Suffolk County Community College News

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8/20/2014


Letter Inviting President Obama to Suffolk.

Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay, in response to President Barack Obama’s Saturday radio address about higher education, urged the President to visit Suffolk County Community College to learn about New York State’s largest community college and witness how Suffolk has risen to the challenge of providing a high quality education at a price families can afford.

In the letter below, President McKay tells President Obama about the work being done at our College and invites the President to Suffolk.


"On October 21, 2014, our College will be opening a new life sciences building dedicated to the memory of a local labor leader and County Legislator who was a champion for our College. The William J. Lindsay Life Sciences Building is the first new building constructed on our Ammerman Campus in nearly 50 years. It would be a pleasure and honor to welcome you, Mr. President, to help us dedicate the new building and open it for a new generation of students who will become our nation’s next scientists, engineers and perhaps even President of the United States."

A copy and the text of the letter follows.

 Letter to President Obama
 

 

 

August 18, 2014

The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Your Saturday, August 16 radio address to the nation about higher education was both timely and important.   At our institution, the concern many Americans have about the cost of attending college and the transformative value of acquiring a degree is what we work on every day.

I am the President of Suffolk County Community College, New York State’s largest community college.   We recently graduated the largest class in our institution’s history. This fall, we expect to replace all those graduates and admit a record number of new students.

I invite you to visit our College here on Long Island, talk to our faculty and staff and see how we have engaged our students and placed them on a path to their success.

Mr. President, Suffolk County Community College recognizes the importance of empowering America’s students and entrepreneurs. Our College is one of a handful of community colleges nationally that have been awarded prestigious grants for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) scholarships for our students, and since 2004 Suffolk  has been one of the strongest pipelines supplying student interns to Brookhaven National Laboratory, a world class research facility here on the Island..

Our College is committed to economic empowerment, entrepreneurial development, and skills enhancement for our students. We fulfill our mandate to serve as an economic engine for our region by educating and training our students for a wide range of employment opportunities.

We also work with many local businesses to provide them with a skilled workforce and can tailor our programs to meet their skill gaps and individual training needs including language skills.

In our continuing effort to better prepare high school students for the rigors of college study, our Excelsior Program provides high school students with an  opportunity to earn college credit by taking college level courses right at their high school while simultaneously working toward high school graduation. We have also developed a successful program working closely with local high schools to decrease the need for remediation courses for math and reading deficient students.

Recognizing that paying for College can sometimes be difficult, we have instituted a number of innovative policies and programs to help students who, increasingly, find it a challenge to pay for their education.

I have initiated partnerships with Long Island’s four year colleges and universities to provide our students with additional financial help and opportunity.

I call it the Stay on Long Island Initiative.

The initiative provides full-and partial-tuition scholarships to current College students who graduate and transfer to partnering four-year Long Island colleges. Under this program our students have been awarded scholarships totaling approximately $640,000 annually. Since its inception in 2011, the program has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships to 110 Suffolk County Community College students. Thirty-one students received scholarships this year. We have reduced the expense of higher education for them and allowed them to stay on Long Island keeping their skills and knowledge right here.

I tell students when I meet them across our campuses that “through education comes transformation and economic empowerment.” I say that because I believe that and I want them to believe it also.

 At Suffolk County Community College we are committed to student empowerment and success.

Mr. President, we hope that you will come to Suffolk County, New York and visit our wonderful institution, meet our students, staff and faculty and see for yourself the great things we are doing.

On October 21, 2014, our College will be opening a new life sciences building dedicated to the memory of a local labor leader and County Legislator who was a champion for our College.

The William J. Lindsay Life Sciences Building is the first new building constructed on our Ammerman Campus in nearly 50 years. It would be a pleasure and honor to welcome you, Mr. President, to help us dedicate the new building and open it for a new generation of students who will become our nation’s next scientists, engineers and perhaps even President of the United States.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dr. Shaun L. McKay