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GCC to get $450K state grant for at-risk students

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The New York State Education Department announced today (July 31) that 44 colleges and universities in New York will receive Liberty Partnerships Program grants totaling more than $17 million. Genesee Community College in Batavia will receive $450,000 in grant money from this program.

The Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) is New York State’s only state-funded dropout prevention program directly connected to higher education which prepares students for post-secondary education and careers. Recipients of these higher education initiative grants will provide comprehensive programming for at-risk students to successfully graduate and transition into postsecondary education or a career path.

“It’s critically important that we develop new strategies to influence students as active participants in their own learning,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “LPP grants make it possible for colleges to create strong school and community partnerships to help keep New York’s children in school and continue into higher education and careers; it’s a priority for the Board of Regents and State Education Department.”

“So many of the at-risk students we’re trying to encourage to stay in school don’t have access to support,” Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “With these grants, students will have access to skills assessment, tutoring, personal and family counseling, as well as mentoring programs to help ensure that every student has an equal opportunity to further their education and achieve success in life.”

To be eligible, the Institution of Higher Education must have two partnerships:

1) A local education agency (LEA) that falls within the one of the categories below:

  • school eligible for schoolwide programs under Title 1, Section 1114 of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the families of these students; 
  • school with at least 40 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch;
  • school identified as a focus, struggling, persistently struggling and/or persistently dangerous schools; or
  • rural school with students at risk.

2) A Community Based Organization (CBO)

LPP was established by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1988 to address the significantly elevated high school dropout rate among New York’s youth. The drop-out prevention initiative serves approximately 13,000 students in grades 5-12. The program is designed to support the successful transition of middle and high school students at-risk of dropping out of school into graduates, fully prepared for the rigors of higher education and the competitive demands of a fluid workplace in a global economy.

There are currently 41 LPP programs at higher education institutions, working in collaboration with school districts and community-based organizations, across New York State. LPP provides students with one year of continuous services which include skills assessment, tutoring, academic and personal counseling, family counseling and home visits, and mentoring programs.

2015-16 Highlights

Statewide, the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) served 13,461 students. The average number of students per site was 328. A total of 443 partner schools participated in Liberty Partnerships programing during the 2015-2016 program year. 

Ninety-five percent of Liberty Partnership participants were promoted to the next level of education. A total of 2,110 seniors participating in the Liberty Partnerships graduated high school resulting in a 92-percent program-wide graduation rate. The majority of seniors plan to attend college or work full-time, with 92 percent graduating seniors planning to attend college. Sixteen percent of LPP graduating seniors planned to enter the workforce.

New Funding Cycle

Funding for LPP grants is from 2017 to 2022 and the project period is Sept. 1 through Aug. 31. Funding in years two through five is dependent on satisfactory performance, legislative appropriation, and the submission of an updated proposed project budget approved by SED.

For more information, please see the NYSED LPP website.

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