Genesee Community College enrollment leaped from 6,672 in Fall 2008 to 7,208 in Fall 2009, an increase of 8%, President Stuart Steiner reported to the Board of Trustees Monday evening.
The increase was not a surprise, Dr. Steiner told trustees. The recent recession, coupled with a growing public recognition of the value of community colleges, led record numbers of prospective students to apply for admission last spring and summer. Three thousand three hundred fifty-nine prospective students applied for admission on a full-time basis, up 8.3% from the 3,103 prospective students who had applied a year earlier, and 48% of applicants enrolled. An additional 561 prospective students applied for admission on a part-time basis, up 2.4% from the 548 prospective students who applied a year earlier, and 87% of applicants attended. Enrollment was up at the Batavia Campus, at the College’s six campus centers, and in distance learning programs, Dr. Steiner reported.
In recent years, educators and workforce experts across the nation have spoken positively about the high quality of community college programs, Dr. Steiner noted. “President Obama has stressed that community colleges are one of the keys to job creation and economic growth on both the local and national level,” he said.
Genesee, like most community colleges, prepares students to transfer to baccalaureate colleges and universities, as well as for job opportunities following graduation. Genesee’s annual graduate survey has consistently shown more than 95% of students obtaining admission to baccalaureate colleges or finding employment within six months of graduation. “When prospective students hear the term ‘community college’ today, they think in terms of small classes, exceptional faculty members, and results-oriented education,” Dr. Steiner said. “We are extremely proud of our record at Genesee Community College, and very pleased that so many students have chosen to make Genesee their college of choice.”
In other enrollment-related news, applications for admission to Genesee for the Spring 2010 semester are also on the upswing, Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Virginia Taylor reported to trustees. As of December 3, 806 prospective students had applied for admission on a full-time basis, up 28.8% from the 626 prospective students who had applied last year by the same date. Eight hundred thirteen students had applied for admission on a part-time basis, up 2.5% from the 793 prospective part-time students who had applied a year ago.
In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:
- Approved the granting of 284 degrees and certificates in January 2010 to Genesee Community College students, subject to students’ satisfactory completion of their studies. The College plans to award six Associate in Arts (A.A.) degrees; 127 Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees; 134 Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees; and 17 certificates.
- Approved Extron video switches as a “sole source” equipment item for distance learning classrooms. A video switch governs the digital infrastructure of distance learning classrooms, including student cameras, instructor camera, computer, smartboard, DVD/video equipment, document camera, and monitors. Extron manufactures the only video switch fully compatible with all infrastructure. Distance learning classrooms enable the College to offer courses using live interactive video to students at multiple locations led by an instructor at a single location.
- Approved two change orders for the College’s athletic upgrade project, for additional soccer/lacrosse bleacher seating and adding volleyball and badminton floor lines to the gymnasium.
- Tabled several revisions to the College’s Computing Policies proposed by the Board’s Policy Committee. Several trustees asked that the College clarify how computing policies will be monitored.
- Heard Kevin P. Hamilton, Vice President for Finance and Operations, report that the soccer/lacrosse turf field is complete, other than several minor “punch list” items. Mr. Hamilton also reported that the Batavia Campus gymnasium floor and bleachers are fully installed. Rehabilitation of the third floor women’s locker room is on schedule, and should be completed in late January. Mr. Hamilton also reported that work on the Genesee County Economic Development Centre’s Bruce Holm Med Tech Park is on schedule, and that Genesee nursing program faculty and staff hope to move in to the new building in June, 2010.
- Heard Robert Joy, President of Joy, McCoola and Zilch Architects, report that final designs for the College’s new art gallery will be ready by March, and that bids for the project should go out at that time. Mr. Joy told trustees that architects are consulting with gallery experts from other institutions about the project to ensure that the building fully meets the needs of the College. “We are looking forward to an outstanding art gallery, and another ribbon to cut,” Mr. Joy said.
- Heard Board Chair Laurie J. Miller announce that the Board of Trustees will accept nominations for honorary Genesee Community College associate degrees to be conferred during commencement in May, 2010. Honorary associate degrees may be conferred on individuals associated with the College who have earned extraordinary business, professional, civic, or scholarly accomplishments; who have contributed to the life and growth of the College; or who are notable leaders in academic disciplines taught at the College.
- Heard President Stuart Steiner report that Patrick Walter has joined the staff as Technical Specialist/Transfer Coordinator. Mr. Walter comes to Genesee from the University of Tennessee, where he served as a student-athlete mentor from 2005 to 2009 and served as a high school Talent Search and veterans advisor from 2003 to 2005. Mr. Walter holds a B.S. degree from Pennsylvania State University and a M.S. degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Mr. Walter currently resides in Rochester.
- Heard Mr. Hamilton report that the College has installed five “blue lights” around the campus grounds and parking lots. Each blue light signals the presence of an emergency telephone which connects callers to the College’s Public Safety Office. The College has also installed eleven digital cameras which monitor and record exterior area activity, Mr. Hamilton said.