College Joins Effort to Increase STEM Degrees for Underrepresented Minority Students

PHOTO: STEM at SUNY OrangeMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – SUNY Orange is among 14 State University of New York institutions sharing a new $4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, acquired by SUNY’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (SUNY LSAMP) program, designed to increase undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in underrepresented minority student populations.

The SUNY LSAMP program, spearheaded by SUNY Stony Brook, is a collaborative alliance of SUNY schools with a diverse mix of academic strengths and capabilities. Since its inception in 1996, SUNY LSAMP has been an instrumental program in shaping STEM education and forging new opportunities for underrepresented students to pursue and succeed in STEM programs and degrees in New York State.

This current academic year marks SUNY Orange’s first year with the LSAMP alliance. For its part in this new NSF grant, the College will receive a total of $50,000 over the five-year life of the grant, and intends to use those funds to help smooth students’ transitions into its STEM programs, expand research opportunities for STEM students, and prepare its graduates for successful transfer to four-year SUNY colleges and universities.

“The STEM programs at SUNY Orange are among the strongest and fastest growing at the College,” said Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president. “We are excited to join Stony Brook and the rest of the SUNY LSAMP institutions in expanding STEM opportunities for students locally and throughout New York State.

“Several years ago we recognized the developing need for STEM graduates in the labor pool, now and into the future. The Rowley Center for Science and Engineering on our Middletown campus is a state-of-the-art classroom and laboratory building where STEM students thrive in a robust teaching and learning environment,” Young added. “Our science and biology labs in Kaplan Hall on our Newburgh campus are top-notch as well, and we are doing our best to place the latest technology at our students’ fingertips so they can maximize their potential and capitalize upon the high-quality education they receive here.”

Over the past 20 years, SUNY LSAMP has achieved an 11-fold increase in STEM enrollment for minority students in comparison to the previous 20 years in the state. The program has also helped increase the acquisition of STEM bachelor’s degrees by almost 300 percent. During the past five years, the program has been a catalyst in helping to nearly double community college students transferring to four-year STEM undergraduate programs.

To date, SUNY LSAMP has taken leadership in STEM curricular reform on the SUNY campuses and has supported underrepresented STEM student needs. The effort has led to engagement among faculty, staff, administrators and heads of academic departments to create new infrastructures on campuses to enhance underrepresented students’ participation and pursuit of STEM higher education.

The NSF has supported the SUNY LSAMP program since its inception. This latest grant is the fifth stage of funding for LSAMP and will build upon and fine-tune the Fostering STEM Identity through Transitions (FIT) model that will conduct an in-depth theory driven examination of the pivotal experiences that lead to engagement, retention and overall success of underrepresented STEM college students.

SUNY Orange’s STEM-related degrees include architectural technology, computer networking, computer science, cyber security, engineering science, liberal arts: mathematics and natural science, new media, and graphic arts/printing. Students can use the liberal arts degree as the foundation for transfer to any number of math- , biology- and science-related programs at four-year colleges and universities.

Contact the SUNY Orange Admissions Office at (845) 341-4030 or visit the College web site at for more information on the College’s degree programs and the admissions process.

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Mike Albright
Director of Communications
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940