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For Immediate Release
August 18, 2014

McKay to President Obama: Visit Suffolk to See How We Transform Lives Through High Quality Education and Innovation.

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 his weekly radio address, President Obama said higher education is “the surest ticket to the middle class.” But, he says, paying for that education is a constant struggle for many.

Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay’s Statement

 Dr. Shaun L. McKay

 Dr. Shaun L. McKay

Suffolk County Community College just graduated its largest class ever. Nearly 4,200 students earned a degree and entered the workforce or continued their education at four-year institutions. And in just a few short weeks, Suffolk will welcome a record number of incoming students across our three campuses.

I am proud to say that our College is committed to economic empowerment, entrepreneurial development and skills enhancement and serves as an economic engine for our region by educating and training our students for a wide range of employment opportunities.

We also work with local businesses to provide them with a skilled workforce and can tailor our programs to meet their individual needs.

And like you, Mr. President, our college recognizes the importance of empowering America’s students and entrepreneurs. Suffolk County Community College is one of a handful of community colleges nationally that have been awarded prestigious grants for STEM scholarships for its students, and since 2004 Suffolk County Community College has been one of the strongest pipelines of interns to Brookhaven National Laboratory here on Long Island.
We also recognize, and as you have heard from Americans from across the nation, Mr. President, that cost is a factor. At Suffolk I introduced an innovative program to keep bright, talented students in our region while allowing them to continue their education.

I call it the Stay on Long Island Initiative.
The initiative provides full-and partial-tuition scholarships to current Suffolk County Community College students who graduate and transfer to partnering four-year Long Island colleges and has 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, and many of them won’t have to pay a dime to earn a four-year degree.
I tell students when I meet them across our campuses that “through education comes transformation and economic empowerment.” 
At Suffolk County Community College we are committed to student empowerment and success.