After a record-breaking 2008-2009 academic year, Genesee Community College is breaking enrollment records yet again. As of this morning, 4,729 students were attending fall classes at Genesee, up 7% from the 4,416 students who were attending classes exactly one year ago. Enrollment is up at the Batavia Campus, the College’s six campus centers, and in distance learning classes.
Enrollment will grow even further in the weeks ahead. Students can still enroll for classes at the new Lima Campus Center. Classes begin in Lima Monday, September 21. Area high school students are also enrolling in Genesee’s Accelerated College Enrollment program.
President Stuart Steiner told trustees that he was pleased with the enrollment numbers. “We are hearing that more and more students are making Genesee their top college choice, and the numbers certainly bear this out,” he said. “These enrollment records are a tribute to our trustees, faculty, and staff, who have built an outstanding educational program here at Genesee.”
Dr. Virginia M. Taylor, Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services, reported that applications were up for fall study, as well. Four thousand two hundred eleven individuals applied for admission as full-time students, up 16.2% from the 3,621 individuals who had applied a year earlier. Eight hundred thirteen individuals applied for admission on a part-time basis, up 2.5% from the 793 individuals who had applied a year ago. Dr. Taylor also noted that 100 international students are attending Genesee this fall, representing 27 different nations.
Dr. Taylor also reported that students across the College participated in the “Week of Welcome,” a week-long series of events focusing on student involvement opportunities, academic skills, and social activities. Week of Welcome has been running successfully since 1999, Dr. Taylor told trustees. She also noted that the College’s new Early Warning system, now in its third year, is becoming an important student success tool. Under the Early Warning system, faculty members provide reports on students who are missing class or not completing assignments early in the semester. This gives student services staff members the opportunity to intervene before students fail or drop out, Dr. Taylor said.
In other business Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:
•Approved a new confidentiality policy prohibiting faculty and staff members from displaying or disclosing social security numbers or other personally identifying information to the public. The policy affirms the College’s current practices and ensures compliance with New York State labor laws.
•Approved four bids totaling $223,300 for the College’s women’s locker room construction project. Low bidders included Steve General Contractors of Caledonia, $134,500 (general construction); Roy H. Turnbull, Inc. of Batavia, $42,850 (mechanical); MKS Plumbing Corp. of West Seneca, $24,000 (plumbing); and Concord Electric Corp. of Rochester, $21,950 (electrical).
•Heard Dr. Taylor report that work on the College’s new Title III “Retention and Wellness” initiative has begun. The College recently received a $2 million federal grant award over five years to upgrade technology that supports student retention, and develop and implement a comprehensive wellness program for the college community. In addition, the grant will provide matching funds of $80,000 each year for contributions made to the College Foundation’s need-based endowment fund. “This initiative will give more students the tools for success, and ultimately help us boost student retention,” Dr. Taylor told trustees.
•Heard Dr. Rafael Alicea-Moldanado, Professor of Chemistry and one of the faculty advisors to Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and five students who are PTK members, report on upcoming activities of PTK. Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for community and junior college students. Alpha Iota Upsilon is Genesee’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, which currently has 146 members. The chapter has many service projects planned in the months ahead, according to PTA officers Leah Reino, Brittany Boyce, Bernard Bakos, Gena Korn, and Lori Mould. Projects include a tree planting day, plastic bag/sneaker collection, Oatka Creek cleanup, breast cancer walk, CROP walk, and numerous other projects. Alpha Iota Upsilon was named a “5-Star Chapter” in 2007 and 2008, reflecting a high degree of chapter excellence and involvement, Ms. Reino said. The chapter also received the New York State Phi Theta Kappa Service Award in 2008.
•Heard Kevin P. Hamilton, Vice President for Finance and Operations, report that outdoor carpet has been installed in the new soccer/lacrosse field. Work in the gymnasium is on schedule. The new Lima Campus Center is occupied, and classes will begin September 21.
•Heard Richard Ensman, Director of Development and External Affairs, report that the College is preparing to embark on an Identity study. As part of the study, an outside consultant will conduct research on student and community attitudes toward the College and develop standards for marketing communications products developed by the College.
•Heard a presentation on the “Future of Technology” from John G. Reina, Director of Computer Services. Mr. Reina provided trustees with an overview of technology-related trends that will affect higher education in the years ahead. Within the next two to three years, today’s internet search technology will give way to new tools that faculty and students can use to identify and organize information gathered almost anywhere on earth. Within the next five years more “smart objects,” such as badges and ID cards, will emerge that will enable students and faculty to perform a wide variety of tasks. Other trends include the emergence of “concept search” technology, on-demand software, use of hand-held mobile telephones in education, and greater versatility of online education, Mr. Reina said.
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