Batavia, New York — The multiyear, SUNY-wide initiative to develop the seamless transfer of college course credits across all 64 State University of New York campuses continues at the granular level at GCC, Dr. Kathleen Schiefen, GCC Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs reported to the Board of Trustees at last Monday night’s meeting. GCC faculty are part of the SUNY system wide transfer chain that is carefully reviewing all academic degree programs to create uniform credit and curriculum requirements. The SUNY system cap for the majority of associate in science (AS), associate of arts (AA) and associate in applied science (AAS) degree programs is 64 credits.
Throughout their review and assessment efforts, Dr. Schiefen has directed and guided GCC faculty to ensure the academic integrity of each program is protected. Among the programs that GCC has already amended to meet the 64 credit limit include: Administrative Assistant AAS, Individualized Studies AAS, Computerized Drafting and Design AAS, Computer Support and Operations AAS, Fashion Business AAS, Polysomnographic Technology (Sleep Tech) AAS, Tourism and Hospitality Management AAS, Entrepreneurship AAS and Fine Arts AS.
The most recent academic program changes approved by the Board of Trustees last Monday evening involve more complex modifications. Dr. Schiefen explained that by deactivating GCC’s low enrolled Environmental Studies, AS degree, doors of opportunity open to establish a new Liberal Arts and Science: Natural Science, AS with concentrations in Biology, Environmental Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The Environmental Studies program will be “aged out” and fully deactivated in 2019, which allows current students to complete their studies without interruption.
“SUNY seamless transfer has allowed us to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) opportunities, and through our new concentrations we will be able to identify student cohorts separate from the current Math and Science Liberal Arts,” Dr. Schiefen explained. “This process has also allowed us to ‘clean up’ our science curriculum, and better advise our students and track their success throughout their college experience at GCC.”
Assessing GCC’s four healthcare programs, specifically Respiratory Care, Veterinary Technology, Physical Therapy Assistant and Nursing, all AAS degrees, created an even greater challenge to balance the requirements of independent certification agencies, such as the National Board for Respiratory Care, Veterinary Technician National Examination and others. By requesting a waiver from GCC’s overall General Education Plan for these programs, which requires 23 credit hours, Dr. Schiefen and her team of faculty addressed this challenge.
“We’ve done a very responsible job of balancing SUNY’s Seamless Transfer initiative with the demands of our terminal degrees to satisfy certification requirements and prepare our students for licensure,” President James Sunser told the Trustees.
In other reports, the Board of Trustees:
•Heard of the appointment of five employees:
•Dr. Thomas Priester, of Rochester, holds the new position of director of Transitional Studies and assistant professor. After working at other local community colleges, Dr. Priester came to GCC in 2012 as an instructor of Transitional Studies, helping refine the First Year Experience course that helps GCC’s diverse student population transition into a successful college experience. He actively serves on GCC’s GUSTO! (Genesee Unites to Serve Team Opportunities), Academic Senate Curriculum Committee and the Adult Learner Committee. He earned his PhD from St. John Fisher College, his MS from Buffalo State College, and his BA from SUNY Fredonia.
•JoNelle Toriseva, also of Rochester, is the new director of English and Communication Arts and assistant professor. As a published author, JoNelle joined GCC in 2011 and has taught English, and also served on the Transitional Studies Committee, the Joint ACE/GCC Faculty Senate Committee. She has also advised the College’s Literary Club and hosted Open Mic Sessions. She also has worked with GCC’s BEST Center to develop a noncredit remedial initiative exploring ways to assist student success in the English coursework. She earned an MFA from Mills College in Oakland, CA, her MA and BS from Bemidji State University in MN, and a BA from Concordia College in NH.
•Alyssa Crofts, of Batavia, is assuming a technical assistant position at GCC’s Albion Campus Center after teaching GCC’s Public Speaking course as an adjunct instructor since 2011. Among her past experiences are assisting with GCASA’s Smoke Free NOW program and interning with the governor of New York State. She is a member of the Alpha Chi and Lambda Pi Eta honor societies, and earned her MA and BS from the College at Brockport.
•Melissa Miller, of Varysburg, has been appointed the technical specialist and lab coordinator of GCC’s busy Nursing department, combining her skills and experiences in biology, laboratory research and education. She has worked as a tutor at GCC’s Student Support Services center, and previously as a veterinary assistant, and a research lab technician at Buffalo State College on the Lake Erie Nearshore Offshore Nutrient Study. After earning her first college degree at Genesee Community College, Melissa earned a BA and MA from Buffalo State College.
•Karen Krieger, of Albion, is the new full-time technical assistant at the Medina Campus Center. After more than a decade of teaching in local public schools, as well as extensive experience working as an intensive care manager in mental health and with the Orleans County ARC, Karen joined GCC in 2013 as a part-time associate. She earned her MS from D’Youville College and her BS from Buffalo State College.
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