Heavy Student Support Marks First 4 ½ Months of GCC Success Coaching Program

Batavia, New York — Genesee Community College’s innovative new student success coaching program has provided 1,430 one-to-one coaching sessions and responded to 12,132 telephone inquiries between the July 17 opening of the Student Success Center and December 31, Dr. Shelitha W. Williams, Associate Vice President for Student Success, reported to the Board of Trustees Monday evening.

            Services ranged from basic registration and financial aid assistance to intensive problem-solving work with students, she said.  Success coaches have helped students navigate home and family issues that presented obstacles to their education, as well as health, financial, work, and academic issues. The eight success coaches stay abreast of students’ academic progress, Dr. Williams noted. “They watch things like attendance, classroom participation, and engagement, and intervene with students when problems develop,” she said. 

            In addition to coaching sessions and telephone assistance, success coaches launched 75 communication efforts with students, and followed up on 897 “early intervention” reports provided to success coaches by faculty members. Dr. Williams and the coaches have a brief “daily huddle” where they share information about student needs, as well as strategies and tips they can use to assist students.

            Genesee’s student success coaches are based in the College’s new Student Success Center located on the Batavia Campus. The construction of the new Center gave the College the opportunity to launch the new success coaching program, which matches GCC students and trained, compassionate coaches who help students achieve their academic and career goals. The College reorganized many student affairs functions, with success coaches assuming about 75% of the front-facing work with students.  Admissions, financial assistance, bursar and registrar staff members now provide specialized support.  The College created the new program with no additional outlay of funds.

            Dr. Williams told trustees that, while the success coaching program is innovative, it is based on time-tested research. She pointed to Abraham Maslow’s well-known theory of human motivation, which classifies human needs and desires into a multi-stage hierarchy, beginning with an individual’s need to satisfy basic bodily requirements, such as food, water, and sleep, and culminating in “higher-order” functions, such as achieving self-esteem and self-actualization. Dr. Williams noted that students struggling with basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter often cannot focus on “higher-order” needs, including intellectual and creative development. “So part of our job is to identify the obstacles students face and, working with students, figure out strategies to meet needs, overcome barriers, and move on to successful learning and achievement.”

            Trustee Benjamin J. Bonarigo noted that the student success coaching program should lead to higher levels of academic success and enhanced graduation rates.  Dr. Williams agreed, and said she looked forward to reporting these achievements over the next several years.

            In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

Approved the renewal of four-year continuing appointments for 22 members of the College’s faculty staff:  Michelle D. Abdella, Associate Professor,  Mathematics; Toni J. Boyd, Instructor,  English; Barry Chow, Director, Learning Technology Services; Tara M. Donohue, Language Lab Coordinator; Susan E. Drexel, Assistant Professor, Sociology; Maureen (Moi) Dugan, Professor, Ceramics and 3-D Design; Anne M. Feary, College Services Specialist; Brian V. Fraser, Associate Professor, Chemistry; Ruth A. Gliss, Professor, Nursing; R. Michael Gosselin, Assistant Professor, English; Wayne R. Gruendike, Technical Specialist, Buildings and Grounds; Marie Iglesias-Cardinale, Professor, English; Peggy C. Kerr, Director/Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program; Kathleen M. Klaiber, Associate Professor, English/ESL; Lauren K. Paisley, Professor, Business; Phillip Pickering, Professor, Mathematics; Ronald V. Schumacher, Assistant Professor, Engineering/Mathematics; Clifford M. Scutella, Director, Student Activities; Rebecca V. Tallo, Professor, Mathematics; Marshann Y. Thomas, Director/Associate Professor, Polysomnographic Technology; Alan J. Wright, Technical Specialist, Business Office; and Annette E. Zuber, Technical Specialist, Institutional Research and Assessment.

Approved initial four-year continuing appointments for nine members of the faculty and staff:  Doreen V. Bortle, Technical Assistant, Math/Science and Career Education; James D. Brooks, Instructor, Psychology; Serena R. Cooke, Online Learning Advisor; Michael R. Donalty, Assistant Campus Safety Director; Jamie L. Edwards, Technical Specialist, Career Services; Jodi S. Harvey, Director/Assistant Professor, Humanities and Human Services; David W. Johnson, Instructor, Biology; Karen L. Krieger, Campus Center Associate, Medina Campus Center; and Santina M. Marsceill, Technical Specialist/Marketing, The BEST Center.

