$8 million towards student success

by Winnie Blackwood

FM has received three new grant-funded outreach and retention programs in order to help students enrolled in health, science and technology programs, as well as those disabled and/or economically disadvantaged.

By 2020, the three new programs, along with four others already in place will bring in around $8 million to the college in funding for student support services.

The new programs include Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program with $226,214 per year, Health Profession Opportunity Grants with $350,000 and TRIO (Quest) with $220,000 per year.

According to Jean Karutis, FM associate dean for Student Retention and Success, all three are part of a five year grant cycle.

“It’s a lot of federal and state money that are really coming in to help students be successful here, so we’re really excited about that because it will provide more counselors for students, more opportunities for them to get the resources they need to be successful,” she said.

TRIO (Quest) is an expansion from their TRIO program and will serve 100 students with documented disabilities. The program funded by a federal grant will offer the same services, but will be tailored to individuals with specific needs.

“For instance if a student is confused about the way to request accommodations for testing, if that’s something in their academic plan that they are allowed to do, our Quest advisors will help them through that process,” Karutis added.

TRIO, part of a five year cycle, was also renewed.

CSTEP is a grant funded by the New York State Department of Education and assists students in the science, math and technology programs. The 120 students must meet specific criteria.

Perks include mentor programs, internship opportunities and specialized tutoring.
While TRIO (Quest) and CSTEP are already actively recruiting students, HPOG 2.0 is still in the process of hiring staff, Karutis said.

In partnership with Schenectady County Community College and SUNY Adirondack and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Healthcare

Professions Opportunity Grants program, HPOG 2.0 will help students interested in healthcare professions.

Karutis said the grant should launch in late February or early March with 125 recipients.

“FM’s always committed to student success. We pride ourselves on being very student oriented. We give excellent customer service,” Karutis said.

“And, now to have these programs with these extra resources it’s just very exciting that we can expand on what we’ve always done and really help more students.”

For more information contact CSTEP Academic Counselor Michelle Moore, by phone (518) 736-3622 ext. 8157 or by email michelle.moore@fmcc.edu, and Quest Learning Services Coordinator Jennifer Pendleton, by phone (518) 736-3622 ext. 8166 or by email

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