Deepening Cultures and Perspectives

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The FSC campus has always reflected the evolving demographics of Long Island, responding to students and being mindful of their desire to find commonality with their classmates. Now the College has taken two huge steps forward to turn that welcoming posture into real benefits for students.

FSC has received two federal designations from the U.S. Department of Education for higher education institutions enrolling populations with significant percentages of undergraduate minority students.

The College has been designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), having achieved a full-time undergraduate enrollment of Hispanic students that is more than 25 percent of the student body. FSC has also been designated an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI), with an enrollment of undergraduate students that is at least 10 percent Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander.

Having achieved both designations, Farmingdale now becomes eligible for federal funds to support these growing populations and assist them from admission to graduation.

“This couples with our designation as a Higher Education Excellence and Diversity (HEED) campus, which we received in summer 2022,” said Dr. John Nader, president of Farmingdale State College (FSC). “The diversity of our student body is a point of pride for all of us at FSC. It’s not just the color of people’s skin, but about who feels included in our institution and receives access to the opportunities that we offer. It makes us stronger and deepens our breadth of cultures and perspectives in our programs.”

The percentage of students at Farmingdale State College who identify as Hispanic or Latino has more than doubled over the past 10 years from 1,100 in 2012 to 2,542 in 2022. As the fastest-growing population of any racial or ethnic group at FSC, students identifying as Hispanic or Latino now comprise 27 percent of the student population, up from 14 percent in 2012. Similarly, the Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders population at FSC has risen from 560 in 2012 to 1,119 in 2022, with the sharpest increase among Asian students at 111 percent.

“Dedication to student success is the core of the Farmingdale State College mission,” said Kevin Jordan, PhD, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. “The opportunity for students to be in a diverse and inclusive environment where a support system abounds, working together is the norm, and differences are cherished is the seedbed for success. At FSC, diversity is a fact, and inclusion is the choice we practice. These designations are clear indications of FSC’s embrace of the strength in honoring differences!”

The designations were welcome news to students who have experienced the increased diversity on campus.

“In my high school I was the only Hispanic student in my [advanced placement] classes, and being a commuter student sometimes makes it hard to connect with people on campus,” said Catherine Arevalo, a junior from Huntington, New York, who is studying computer science. “Having a sense of a community of people from our shared backgrounds makes the environment one that I look forward to being in every day. You can see this especially with the incoming freshmen. They have a real sense of the diversity and inclusion on the campus.”

The designations are the result of years of intentional and devoted work toward making FSC reflective of the Long Island communities it serves, which are made up of a variety of young and old populations who have different takes on what FSC means to them.

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