Fall Semester Off to Great Start, Board of Trustees Hears

‘Everyone seems to be positive, motivated and happy to be back,’ Dr. Kathleen Schiefen, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs told Genesee Community College Board of Trustees about the first week of classes and the enthusiasm shared by faculty, staff and students for the fall semester.

Batavia, New York —“Everyone seems to be positive, motivated and happy to be back,” Dr. Kathleen Schiefen, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs told Genesee Community College Board of Trustees about the first week of classes and the enthusiasm shared by faculty, staff and students for the fall semester.

She also reported that online enrollment includes 1,600 students registered for 135 online courses, reflecting GCC’s growing online program featuring both individual courses as well as complete online degrees. In fact, GCC’s online offerings are emerging so quickly that the Office of Online Learning is conducting a careful review of the programs with the assistance of a Rochester Institute of Technology intern who will help asses the ease of use and accessibility issues under the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Dr. Schiefen also reported that the new, less complicated registration process for non-matriculated students, who are often interested in taking just one course, helped more than 100 students enroll in classes without going through the entire admissions procedure. In addition, the College’s IT department reported that Student Help Desk requests for the first week of classes witnessed a significant reduction from last year. This is attributed to improved communications to students prior to the start of classes, including a new computer access session presented during orientation.

Other developments helping the smooth transition into the new semester included a faculty luncheon just before the first day of classes featuring presentations about key programmatic changes, advancements and opportunities. Dr. Schiefen also reported a new tradition with the ongoing assessment of every GCC academic program which occurs on a rotating, five-year schedule. One year after the end of the multifaceted review, the assessment team and involved faculty will participate in a debriefing luncheon with the president’s cabinet to essentially “assess the assessment.” This provides an essential follow-up from the overall assessment process helping to ensure that any important discoveries and concerns are being properly addressed in a timely fashion.

In other matters Monday evening, the Board of Trustees:

Welcomed Ami L. Cornell as the 2014-2015 student representative for the Board of Trustees. Ami is a Fashion Business Merchandising student with a double major in Communications. From Pittsford, Ami is also a student ambassador who enjoyed working at orientation.

Approved the updated Start-Up New York GCC Plan, which includes greater detail in the delineation of designated potential sites adjacent to the Batavia Campus, and also the key academic programs relative to any proposed opportunities. The state-wide initiative was introduced by Governor Andrew Cuomo to encourage potential developments on or within one mile of each of SUNY’s 64 campuses by offering tax-free status to both the company and new employees for up to ten years. Each SUNY institution can designate up to 200,000 square feet of space for Start-Up New York projects to create new jobs associated with the academic curriculum offered by the connected campus. For further information about Start-Up NY go to: http://startup-ny.com/

Heard from William Emm, Executive Vice President for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness about the upcoming State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process for the new Student Success Center and Events Center proposed for the Batavia Campus. JMZ Architects and Planners, PC are prepared to assist with the study which involves a 30-day public review process.

Heard from Richard Ensman, Director of Development and External Affair about the construction progress of “Lilac” and “Hemlock”, the two new residential buildings at College Village. Currently 64 student residents are staying at the Clarion Hotel as the final construction phase of the new facilities is completed. College Village is providing a free shuttle service to the College during this interim period which is anticipated to end this month for residents of Lilac, and in October for Hemlock residents. With the additional two buildings, College Village will be able to accommodate 451 students.

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