The mission of the College Opportunity Programs is to provide academic, social, and personal support to historically underrepresented students in a nurturing and academically focused environment. The goal is to empower motivated students and our engaged colleagues to achieve their highest level of success.
Several federal and state funded programs fall under the umbrella of College Opportunity Programs (COP). In support of our nation’s commitment to provide educational opportunity for all persons, the United States Congress established a series of programs to assist eligible individuals to enter college and successfully graduate. These federal TRiO programs include Student Support Services and the McNair Program (listed separately, under Undergraduate Research Opportunities).
Student Support Services Project
The Student Support Services Project (SSSP) provides opportunities for academic development and assists students with basic college requirements and serves to motivate students towards the successful completion of their post-secondary education. The goal of SSSP is to increase the College retention and graduation rates of its participants. Student must meet the federal eligibility guidelines that include first generation, low- income and have academic need for acceptance into the program. SSSP also invites applications from transfer students who were enrolled in SSSP at a previous college or university. Applications for SSSP are made available through the College Opportunity Program Office. For more details on SSSP, contact the Director of Student Support Services Project, Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522, 914-674-7239.
New York State Education Department Programs
STEP, CSTEP, and HEOP share a common overall purpose, namely, to expand the educational opportunities available to various historically disadvantaged populations.
Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP)
STEP is designed to increase the number of historically under-represented and economically disadvantaged students in mathematics, science, technology, health-related, and licensed professions.. The program provides academic enrichment for students in grades seven through twelve from northern Westchester communities. STEP offers students a more intensive exploration of math, science and technology during its Summer Academic Camp. For more details on the Science and Technology Entry Program, contact the Director of STEP, CSTEP, and HEOP, Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522, 914-674-7204.
Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)
CSTEP is funded by the New York State Education Department to provide academic enrichment, internships and research experiences for students who are economically disadvantaged and historically under-represented in scientific, technical, health-relation or licensed professions. The CSTEP student must demonstrate an interest in, and potential for, a CSTEPtargeted profession. CSTEP students must be enrolled full-time and be in good academic standing in an approved scientific, technical, health-related, pre-professional or professional undergraduate or graduate program of study. For more details on the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, contact the Director of STEP, CSTEP, and HEOP, Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522, 914-674-7204.
Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)
HEOP is funded by the New York State Education Department to provide supportive services and supplemental financial aid to eligible New York State residents. Students are eligible for this program if they are both economically disadvantaged and academically under-prepared. High school graduates may be eligible if they were not in a college preparatory program in high school. Individuals may also be eligible if they possess a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) or if they have neither a high school diploma nor a GED and they are 18 years of age or older. A transfer student enrolled in a NYS-Opportunity program (HEOP, EOP, SEEK, or College Discovery) may be eligible if there is availability of space within the program before entering the College. There is no wait-list for HEOP transfer admissions. Application for HEOP is made available through the College Opportunity Program Office. For more details on the Higher Education Opportunity Program, contact the Director of STEP, CSTEP, and HEOP, Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522, 914-674-7204.
Undergraduate Research Opportunities
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
The purpose of the McNair Program is to provide enriching experiences that prepare eligible students for doctoral study. The program was established by the U.S. Department of Education in 1989 and named for astronaut and Challenger crew member physicist, Dr. Ronald E. McNair. The McNair Program at Mercy College targets low-income, first-generation students, and those from groups under represented in graduate education.
One of the most exciting aspects of the McNair Program is the opportunity for undergraduate students at the junior and senior levels to participate in research experiences. Program participants receive a stipend to conduct research and engage in other scholarly activities with faculty mentors from the areas in which they hope to pursue graduate study. McNair Scholars also attend professional conferences with their mentors, go to graduate school fairs, prepare for graduate school entrance exams, receive guidance for the graduate school application process, and obtain information on securing fellowships, graduate assistantships, and loans. Participants learn about graduate school life, advanced library skills, and effective ways to present their work.
At the completion of the research projects, McNair scholars make formal presentations of their research to faculty and peers at local and national conferences and submit papers summarizing their work, for publication in the Mercy McNair Program journal, “The Challenger.” For more details on the McNair Scholars Program, please contact the McNair Program Office, Mercy College, 555 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522, 914-674-7766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program - Mercy College Intensive STEM Teacher Initiative (MISTI)
Mercy students in math and science can pursue a rewarding career path as a math or science teacher in K-12 schools through the MISTI Program. Under this program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, MISTI Scholars earn significant scholarships and stipends during their five years of participation. Each participating undergraduate student studies math and science and completes the steps to become an effective math or science teacher, earn a bachelors and Master’s degree, and complete New York State Teaching Certification.
MISTI Scholars enter the program as college juniors, continue their math or science studies, begin observations in K-12 schools, and participate in a pedagogical seminar with other MISTI Scholars. These activities continue during their senior year, along with hands-on teaching experiences. Following their senior year, Scholars participate in a summer engineering experience for teachers, developing integrated STEM lessons. During their Master’s year, MISTI Scholars engage in a yearlong clinical residency in a local K-12 school, supported extensively by master teachers and Mercy College faculty. In their first two years of teaching, they receive continued support from Mercy College faculty and their community of peers from the cohort. For details on the MISTI Program, please contact Professor Meghan Marrero at email@example.com
The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program - Mathematics Education Intensive Residency Program
(MEIRPro), for Veterans of the United States Military Mercy undergraduate students graduating in May 2017, or in May 2018, who are veterans of the United States Armed Forces can pursue a rewarding career path as a mathematics teacher in secondary schools (Grades 7-12) through the MEIRPro Program. Under this program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, MEIRPro Scholars earn significant scholarships and stipends towards participation in a clinically rich master’s degree program in secondary mathematics education.
Through a partnership between school practitioners and college faculty, the program provides prospective teacher candidates—recruited from among US Armed Forces veterans with strong mathematics backgrounds—with content and methodology necessary to work effectively in math classrooms. The program provides sequenced courses requiring increasing levels of knowledge for application to the clinical teaching residency and emphasizes authentic classroom teaching under the mentorship of well-qualified mathematics teachers and guidance from visiting Mercy College clinical faculty. Following this 14-month (36 graduate credit) master’s degree program, candidates will be eligible for New York State Teaching Certification and employment. For details on the MEIRPro Program, please contact Professor William Farber at firstname.lastname@example.org
Workplace Experience students gain valuable career insight through internships and other work experience. When hiring, employers often look for prior internships. The Workplace Experience program is an educational program designed to provide students with an opportunity to earn up to six academic credits while gaining practical workplace experience. Students interested in this program should meet with their PACT/HEOP/COP Mentor to confirm course requirements, secure an internship for credit, and meet with Career and Professional Development to register. Participants in the program receive guidance from a faculty advisor and a site supervisor to maximize their learning experience. For more information about this program, please email CPD@mercy.edu.