,000 will come from Good Shepherd Services, a leading youth development education and family service agency which serves over 20,000 program participants a year.  Many of Good Shepherd's students are based in the Bronx. An additional $5,000 grant was awarded by SUNY's Office of Diversity.

"This is exactly the kind of community outreach a public college of Farmingdale's stature and importance should be doing," said W. Hubert Keen, President of Farmingdale State College. "We must do more than educate the students we have—we must also attract quality students from under-served backgrounds to the college experience. Farmingdale is a better place for Professor Whitfield's efforts, and these young students are better off for his efforts."

Farmingdale's College Prep Program has grown from 50 students in 2005 to 582 in 2008. Middle and high school students meet professors, are exposed to college coursework, participate in robotics and engineering projects, explore careers in science and technology, and take part in writing seminars.

"We are grateful to the New York City Department of Education, Good Shepherd Services, and SUNY for their support," Professor Whitfield said. "These funds will enable Farmingdale to sustain and expand the College Preparatory Program and allow us to continue to provide guidance to at-risk youth."

With 6,850 students, Farmingdale State College is SUNY's largest college of applied science and technology, and the second-largest four-year SUNY institution in the region. Since 2000, full-time enrollment has grown 62 percent and applications have increased 72 percent. Through its academic programs, research enterprise, and economic developments efforts, Farmingdale has a $1 billion impact on the Long island economy, according to a study conducted by the Long Island Association.