For Immediate Release
July 8, 2019


Student Success Impacted by Experience Outside the Classroom, Understanding Differences Boosts Learning

Patricia Munsch

The State University of New York (SUNY) Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion awarded Suffolk County Community College a nearly $9,000 grant to implement a proposal by Suffolk’s College Associate Dean for Student Engagement Assessment Patricia Munsch, Ph.D.  The proposal, Allyship Through the Lens of Intersectionality, “…best encapsulated the goals and principles this initiative seeks to promote,” according to SUNY’s award letter.

“Students come from a wide range of experiences and situations that determine how they learn,” Munsch said. “This generous grant will help us launch faculty professional development opportunities that will examine student identity theories and the impact on student success including but not limited to student socio economic status, race, gender and food and housing insecurity.”

As an example, Munsch said that according to Suffolk’s own data, 25 percent of fall 2018 full time students demonstrated high financial need based on financial aid records.   In the same year, via survey, 40 percent of students indicated they had experienced housing insecurity in the past year, 10 percent reported being homeless in the past year and 39 percent of students experienced food insecurity.

“When faculty have an understanding of cultural differences and similarities, they and our students are more successful,” Munsch concluded.