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Special Feature on Social Mobility

rockaway studentsStony Brook's success with social mobility — providing students the ability to rise from a low-income background to a financially secure future — has been well-recognized. Indeed, our ability to offer an affordable education, while supporting students from low-income households through enrichment programs and many other initiatives are a testiment to our University's dedication and strength.

Many efforts to reach and guide potential students from low-income regions begin years before they apply for college admission. Under the direction of Judith Berhannan, Dean of Admissions, our offices bring dozens of bus groups of students from school districts in low socioeconomic areas for information sessions, campus tours, and often an opportunity to meet SBU currents from their districts. Plans are in place to host more than one thousand students in the spring 2019 semester. Admissions staff also routinely travel to high schools, meeting with students and college counselors on their grounds.

In the fall semester, our staff visited three New York City high schools— M.S. 223 in the South Bronx, the Gotham Professional Arts Academy in Brooklyn, and Far Rockaway High School — hosting workshops on the importance of post-secondary education, and ways students can use the web to search colleges, in partnership with the YouVisit Foundation.

 YouVisit is a multimedia company based in New York City and provider of virtual tours for many colleges and universities, including Stony Brook. Much of their most recent work has focused on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, which they integrated into the virtual campus tour experience. The YouVisit Foundation began working closely with students and staff in these three high schools in 2018, providing a series of workshops for high school sophomores and juniors. In the first workshop in each high school, students tried on VR headsets to experience being on a college campus, getting them excited about both the technology and the idea of attending college. Stony Brook's workshops, which followed in each school, then covered a range of ways for students to find the right university for their interests and goals.

Students from the Gotham Professional Arts Academy visited SBU in December 2018, and visits are being planned with the other two high schools for April 2019.