GCC Plans Expansion of Livingston County Program

Larger Campus Center in Development
With the current lease of Genesee Community College’s Lakeville Campus Center set to expire at the end of August 2009, a five-member planning committee is now preparing for an expansion of Genesee Community College’s educational services to the northern Livingston County area, President Stuart Steiner announced today. The expansion is anticipated to create higher enrollments, new academic programs, additional distance learning opportunities, and a new and larger campus center building, Dr. Steiner said. The College is committed to maintaining two campus centers in Livingston County now and in the future, Dr. Steiner noted.

Michael S. Stoll, Dean of Math, Science, and Career Education and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, is leading the planning committee, consisting of college leaders. The team will make recommendations on the new initiatives by January 1, according to Dr. Steiner.

Genesee’s plans include:
  • New academic programs. Over the next several years, the College plans to develop several academic programs in the northern Livingston area. “We are committed to offering programs that meet the unique needs of residents of the community,” Dr. Steiner said. If the College locates a program at the center, virtually all of the courses leading to a degree or certificate would be offered through that center, either through classroom instruction or distance learning – lessening the need to drive to Batavia or other centers for courses. “With rising gas prices, this could be a very important service to residents of northern and central Livingston County,” Dr. Steiner said.
  • More distance learning opportunities. Genesee has become known throughout the nation for its leading-edge distance learning courses, which enable students to complete all or most of their study at home. Additional distance learning opportunities would further increase the availability of Genesee courses to northern and central Livingston residents, Dr. Steiner noted. Genesee Community College has been approved by the State University of New York and the New York State Education Department to offer 23 different degree programs in distance learning format.
  • New campus center. The College believes that new academic programs and more distance learning opportunities will enable more students to take courses at a convenient campus center, Dr. Steiner said. This will lead to increased enrollment. The College will need about 9,000 square feet of space to meet its educational plans. Although no final decision has been made on the exact size and location of the center, Dean Stoll’s planning team has been asked to review possible sites for a new and larger building. The current campus center, located on Big Tree Road in Lakeville, has about 7,500 square feet of space, two “smart” classrooms, and two labs. While the number of labs will probably remain the same in a new center, more technology resources would probably be based there. The Lakeville Center has been at the Big Tree Road location for over 15 years.
During the Fall 2007 semester, hundreds of Livingston County residents enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Genesee Community College. Many of these students attended classes in Batavia, other campus centers, or in area high schools. Some of these students would have attended classes at the campus center if additional programs and courses were based there, Dr. Steiner noted. “We know from experience that when classes are offered ‘close to home’, residents of the community take advantage of them,” he said. “By expanding the courses we offer in northern Livingston County, we will better serve the residents of the area.”

Beyond the Livingston County residents enrolled in Genesee credit courses last fall, many other residents participated in noncredit courses and business training programs offered through The BEST Center, Genesee’s business training and educational division.

Genesee Community College has operated the Lakeville Campus Center since 1992. Most students who use the Center live in the Livonia/Lakeville, Geneseo, Avon, and Mt. Morris areas. The success of that center prompted the College to open a campus center in Dansville in 2002. The Dansville facility is larger than the Lakeville Center. The College also operates campus centers in Albion, Arcade, Warsaw, and Medina.

Over the last decade, Genesee has developed a sophisticated technological infrastructure that brings academic resources to students at all of the College’s locations. For example, the College offers “point-to-point” classes using live video feed, enabling a professor at one location to conduct classes for students who are based at two or more locations. Genesee’s computer network enables students at the campus centers to use all of the College’s online services, including e-mail, courses-based presentations, library databases, and other resources.

The expansion of services to students in northern Livingston County will have a positive impact on the community, Dr. Steiner said. “We read and hear a lot about the ‘brain drain’ in New York State, with people in their twenties and thirties moving to other states,” he said. “But most of our Genesee graduates remain in the area. They will provide the backbone of our economy in the years ahead. We are proud of the role we play in preparing our students for a solid future, and equally proud of the positive impact we make on the communities we serve.”