The reason that SUNY College at Old Westbury is a perfect location for the Institute of MERIT can be found in its Mission Statement.
“SUNY College at Old Westbury is a dynamic and diverse public liberal arts college that fosters academic excellence through close interaction among students, faculty and staff. Old Westbury weaves the values of integrity, community engagement, and global citizenship into the fabric of its academic programs and campus life. In an environment that cultivates critical thinking, empathy, creativity and intercultural understanding, we endeavor to stimulate a passion for learning and a commitment to building a more just and sustainable world. The College is a community of students, teachers, staff, and alumni bound together in mutual support, respect, and dedication to the Mission.”
The SUNY/College at Old Westbury is unique among SUNY colleges because of its mission to serve educationally disadvantaged students. It draws most of its diverse student population from Long Island and New York City. In 2011, more than 60% of all students were racial or ethnic minorities; 58% were women. Old Westbury proudly remains a model of ethnic, gender, and cultural diversity within the SUNY system. In 2011, the student body was 32.1% African American, 19.6% Latino, 8.9% Asian American, 13.9% unknown, and 39.6% Caucasian. The faculty also reflects the College’s racial and cultural diversity. The SUNY/College at Old Westbury can be regarded, as a diverse high need college.
The College offers a B.S. degree in mathematics education, leading to a teaching certificate for secondary schools. The Mathematics Department, working with the School of Education, provides effective training for elementary school teachers through concentration in mathematics education. The College recently introduced a MAT degree program in mathematics education and the School of Education is NCATE accredited.
SUNY/College at Old Westbury is recognized nationally and internationally for its programs geared towards improving the teaching and learning of mathematics. The College is home to mathematics tournaments, conferences and programs for gifted students as well as programs offering in-service workshops for leadership training for teaching mathematic sand technology. These programs are recognized nationwide for achieving a level of excellence, resulting in the award to the past Program Director, Dr. Jong P. Lee, a U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, which were only given to two mathematics professors in the nation in 2005.