Arcade, New York - Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees approved a new Food Processing Technology degree program Monday evening. The new A.A.S. (Associate in Applied Science) degree program will prepare students for a variety of positions in the region’s rapidly-growing food-related industries. The program will be the only one of its kind within the State University of New York.
Now that the Board has approved the program, it will be reviewed by other area colleges and then submitted to the State University of New York and New York State Education Department for approval.
The 63-credit program includes courses in general food processing technology, safety and sanitation, operations management, labeling, and courses in biology, chemistry, nutrition, and physics. It also includes general education courses in English, economics, statistics, business and management. Students will also complete a supervised internship in an industry setting.
“Local industry leaders want students to have an understanding of microbiology and chemistry,” said Interim Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael S. Stoll. “It will be a rigorous and challenging program.”
The College developed the new degree program in response to the dramatic growth in workforce needs of area food processing employers. Representatives of the Genesee County Economic Development Center and Cornell University provided valuable assistance to Genesee, according to President James M. Sunser. Out-of-area employers across Western New York and as far east as Central New York have also expressed interest in the program.
Area employers are eager to hire well-trained graduates of the program, Dr. Sunser told trustees. “Many new job opportunities are available right now, and even more will be available in the coming years,” he said. The program is expected to begin in the fall of 2014.
In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:
•Approved the College’s new 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. The plan commits the College to six strategic priorities: student readiness and access; student success and completion; economic development and impact; faculty and staff success; college culture of collaboration and excellence; and sustainability. President James M. Sunser said the new plan embodies the principle of “constant improvement,” and will help ensure that the College meets accreditation requirements.
•Heard Executive Assistant Cathy E. Costello report that the State University of New York and New York State Education Department have granted final approval for new E-Commerce and Event Planning concentrations to be offered within the College’s Fashion Business program.
•Heard Director of Development and External Affairs Richard Ensman report that the College Foundation is nearing completion of a campaign feasibility study in support of the College’s Facilities Master Plan and expanded scholarship programs. The Foundation Board has expressed its interest in helping the College secure support for two high-priority projects in the Master Plan: a student success and a multi-purpose college-community event center.
•Heard Interim Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael S. Stoll report that the Global Education Skills Alliance is opening its first web site this month. Genesee, along with seven other colleges in the U.S. and abroad, is pioneering this initiative. The Alliance will provide students at participating colleges with opportunities to participate in international study. A key priority of the Alliance is international study that benefits business and industry in the communities served by participating colleges. Vice President Stoll said that the Alliance director recently made a presentation to the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce board, and members were enthusiastic about the initiative.
•Heard Trustee Laura J. Bohm report that about 30 of the region’s community college leaders and legislators gathered at GCC for a New York State Community College Chargeback forum March 22. The event, sponsored by the New York Community College Trustees Association and hosted by Genesee, was an opportunity for college officials, trustees, and legislators to share information about community college financing, especially the cost-sharing formula that New York State counties use to support students who attend community colleges across the state. Mrs. Bohm served as moderator of a panel discussion during the event, and Genesee President James M. Sunser served as a panelist. Mrs. Bohm said that the event was an excellent educational opportunity for college and civic leaders. Dr. Sunser said that the event underscored the broad support of the region’s legislators toward community colleges, and the value of meeting and exchanging information regularly.
•Heard President Sunser report that Stephen Wise will join the College’s staff May 1 as Director of Public Safety. Mr. Wise has served as Director of Safety and Security for the Churchville-Chili Central School District for the last three years. He retired from the Greece, NY police department in 2009. Mr. Wise is a Rochester-area resident. He holds a B.S. degree from SUNY College at Brockport and a M.S. degree from Keuka College. He is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy.
•Heard Professor of English Marie Iglesias-Cardinale report on the professional development activities she pursued during her 2011-2012 sabbatical leave. Professor Iglesias-Cardinale used the 2011-2012 year to develop new skills and experience in genre (specialty fiction) literature, and use these new skills to enrich her teaching at Genesee. During 2011-2012, Professor Iglesias-Cardinale completed three online courses and two literature retreats, and joined writer’s groups. Most significantly, she wrote and published three genre fiction books, and a fourth will soon be published. She also began work on a new Creative Writing e-textbook, which she plans to use with her classes. Professor Iglesias-Cardinale said that she is using student feedback to help her complete this e-book.
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