Will Guide Collaborative Program to Benefit Students in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District

PHOTO: Ralph CoatesMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Ralph Coates, most recently the program coordinator and center director for Marist College’s Upward Bound program, has recently been named director of SUNY Orange’s Liberty Partnership Program.

In his new role, Coates oversees a collaborative program in partnership with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District and the Boys and Girls Club of Newburgh. Funded by a five-year $1.5 million grant from the New York State Department of Education, LPP is an after-school program intended to improve academic success and college readiness for disadvantaged middle school and high school students.

The program is designed to serve 240 students and will also include college/career readiness training and service learning experiences for students in the Heritage Middle School and South Middle School as well as at Newburgh Free Academy’s three campuses: Main, North and West.

The Liberty Partnership programming will feature a blend of small-group activities including the development of individualized learning plans, as well as academic interventions, enrichment opportunities, skills assessments, tutoring, academic and personal counseling, and other components.

Delivering LPP programs after school hours will allow students to augment their in-school learning through an array of supportive activities that reinforce academic lessons while at the same time helping students plan for their future. Students will also have access to skill-building and experiential learning opportunities during the summer months. These activities likely will be scheduled in partnership with various community groups.

“Ralph’s experience as a coordinator at Marist over the past 14 years prepared him well to lead the Liberty Partnership Program,” says Dena Whipple, SUNY Orange’s interim associate vice president for Learning and Student Success. “At Marist, he assisted the program director by working closely with academic departments, integrating the Upward Bound program into the Poughkeepsie High School and positively impacting the success and growth of many young people in the Poughkeepsie area. Those are the same outcomes we look forward to achieving with our LPP programming.”

In addition to directing the LPP, Coates will oversee a staff of two program coordinators who will assist with a number of activities including student recruitment, community and family relations, and the program's day-to-day operations

Coates joined the Upward Bound program in 2004, where he was responsible for the management, planning, implementation, review and analysis of Marist’s Upward Bound grant. He provided significant contributions to the program, including planning weekly tutorial sessions for students at Poughkeepsie High School, coordinating a six-week summer on-campus residential program for high school students, administering a summer food service program, and assisting the director in training, supervising and evaluating academic tutors and summer residential staff.

He also provided high school students with academic, college, career and personal guidance, while at the same time working closely with tutors and instructors to establish individualized academic support plans and services.

A native of Poughkeepsie, Coates is pursuing his master’s degree in public administration from Marist. He earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Nyack College and an associate’s degree in liberal arts from Dutchess Community College.

For more information on the Liberty Partnership Program, contact Dena Whipple via email at dena.whipple@sunyorange.edu.


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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940