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MCC’s New “Single Stop” Program Offers Students Additional Resources

By Staff

 

Monroe Community College has launched “Single Stop at MCC” on the school’s Damon City campus this semester, to assist students facing personal and financial barriers in finding additional resources to help them stay in school, officials said.

“Students who need different types of support in order to stay in school, sometimes they just don’t know how to navigate the systems,” Single Stop program director Peggy Harvey-Lee stated. “And, Single Stop helps connect students to critical benefits and services for which they may be eligible.”

According to Harvey-Lee, the program currently connects students to services such as free legal aid; food pantries for food security, or childcare services if they need them.

In addition, she said they can find out what types of assistance they may be eligible for by simply filling out an application online.

“What specifically happens is, you fill out an application, and, the application is web-based, so they can access it any place, at any time,” Harvey-Lee stated. “And, as they fill out their information, on the right-hand side of the application, there are areas that are populated. For instance, if a student says they have a child; they may be eligible for SNAP benefits. So, it would populate, in real monies, their possibility of getting SNAP benefits, for a certain amount of money. So, that is really what is unique about this application. When they use their zip code, resources will pop up on a map, in their particular area. We have a platform that was developed by national Single Stop, that has over 200 resources in Monroe County, and surrounding counties. We shared those resources with Single Stop, along with their additional research. So, when a student sees this information, it’s real information, in real time. And, at the end of the application, they can say whether or not they want to speak with a coordinator, which would be me. Or, if a student stops by my office, I do a quick assessment to see what their need is. Students can walk-in, or call me on the phone to make an appointment.”

Harvey-Lee said MCC has created the program in an effort to help students stay on track for graduation.

The program also in includes a “persistence network,” which consists of about 20 Single-Stop trained staff members, who can provide student referrals to the program, if needed.

“They’ve been trained by national Single Stop,” Harvey-Lee said. “And, they, on a consistent basis, let me know whether there are any changes students need to know, or they make referrals to me. And there are about 20 of those staff members.”

Single Stop is currently a pilot program that is available to all MCC students; however, it will likely become a permanent program once the school has measurable data on a semester-to-semester basis, she stated.

In the meantime, Harvey-Lee said the goal is to keep current students in school.

“What we want to accomplish with this program is to help students stay in school, to complete their education, and graduate,” she said. “So that students will be successful in their own personal lives, and, my thought is, to be contributing citizens to this community.”

MCC is one of two Upstate New York colleges to house a Single Stop program; the other is Onondaga Community College.

National Single Stop launched its community college initiative in 2009, and more than 188,000 students and families have currently received benefits and services through the program, totaling over $336 million.

Visit http://www.monroecc.edu/go/singlestop/ for additional information regarding the Single Stop program.

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