RAM Frequently Asked Questions
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Research Aligned Mentorship


Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the RAM program?

The First In The World / Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) program is an extremely prestigious program funded by a major grant awarded to Farmingdale State College by the United States Department of Education. The name of the grant stems from the USA’s aim to regain its former position as a leader in producing students with baccalaureate degrees. In 1995 we were 1st and as of 2014, we have fallen to 19th place.

Farmingdale State College has partnered with CCSU and three other universities to participate in this grant with them. Regardless of major, the CCSU RAM Program provides extra benefits and rewards that will enhance learning and that will give RAM students opportunities not available to other students.

What are the extra benefits of the RAM program?

  • Individualized advisement from a professionally trained RAM Faculty Mentor
  • Credit bearing RAM courses designed to prepare students for real-world learning, scholarship, and creative and/or professional endeavors
  • Two meetings with a RAM counselor each semester in addition to regularly scheduled semester meetings with the student’s School Based Center advisor or the faculty advisors in the student’s major
  • A dedicated staff is available exclusively to the RAM program to provide support and to connect students to campus resources, opportunities, activities, etc.
  • Invitations to special workshops and events
  • Hands-on research or a project-based learning experience with a faculty mentor


How do students get into the RAM program?

Each fall a new cohort of 100 fortunate first year students is randomly selected for participation in the RAM program from the master list of students admitted to CCSU’s baccalaureate degree programs.

What are the distinctive features of the RAM program that are available to participants?

  1. Enhanced preparation 
    RAM students are prepared for graduation and beyond through RAM courses, advisement, and special events in their first 2 years after entering CCSU.
  2. Hands-on learning experiences 
    After sophomore or junior year, RAM students will be paired with a faculty mentor to engage in hands-on research or in a project-based learning experience.
  3. Career building 
    The RAM program will add experience and skills to students’ resumes, enhancing their job prospects or their acceptance into graduate school.
  4. Increased likelihood of graduating on time 
    RAM students at CCSU will save time and money by staying on track to graduate in 4 years.
  5. Networking opportunities 
    RAM students will meet real professionals in their field, leading to additional opportunities for research or project-based learning experiences and for better job prospects.

What is FYE 101?

FYE 101 is a 1-credit, first-year experience course that meets once per week. All first year students are assigned this course. The purpose of the course is to help students adjust to college. Students will develop essential skills to be successful in college and will learn about some of the important resources available at CCSU.

What is ID 151?

ID 151 is a 3 credit course that complements your English course. It is a collaborative learning experience to engage RAM students in activities such as working in teams, writing and reviewing others’ writing, debating ideas, conducting research, with the intention to help students find success and enjoyment in the writing process.

What is FYE 201? 

FYE 201 is a 1-credit course that prepares RAM students to engage in research, career exploration and to learn about graduate student or project-based learning with a faculty mentor.

May I drop the RAM courses?

Dropping a RAM course should only be done in consultation with a Career Center, Exploratory and/or faculty or RAM counselor. RAM courses are there to bolster performance in other courses and to enhance the student’s GPA. These courses are considered free electives and may count toward graduation.

May I remain in the RAM program if I change my major?

Yes – and the RAM counselors and faculty advisors will work with students who change their major to plan course schedules that meet new major requirements and keep a student on track toward graduation.

Are students selected for the RAM program able to opt out of the program entirely?

Students selected for the RAM program receive benefits and opportunities not available to other CCSU students.  The RAM program is specifically and carefully designed to bolster’s a student’s success in college and beyond.  We are confident that RAM program students will be viewed favorably by employers and graduate schools.
We strongly encourage students to give it a try at least in their 1st year before making the decision not to participate. We suggest that students meet with their RAM counselor if they are considering opting out of the program.


Additional Information 

CCSU, along with Kean University, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Bowie State University (MD) were asked by Farmingdale State College to partner with them after they received the First in the World (FITW) U.S. Department of Education grant. The name of the grant stems from the USA’s aim to regain its former position as the leader in producing students with baccalaureate degrees. In 1995 we were 1st, and as of 2014, we have fallen to 19th place.

The goal is to improve the 4-year graduation rates by 20% over each college’s baseline for both incoming first-year students and transfer students. This is a phenomenal opportunity for students to receive additional resources and support to navigate through their college experience. CCSU students will receive first-year, second-year, and junior-year experience courses; a collaborative learning workshops that is attached to a required English course; and a faculty member who will serve as an additional counselor serve as a mentor and to expose students to research experiences off-campus in national laboratories, research universities, business accelerators, and other research venues as they enter their junior year.

There will also, be a professional staff person on campus to connect them to support and resources on campus.  Other activities such as special events with speaker, group exercises, and conferences will be offered.

RAM Student Testimonials 

"Meeting with my Mentor has given me so much more clarity about my major and how I can get involved on campus. At first I was scared and nervous to meet with 'the professor', but I was amazed to see how eager to help me with everything. I would not have attended any of the School of Business Information Sessions without Dr. Crespi, and Dr. Crespi always e-mails her mentees about opportunities for us to get involved."
– Mat Callahan, CCSU Class of 2020

“I have a better sense of project management from top-level decision making and I had the ability to work with real customers and take responsibility for the architecture of the project. Being part of the RAM program has helped me perform better in me courses and I view it as another avenue by which to learn course material.”
- Isaac Diaz-Soto, CCSU Class of 2020