My Iona

Liberty Partnerships Program

The NYSED Liberty Partnerships Program was established in 1988 under Section 612, Subdivision 6, of the Education Law to address the significant dropout rate among New York’s youth.

Liberty Partnerships Programs offer comprehensive pre-collegiate/dropout prevention programs and services to youth in urban, rural and suburban communities of Western New York, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Southern Tier, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Capital District, Mid-Hudson Valley, NYC and Long Island.

Iona University’s Liberty Partnerships Program currently partners with the Yonkers School District to serve at-risk students and their families at three high schools and four middle schools. The College provides a range of services both during the school day and after school.


Support is provided to students in grades 5-12, both in after-school programming as well as in-class assistance. Tutoring is provided by Iona University students and focuses on a variety of needs, including Regents exam preparation, homework assistance, class work support, etc. When possible, bilingual services are provided.

The Iona University LPP program supports a number of high-interest, after-school clubs such as Computer Gaming and Sports. In addition to providing mentors to work with the students, LPP plans enrichment trips and activities.

Each student works with a tutor/mentor to develop a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) that includes individual goals for the year. PLPs are updated periodically based on social emotional assessments and academic gains achieved during the school year.

High school students are provided with support in the college preparation and application process. Services include SAT/ACT preparatory courses, campus visits, workshops focusing on résumé writing and developing excellent interviewing skills.

One-week-long summer institutes offer an opportunity for students to spend their day on the Iona University campus. In addition to participating in a variety of recreational activities offered on campus, last year’s students developed and presented a STEAM project. Parents joined LPP staff to view the presentations.

This year we will be offering high school students the opportunity to participate in a two-week Leadership Conference and Business Institute that will culminate in the presentation of individually developed student business plans.

Community Partnerships

Iona University LPP has developed partnerships with a number of community-based organizations in order to combine resources and bring additional services to students during and after the school day. The Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) Fellows program works with our high school juniors and seniors to provide college preparation and assistance in navigating the college application process. Our tutor/mentors work with the Nepperhan Community Center in Yonkers, N.Y., to provide after-school homework help, as well as club activities and enrichment trips in high-interest areas. Destination College is a service-based agency that targets student athletes. Our tutors provide Regents and SAT prep in order to assist the athletes with NCAA eligibility.


Catherine Salch

Director, Liberty Partnerships Program