Southern has been awarded a $10,000 contribution from the AT&T Foundation to support underserved students in their pursuit of college and career goals.
The AT&T Foundation contribution will support the Southern Educational Opportunity Program (SEOP), which provides students with the tools for successful college admission and completion.
SEOP is comprised of two parts: the Summer Academy and the Academic Year Initiative. The Summer Academy is a five-week academic, residential experience where potential first-year students who are inadmissible to Southern are allowed to succeed with holistic supports. The Academic Year Initiative is a continuation of the Summer Academy’s support with the philosophy that students can thrive if they have a sense of belonging and are offered continuous academic and social-emotional support.
“Every student deserves an opportunity to make their academic dreams a reality. At AT&T, we are proud to support initiatives like SEOP that are increasing access to higher education, opening career paths and making real differences in the lives of Connecticut students and their families,” said John Emra, president of AT&T New England, an SCSU alumnus.
The program aims to enroll 60 new students each year, according to Dawn Stanton, SCSU director of University Access Programs. She said the donation will be used to help the students purchase books and educational supplies for the fall semester.
“Purchasing books is frequently a barrier to success for our low-income students,” Stanton said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to fill that gap and will positively impact their first-year success. At the end of the semester, any books no longer needed would be donated to our SCSU Book Loan Program to help other students.”
Stanton thanked AT&T for its support.
“The book support will show SEOP students how much AT&T and SCSU believe in their potential and are committed to their success,” she said. “Many of the students are first-generation and often overlook the expense of books when planning for the first year of college. Without course materials, a student will not fare well in classes.”