Farmingdale State College’s minority student population continues to increase, first-year student retention rates are high, and the College could soon earn a Hispanic-serving college designation, according to some of the findings from a 2022 report on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The report also includes data on the race, age, and gender of students as well as retention and graduation rates.  “I’m pleased because it’s the first time we took a dive into data and pulled out these metrics,” said Dr. Kevin D. Jordan, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence. “This aligns beautifully with our institutional priorities, and I’m very proud of that.” 

The College’s commitment to furthering diversity is clear. “This is a new office, and the fact that I sit on the president’s cabinet shows how seriously they take diversity, inclusion, and equity,” he noted.

According to the data, 51 percent of FSC students are from minority groups, and the breakdown is:   

  • 26 percent Hispanic
  • 11 percent Asian-American
  • 10 percent African-American

If FSC receives a Hispanic-serving college designation, it can apply for targeted funding through the U.S. Department of Education.     

FSC also exceeds the SUNY averages in two categories for the retention of full-time, first-time minority baccalaureate-degree students; 84 percent for African-American students and 78 percent for Hispanic students, versus the SUNY averages of 71 percent and 75 percent. For Asian-American students, FSC’s retention rate was the same as SUNY’s at 88 percent and below the SUNY rate for white student retention, 77 percent as opposed to 81 percent.

According to the report data, about 75 percent of the faculty and professional staff are white and about 23 percent are minorities.

In a glass-is- both half-full and half-empty situation, FSC is one of the few colleges with a larger male than female population; 59 percent of the student body is male, and 41 percent female, which is a higher percentage of male students than the average for SUNY and nationally.

While it is a plus that FSC has so many male students, the College needs to investigate if it’s because it is a technology college, according to Jordan. If so, then administrators may need to find ways to attract more women to technical and STEM careers, he added.

Among other findings: 

  •  FSC students are older and work hard off campus as well as in their classes; 69 percent are employed while going to school full-time. 
  • The average age of an FSC student is 22, which is considered a non-traditional student.

The College needs to prepare itself for an increase in older students who may come just for certain courses, Jordan said.  

While the diversity figures are gratifying, Jordan said he considers the work of his office more of a marathon than a sprint. “We want to continue to increase diversity, particularly among the faculty,” he added. The school is submitting a request through SUNY for salary support to hire members of underrepresented populations as professors. “We’re talking about trying to make an impact on the culture of the environment so people feel part of the environment,” continued Jordan. “It takes patience and hard work to change the culture.”

To read more about our diversity, equity, and inclusion statistics, visit our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion By the Numbers.