Genesee's Arcade Campus Center Promotes Community Service and Partnerships, Dean Reports

Genesee Community College’s Arcade Campus Center has provided more than 25,000 credit hours of instruction to residents of that community over the last five years, Associate Dean Deborah DiNoto reported to the Board of Trustees this evening. The Board met at the Arcade Center, located on Edward Street in the village, for its regular monthly meeting.

The Center’s record of service is the result of both the need for higher education in the Arcade area and a growing number of community partnerships, Dr. DiNoto said. Arcade Center staff participate in area Chamber of Commerce activities, regularly visit high schools in the area, and participate in prominent community activities such as the Winterfest and 50s Festival. Arcade Center staff also make it a point to communicate regularly with local library staff and historical society volunteers, Dr. DiNoto said.

Dr. Jeff Bowen, Superintendent of Schools of the Pioneer Central School District and Chair of the Arcade Campus Center Advisory Council, echoed Dr. DiNoto’s remarks. “The Pioneer School District prides itself on a sense of community, and the Arcade Campus Center nurtures and promotes a sense of community as well,” Dr. Bowen said.

He cited the Arcade Center’s response to training needs within the Pioneer School District as an example.  When new state and federal regulations required that the district’s 45 teacher aides upgrade their education, Genesee’s Arcade Center staff conducted an orientation to the College’s Teaching Assistant program at school district facilities and provided training there.

Ray Boucher, a member of Genesee’s adjunct faculty who teaches at the Arcade Center, said that he particularly values the community spirit and partnerships embodied in the Center. “My students lead full, rich lives outside of school,” he said.  “Some of them come to class after working nine hours on the farm.” The presence of the Center and its links to people in the Arcade area, are invaluable, Mr. Boucher told trustees.

Kevin Haynes, a 37-year old student who graduated with a Business Administration degree last month, told the Board of Trustees that the Arcade Center helped him create a new life after a disabling accident. Mr. Haynes was an auto worker in Buffalo until he suffered serious injuries from a scaffold fall four years ago. He is now preparing for a new career as a funeral director, having completed general education and business courses at Genesee and completing mortuary courses through Hudson Valley Community College. “I have a family, I have kids, and if I had to drive to Buffalo or Batavia or Olean for classes, I couldn’t do it,” he said. “I am eternally grateful that the Arcade Campus Center is here.”

Dr. Bowen and Mr. Haynes both said they hoped the Arcade Center could expand services even further in the years ahead, possibly through the addition of a science lab, more internships, and community mentoring.

Each of the speakers spoke about the importance of the Arcade Center and its influence on students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue college study. “Genesee Community College’s Arcade Campus Center is one of the most valuable assets we have in this community, and certainly one of the most valuable partners we have in the Pioneer School District,” Dr. Bowen said.

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:

  • Heard Nominating Committee member Melvin J. Wentland report on the Committee’s recommendations for Board of Trustees officers for the 2006-2007 year. During the Board’s annual meeting in July, the Nominating Committee will propose that Marcia H. Noonan be elected chairperson; Laurie J. Miller, vice-chairperson; and Charles R. Ruffino, secretary.

  • Approved an agreement with Lumsden & McCormick, LLP to conduct the College’s annual audit for the 2005-2006 fiscal year at a cost of $27,900. The College plans to issue a new request-for-proposal for auditing services during the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

  • Approved an agreement with the Genesee Community College Association (the College’s faculty-student association) increasing the GCCA’s allowable general fund balance from $300,000 to $400,000. Funds in excess of $400,000 at the end of any fiscal year would be turned over to the College to be used for student scholarships.

  • Accepted a gift of two automated external defibrillators donated by a nursing student who wishes to remain anonymous. The defibrillators, which have a value of $4,000, will be placed in the corridor between the pool and fitness center and in the health office. Defibrillators are used to help restore the heartbeat of victims of cardiac emergencies.

  • Heard President Stuart Steiner project that 2006 summer session enrollment will be slightly lower than the record 2005 summer enrollment. Overall enrollment for the 2005-2006 year, however, will set a new record.  Fall semester applications are also coming in at a record pace, according to Vice President for Student Services George W. Walker. As of June 8, the College had received 2,526 applications for full-time study from prospective students, up 6.7% from the 2,368 applications received exactly one year ago. Applications from prospective part-time students totaled 247, up 6.9% from the 231 applications received a year ago. Deposits from prospective students totaled 938, up 8.4% from the 865 deposits received a year ago.

  • Heard Richard Ensman, Director of Development and External Affairs, report that the College’s Arts Outreach Program, established by the Board of Trustees twelve years ago, has sponsored more than 30 events and has resulted in almost 20,000 visits to community arts events held at the College during that time. The Arts Outreach Program gives fine and performing arts groups throughout the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming region the opportunity to use the Genesee Center for the Arts, located on the Batavia Campus, for their arts events.