Approved the College’s 2016-2017 audit report. Finance Committee Chair Peter R. Call said that the Committee had reviewed the report from Lumsden McCormick, the College’s independent auditors. Mr. Call said that the audit confirmed that the College achieved a balanced budget for the prior year, and that the independent auditors issued a “clean” audit, meaning that no errors or weaknesses were found. “The staff did an excellent job,” Mr. Call reported. “There could be no better job than what was done.”  Mr. Call also reported that first quarter income, enrollment and expenses are running according to budget.

Approved several changes to the College’s Associate in Applied Science Degree in Accounting. Under the proposal, the Business Law 2 course will no longer be required, but Public Speaking will be a new requirement. Students will also have the option of registering for the College’s Management Principles course instead of Principles of Business. The curriculum changes will now be forward to the State University of New York for approval.

Heard Executive Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness William T. Emm report that the College will launch an annual faculty and staff recognition ceremony in mid-May. The ceremony will recognize members of the faculty and staff for a variety of professional achievements for the prior, as well as significant service to the College.  New awards will be introduced during the ceremony:  Spirit in Community Award, Innovation Award, Cougar Salute Award (recognizing outstanding leadership and management), Teamwork Award, Rookie of the Year Award (recognizing outstanding achievements from faculty and staff between their first and twelfth month of service), President’s Award (recognizing outstanding service) and Inclusive Excellence Award (recognizing contributions toward a vibrant, diverse community).  President James M. Sunser said that, besides recognizing faculty and staff for outstanding contributions, the awards are a visible symbol of excellence for the entire community.

Heard Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia M. Taylor report that winter session enrollment was up slightly, and spring 2018 applications were 22 ahead of spring 2017 applications as of today.  Spring classes begin Tuesday, January 16.

Heard William T. Emm, Executive Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, report that construction at the Student Success Center is complete. Minor tasks await completion at the Richard C. Call Arena, including exterior work on the arcade roof.  Winter weather may prevent completion until springtime.

Heard Board Chair Laura J. Bohm report that members of the New York State Association of Community College Trustees are advocating that the State Legislature adopt “hold harmless” funding for community colleges during the Legislature’s 2018 session.  Under a “hold harmless” funding model, annual state support of community colleges would be at least level with the prior year’s support. The traditional model of community college funding, based on full-time-equivalent statistics, is becoming increasingly inadequate, President James M. Sunser said.  “The current formula doesn’t account for the fact that we serve many part-time students,” he said. “At many colleges, one FTE [full-time-equivalent] means one student. But at Genesee and other community colleges, one FTE might mean several part-time students. The College’s costs are driven by the number of students, not an FTE statistic.”

Heard President Sunser report that three individuals have recently joined the College’s staff.

They include:

 Anita M. Strollo, Adult Educational Opportunity Center Outreach Specialist.  Ms. Strollo most recently served as Career Readiness Coordinator at Batavia High School.  She is a resident of Batavia, and holds a B.A. degree from SUNY at Buffalo.

Nicholas R. Wockasen, Admissions and Recruitment Specialist.  Mr. Wockasen currently serves as a member of the staff of the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing student affairs office, and will begin his duties at Genesee later this month. He has served as a member of the admissions staffs of SUNY Brockport and Monroe Community College, and worked for the Empire State Development Corporation’s “I Love NY” tourism program. He is a resident of the Rochester area, and holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from SUNY Brockport.

Kelly S. Starchok, Student Success Coach.  Ms. Starchok has spent the last seven years serving as Compliance and Student Services Coordinator at Hilbert College. Ms. Starchock was a member of Genesee’s Physical Education faculty and Women’s Head Soccer Coach prior to her departure for Hilbert. She is a resident of North Tonawanda, and holds a B.A. degree from the University at Buffalo and a M.S. degree from Canisius College.

Heard Director of Campus Safety Stephen P. Wise report that the College’s annual safety and security report has been posted on the College’s web site and is available to students and the public (https://www.genesee.edu/offices/campus-safety/crime-report/). The report includes statistics about criminal incidents occurring on or near campus property required under the Jeanne Clery Policy and Crime Statistics Act, as well as information about College safety policies and procedures. The criminal incident reports, which cover the 2016 year, include relatively few incidents, he said.  Mr. Wise also reported that the College is introducing Alertus, an emergency notification tool that can “take over” computer screens across the College with emergency notices. 

 

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