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New York State is committed to dramatically increasing the completion and success of its students. The Student Success Center serves as a critical intermediary to provide leadership for the coordination and identification of the best strategies for scale-up, the fusing of resources to maximize impact, and the implementation of evidence-based national strategies to help more students graduate.


In 2016, New York State received a Jobs for the Future (JFF) Student Success Center (SSC) national designation, joining a thriving national network of 17 centers. JFF is a national organization seeking to “drive change in the American workforce and education systems to promote economic advancement for all.”

The NYS Student Success Center (NYSSSC), hosted by SUNY in partnership with key stakeholders, focuses on proven and evidence-based practices of student success initiatives. The Center prioritizes, promotes and disseminates innovative student success practices, research and policy across the state and nationally.

NYSSSC, as part of the JFF Student Success Center Network was originally launched with support from the Kresge Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to provide the infrastructure for establishing a centralized network that focuses in on “what works” and coordinates resources to positively impact New York State’s public higher education student experience and college completion.

The Center’s work is also focused on identifying the best state and national practices that have been identified by the JFF Policy Leadership Trust and the work of other policy leaders committed to advancing student success.



  • Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor Office of Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline, SUNY
  • Jennifer Miller, NYS Student Success Center Executive Director and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, SUNY
  • Jill Cofield, Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Education Pipeline, SUNY
  • Alma Kanic-Franco, NYS Student Success Center Director of Operations and Project Manager, SUNY
  • Rochelle Duncan, REACH Project Manager, SUNY
  • Mark Mirasol, Pathways Project Manager, SUNY
  • Denise Zieske, Director of Workforce Development, SUNY

Advisory Board

  • Chair: Randy VanWagoner, President, Mohawk Valley Community College and member of JFF’s Policy Leadership Trust
  • Shauna Davis, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation
  • Renee Dimino, Associate Professor, Monroe Community College & Coaching Academy Leadership Team
  • Deb Moeckel, Assistant Provost for Assessment and Community College Education, SUNY
  • Carol Ross, Vice President for Student Affairs & Chief Diversity Officer, SUNY Broome Community College & Coaching Academy Leadership Team
  • Shelitha Williams, Vice President Student & Enrollment/CDO, Genesee Community College

Strategic Advisors:

  • Hana Lahr, Senior Research Associate and Director of Applied Learning, CCRC
    Melinda Karp, Founder & Principal, Phase Two Advisory
  • Alison Kadlec, Senior Partner, Sova
  • Gretchen Schmidt, Senior Fellow, NCII
  • Lia Wetzstein, Director, CCRI

JFF Team

  • Kelley Evans, Associate Director, Jobs for the Future (JFF)
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