Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education
August 19, 2023
OCR Complaint Filed
Albany Medical College has participated in a New York State funding program — entitled the Science and Technology Entry Program — for 7-11th graders that contains discriminatory guidelines limiting participation to those who are “historically underrepresented in the sciences or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.” “Historically underrepresented” included applicants who were Black, Latino, Alaskan native or American Indian, or came from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The applicable state law for the program does not require that any school accept the funding; the college’s participation in the program was entirely voluntary.
tudents in the STEP program participate in a curriculum during the academic school year from September through May, meeting on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The programming consists of “academic enrichment, mentoring, and opportunities for service learning.”
The eligibility guidelines limit the applicant pool to “minority students,” meaning White and Asian students must show that they are “economically disadvantaged” in order to be considered. The application requires each applicant to identify their ethnicity, listing only African-American/African, Hispanic/Chicano/Latino, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Other as options to check.
Equal Protection Project is the Complainant in this matter, which is under evaluation by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.