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December 17, 2009

Project Access: Offering Opportunities, Achieving Success

lumni and Current Students Celebrate Those Who’ve Made the Grade

When the drive to attend college doesn’t match test scores, many schools shut their doors and prospective students get discouraged. But St. Francis College, through its Project Access program, has been working for several years now to identify students who, when given the chance and added support, can become successful at the next level. Several people who represent those successes as well as students currently enrolled in Project Access came to St. Francis College to talk about how all their hard work has paid off. (Watch the story on SFCTV)

Through Project Access, students are accepted to St. Francis on the condition that they pass a reading and writing skills workshop over the summer that helps prepare them for a full course load in the fall. During the fall semester, they are also enrolled in a non-credit writing and study skills course, and are given additional academic support throughout their time at St. Francis College.

“The hallmark of the Project Access program is the recognition of potential and not only accomplishments,” said Monica Michalski ’01, Assistant Dean of Freshman Studies & Academic Enhancement, who oversees the program. “We try to make academic success a reality for students who come underprepared for the rigors of college life. One of the ways we do this is by creating an engaging learning environment where expectations are high and students learn to be responsible for their own learning. It is through this program that students’ potential turns to accomplishment as they adapt to the competitive academic environment.”

Javier Crespo ’10 is set to graduate from St. Francis College in the spring with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Accounting. He credits Project Access with helping him earn an internship and scholarship from National Grid and has a job offer from Ernst & Young.

Students, alumni and parents at the event also heard from the faculty, administrators and staff that have worked to make Project Access a success including St. Francis College President Brendan J. Dugan ’68, Director of the Academic Enhancement Center, Mitch Levenberg, English Professor Ian Maloney and Director of the Career Center Naomi Kinley.

United States Senator Charles Schumer, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, Congressman Edolphus Towns and Congressman Peter T. King ‘65 have all provided generous support to the Project Access Program through their work in Washington, D.C.

Congressman Towns attended the event and offered his thoughts to the audience; stressing that people learn at different rates and that’s why the tutoring and extra attention that comes from Project Access is so important. “Don’t let anybody talk you out of being successful. You can do it. The only thing you have to do is make up your mind that you are going to do it,” said Congressman Towns.

Even though the students in the College’s Project Access program would be considered “at-risk” by other institutions, the students enrolled at St. Francis College have demonstrated similar success in terms of grades and graduation rates when compared to their peers at the College.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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