NEWS RELEASEGenesee Community CollegeOne College Road, Batavia, NY 14020-9704Office of Development and External Affairs
Donna Rae Sutherland, Associate Director of Marketing Communications 585-343-0055 Ext. 6616
Community College Week, a Fairfax, Virginia-based professional periodical, has ranked Genesee Community College as the 8th fastest-growing mid-sized community college in the United States. The results were reported in the December 6 edition. Genesee's enrollment rose 14%, from 5,200 in fall 2002 to 5,940 in fall 2003. More growth occurred in fall 2004, which may be reported in next year's Community College Week study.
The publication studies enrollment trends among 1,121 community colleges each year, and identifies the fifty fastest-growing small (under 5,000 headcount), mid-sized (5,000 to 9,999 headcount), and large (over 10,000 headcount) community colleges in the nation. Community college enrollment has grown significantly in recent years across the country due to affordable tuition, geographic proximity of campuses, and career-oriented programs. Genesee's exceptionally high growth is due to two main factors, according to President Stuart Steiner: extensive outreach to the community and growing recognition of Genesee's excellence.Over the last decade, Genesee faculty and staff members have made special efforts to bring college education to many different segments of the community, Dr. Steiner noted. "We were innovators when we established regional campus centers," he said. "Most residents of the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming region can now find a Genesee Community College location within 20 minutes of their homes. We have brought college courses to high school students, to workers needing retraining, to home-schooled students, and to unemployed individuals who needed a step up. We have been pioneers in distance learning, and each year we have added new online courses to our offerings."
Because Genesee has been so active in educational outreach, last year's 14% enrollment hike did not surprise many faculty and staff members. "Still, when we found out that we were among the top mid-sized community colleges in growth, we were surprised," Dr. Steiner said.
While Genesee's remarkable growth is a source of pride, faculty and staff members are especially proud that the College has maintained small classes and strong faculty-student interaction, noted Dr. Steiner. "We have long enjoyed a reputation for a very personal, student-centered education," he said. "Students know their professors, and they interact with their professors regularly. Classes generally do not exceed 30 students. Students of all backgrounds have the opportunity to participate in out-of-class clubs and activities, and there's a very real sense of community here at Genesee."
During the fall 2004 semester, Genesee enrolled 6,062 students - another record. While a significant majority of students come from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties, the College serves students across New York State. Last year, more than 100 students from abroad were enrolled at Genesee. The College offers almost 60 degree and certificate programs.
Community College Week named Gainesville College of Georgia as the fastest-growing mid-sized community college in the nation, with a 27% enrollment increase. The fastest-growing small college was Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, with a 39% increase. The fastest-growing large college was El Paso Community college of Texas, with a 15% increase. The website for Community College Week is www.ccweek.com.