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HSI Funding Program To Help Expand Educational Opportunities For Hispanic Students At Mercy College & Rockland Community College 

First Installment Of Five-Year HSI Funding Set To Begin This Month 

Senators: Federal Funding Helps Students Reach Their Fullest Potential

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,149,967 in federal funding for two colleges in the Hudson Valley. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program and will begin this month. The federal funding will be used to expand educational opportunities for, and improve the attainment of, Hispanic students and to enhance their academic offerings, program quality, and institutional stability at Mercy College and Rockland Community College.

“As our economy changes at an unprecedented rate, we need our students and education system to keep pace, and that’s why this is a smart investment,” said Senator Schumer. “Young adults across the Hudson Valley region must be college- and career-ready to meet the demands of today’s industries. These funds will help provide our local colleges and Hispanic-serving institutions with the tools they need to provide quality education for our students. I will continue to do everything in my power to help New York students prepare for the future and reach their fullest potential.”

“Every young person should get the chance to receive a quality education and earn a good paying job,” said Senator Gillibrand. “However, the high rate of youth unemployment, particularly for minorities and youth from underserved communities, highlights the obstacles that stand in the way. This great investment in Mercy College and Rockland Community College will help provide students across the Hudson Valley with the educational opportunities and skills needed to be successful in school and to prepare for a future career.”

Mercy College will receive an initial $599,881 to begin a new project, Advancing Curricular Change to Enhance Student Success (ACCESS). ACCESS is designed to expand opportunities for students in high-demand health science careers by improving student outcomes in Anatomy and Physiology 1, a gateway course, and increasing the number of available nursing training slots to meet the pressing need for nurses, particularly in the New York City metropolitan area. The project will improve teaching and learning on an institution-wide basis through implementation of high-impact practices, advancement of faculty development, and robust student engagement in the college experience.

“We thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for  locking in the funding needed to kick start our new Advancing Curricular Change to Enhance Student Success project. This initiative will expand opportunities for students in high-demand health and science related fields,” said Timothy Hall, President of Mercy College. “This funding builds on Mercy’s tireless work to continue providing a quality education for all of our students, especially for students of color and first generation students.”

Rockland Community College will receive an initial $550,086 to jumpstart Real World Ready! Strengthening Career Pathways to Empower Workforce Ready Students, a new initiative designed to close gaps in workforce development. Workforce programs such as Technology Education, Hospitality/Culinary Arts, Health Education (Addictions Management), Graphic Design (Animation and Visual Communications concentrations), Automotive Technology, and Cyber Security will be targeted with embedded career pathways, intentional connections to workforce partners, and high impact practices demonstrated to improve student outcomes both academically and in the workforce. Key project outcomes include increases to enrollment and retention, as well as improvements in financial literacy through increasing use of the guided pathways approach, which features additional supportive services, career exploration and inventories, and expanded access to financial support and financial aid.

"I am overjoyed at the news that Rockland Community College has been awarded a five-year, nearly $3 million grant through the Title V Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions program,” said Michael Baston, President of Rockland Community College. “This honor is a recognition of the hard work of our faculty, staff, and students in transitioning our institution to a Guided Pathways model to ensure student success. These award funds will help Rockland Community College focus deeply on building its career and workforce development practice, growing our connections with workforce partners, and redesigning academic programs that augment the region's talent pipeline in high-demand occupations with embedded career pathways. I am grateful for the critical work of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand in helping RCC obtain this important funding."