Tompkins Cortland Community College

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News Release

Vector Scholars Program New at Tompkins Cortland

June 17, 2015

A new program will help students hit the ground running at Tompkins Cortland Community College. The Vector Scholars program provides financial, personal, and academic support to new students and includes a pre-semester session that will help prepare students for a successful first semester at the College. Applications for the program are being accepted through June 30, with awards available for students starting this fall semester. Applications are available online at

The Vector Scholars program, which is funded by a donation from Vector Magnetics founder Arthur Kuckes, will start in mid-August, prior to the start of the fall semester. “We’re very excited about the opportunity the Vector Scholars program will provide to our lower income students,” said Tompkins Cortland President Carl Haynes. “Removing as many barriers as possible that students may face can only improve their chances for success.” The pre-semester session will join Vector Scholars with other new students, current students, and faculty and staff in a range of activities designed to prepare them for a successful first semester. All the expenses for the pre-semester program will be paid for all Vector Scholars, including residence hall fees for students living on campus and transportation fees for commuter students.

Creating an early connection to the college community and its resources is a key component of the Vector Scholars program. “We have found there is a direct correlation between engagement and the feeling of being connected to a student’s academic success,” said Michelle Nightingale, the College's director of student success services. “Forming an early connection to the College community can make a world of difference.”

Each Vector Scholar will benefit from relationships with the program staff, including a faculty/staff mentor, a peer mentor, and an assigned financial aid counselor. In addition to ongoing personalized support, a $400 stipend for textbooks and course materials will be provided in both the fall and spring semesters.

The Vector Scholars program is limited to 60 students this year. Scholars must be new, full-time students, and meet income and academic preparedness requirements. Once accepted into the program, Vector Scholars are expected to actively participate in all required program activities, including regular, small-group meetings with mentors throughout the semester. To remain in the program, students must maintain good academic and judicial standing.