Batavia, New York — Genesee Community College’s Dansville Campus Center will be relocated this summer from its leased Route 63 location to the former Dansville Middle School, two miles away, under a proposal approved Monday evening by Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees. Growing Dansville-area enrollment at GCC and the long-term higher educational needs of the region prompted the decision to move to a larger building.
The former Dansville Middle School was vacated last year. College and Dansville School District officials began talking about a possible move last fall.
The College will use about 20,500 square feet in the building, more than doubling the space available to the College. More important, the move means that GCC will be able to increase the number and variety of courses offered in Dansville in the years ahead. And because the former Middle School includes high-quality labs, and art and music rooms, specialized science and humanities courses are also a possibility, President James M. Sunser told trustees.
Equally exciting is the possibility of cooperative educational programs with the Dansville School District and other educational organizations, Dr. Sunser said. “The space is large enough and flexible enough that we could begin to offer more college-level courses to high school students, or eventually collaborate with other colleges and universities in bringing baccalaureate programs to the Dansville area,” he said.
The College anticipates move-in to be complete August 1. The College will host a public “grand opening” celebration at the new location later this summer.
The State University of New York’s strategic plan commits SUNY’s 64 campuses to “Cradle-to-Career” success, Dr. Sunser noted. This strategic goal emphasizes seamless transition throughout the educational careers of every New York citizen. “What this means is that every SUNY college is beginning to work in very practical ways to ensure that people move successfully from one phase of their education to the next,” he said. Dr. Sunser noted that GCC is already engaged in this initiative through such programs as the Genesee Region Tech Prep Consortium, college courses in area high schools, Genesee Promise Plus, career and academic advising, and The BEST Center, which provides a variety of career and professional training programs to thousands of employees of area business organizations. “With the additional space available to us in Dansville, we have a unique opportunity for more collaborative efforts and more partnerships in the years ahead,” Dr. Sunser told trustees. “We value these partnerships, and we know they will benefit the region’s citizens.”
The Dansville Center opened in 2002, and during that academic year, drew 900 course registrations. The Center has grown over the last decade, attracting 1,629 course registrations during the 2010-2011 academic year. During the Spring 2012 semester, GCC is offering 61 courses at the current Dansville Campus Center location. The Center is staffed by a six-member team, led by Associate Dean Peter P. Soscia.
Genesee Community College was founded in 1966, and began offering classes in Batavia in September 1967. In an effort to serve students whose family or work schedules prevented them from attending classes in Batavia, the College opened its first campus center in Albion in 1990. Other centers followed in Warsaw, Lakeville, Arcade, Dansville, and Medina. A new center in Lima replaced the Lakeville Center two years ago.
Genesee offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs, which served almost 7,400 students during the Fall 2011 semester.
“Our mission is to provide educational access and opportunity to people of all ages and backgrounds throughout our region,” Dr. Sunser said. “We do this through a wide variety of programs and courses, and by working closely with partner school districts such as Dansville, and other educational organizations. The opening of the new Dansville Center will be a milestone in our efforts to broaden educational opportunity for all residents of the Dansville area.”
The College’s Board of Trustees and the Dansville Central School District Board of Education both unanimously approved the proposal.
In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees heard President Sunser describe the six strategic priorities in the College’s new strategic plan: student success and preparedness; faculty and staff success; economic development and impact; relevant and impactful initiatives; a culture of trust and innovation; and financial sustainability. Associate Vice President for Human Resources Gina M. Weaver said that staff members have identified performance indicators for many goals in the plan. Dr. Sunser noted that the strategic plan covers the period 2011-2013, and that preliminary work on the next strategic plan will begin this summer.
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