Final Fall 2010 enrollment numbers are in, and the results are no surprise, President Stuart Steiner reported to the Board of Trustees Monday evening: Genesee Community College hit an all-time high enrollment record. Genesee served 7,365 students during the Fall semester according to figures submitted to the State University of New York, including 3,692 full-time students and 3,673 part-time students.
Dr. Steiner told trustees he was “very pleased” with the enrollment results. He said that the results reflect the Board’s desire to bring higher education to as many residents of the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming region as possible.
In February 2008, the Board of Trustees adopted “The Genesee Promise,” expressing the Board’s determination that no resident of the GLOW region will be prevented from participating in college courses because of inability to afford tuition costs. The College uses a variety of tools, including financial aid, scholarships, and student loans, to help area residents secure college education regardless of their financial means.
A related program that also begin in 2008 – “Genesee Promise Plus” – provides scholarships for up to two summer courses to all June graduates of GLOW area high schools.
Trustees have been especially concerned about the challenging economic circumstances that have faced many local families over the last several years, Dr. Steiner noted. Trustees held Genesee tuition flat – $1,700 per semester – for the last two years. Genesee was the only SUNY community college to keep tuition stable for this two-year period. Despite rising budget costs, increased enrollment will help the College exceed its revenue projections for the year, Dr. Steiner said.
Dr. Virginia M. Taylor, Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services, reported that 851 individuals have applied for admission as full-time students for the Spring 2011 semester, up 6% from the 803 individuals who had applied at this time a year ago. “We are on target for another record-breaking enrollment for spring,” Dr. Taylor said. Economic insecurity and the potential loss of unemployment benefits are motivating some students to enter college to retrain for new careers, Dr. Taylor said.
In other business Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:
- Heard Board Secretary Cathy Costello report that the College had been informed that it would receive a $28,481 SUNY grant in support of the College’s child care program next year.
- Heard Trustee Diane D. Torcello report that the Presidential Search Advisory Committee is beginning a review of application materials from prospective candidates. “We are very encouraged by what we have seen so far,” Ms. Torcello told trustees.
- Approved the granting of degrees in January 2011 to students completing academic work this semester, subject to their satisfactory completion of courses. Genesee anticipates awarding seven Associate in Arts (A.A.) degrees, 149 Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees, 128 Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees, and 26 certificates.
- Heard Trustee Laurie J. Miller report that the Board is accepting nominations for honorary Genesee Community College associate degree recipients. The Board may award honorary associate degrees to individuals associated with the College who have earned extraordinary business, professional, civic, or scholarly accomplishments; individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the life and growth of Genesee Community College; and individuals associated with the College who are notable leaders in academic disciplines taught by the College. Nominations are due February 1, 2011, and nomination forms will be available on Genesee’s web site (www.genesee.edu) next week. Past recipients of the honor are Alfred C. O’Connell, founding president of Genesee Community College; William Stuart (deceased), former Chair of the Genesee County Board of Supervisors; Neil T. Burns (deceased), former trustee; and Anthony T. Zambito (deceased), former trustee, and longest serving member of the College’s Board of Trustees.
- Heard Kevin P. Hamilton, Vice President for Finance and Operations, report that the College’s new art gallery is fully enclosed, and that the rooftop heating/cooling unit was installed by crane recently. Contractors are now focusing on interior work, with flooring and ceiling the top priorities.
- Heard Mr. Hamilton report that the College has received 163 responses to its recent survey of nursing students. The survey was designed to elicit student attitudes about driving, parking, and safety issues associated with the new nursing facility located in the Bruce Holm Med Tech Park. The survey found that most nursing students drive to the Med Tech Park, and park their vehicles there. A small number of students cross Hawley Drive on foot. The College Safety Committee will monitor road crossing habits of students, Mr. Hamilton said.
- Heard President Stuart Steiner report that Karen Huffman Kelly will join the faculty as Instructor of Biology. Dr. Kelly has taught at Mt. Mercy Academy in Buffalo, and has served as a member of the adjunct faculty of Erie Community College, Buffalo State College, and South Suburban Community College Illinois. She holds a B.S. degree in Microbiology from Indiana University, a Science Education Certificate from Buffalo State College, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas.
- Heard Vice President for Student and Enrollment Services Dr. Virginia M. Taylor describe the College’s “Weekly Reporting” system. “Weekly Reporting” is a software application that faculty members can use to make reports of students who have not arrived for class, stopped attending class, or who have difficulty with tests. Student Services staff members then attempt to contact students who are facing difficulty, and help the students get back on track. The ultimate goal of the Weekly Reporting system is to foster student success, Dr. Taylor noted.
- Heard Marina A. Cappellino, Associate Professor of Computer Systems and Network Technologies, report that she completed much program and curriculum development work during her recent sabbatical leave. Ms. Cappellino had a special interest in deepening her knowledge of security issues relating to technology, and she participated in a number of conferences and webinars on cybersecurity. She was also accepted as a member of Infraguard, an FBI-sponsored consortium of businesses, educators, and law enforcement officials who monitor emerging cybersecurity issues and share information to prevent hostile acts against U.S. citizens. During her sabbatical, Ms. Cappellino also studied the merits of continuing the CISCO Networking Academy at Genesee as opposed to implementing a different type of certification program, and concluded that continuing the CISCO Academy was in the best interests of Genesee students. “It was a wonderful and exciting sabbatical, and I look forward to bringing our students new material,” she told trustees.
- Heard Associate Vice President for Human Resources Gina M. Weaver and Gretchen DiFante of StandOUTresults provide a progress report on the College’s strategic planning initiative. Ms. Weaver and Ms. DiFante reported that a 19-member steering committee has completed an “environmental scan” of educational, market, and demographic trends affecting the College, and identified a variety of planning issues and priorities that will concern the College in the years ahead. Strategic planning subcommittees are now developing “key intended outcomes,” or measurements, the College can use to assess its success in the future. Subcommittees will also attempt to link Genesee’s priorities and plans with the new “Power of SUNY” strategic plan introduced by the State University of New York. The proposed strategic plan will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for review and approval, Ms. DiFante noted.
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