Schenectady County

Alternative energy curriculum on SCCC horizon

New alternative energy programs at Schenectady County Community College are getting a step closer


New alternative energy programs at Schenectady County Community College are getting a step closer to reality.

The Board of Trustees last week voted to ask the SUNY Board of Trustees for formal approval of a one-year certificate program in storage battery technology and a two-year associate’s degree program in alternative energy technology. College officials were prompted to start these new programs because of General Electric’s plan to build a $100 million facility locally to manufacturer metal halide batteries.

GE officials are working with the college to develop the curriculum for these programs, which would start in the fall, pending SUNY approval.

The two-year alternative energy technology program would be designed so students could continue their studies at a four-year institution.

The board had previously approved submitting a program announcement, which is the first step in creating a new program and allows for comment from other SUNY colleges.

Also at that stage, is another proposal for a two-year liberal arts associate degree in mathematics. College officials were prompted to start this program because of a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that said employment of mathematicians in the state is expected to increase 5.5 percent during the next six years. The largest growth will be in actuarial positions.

Following comment from other colleges, the board will then make a formal application.

In other business, President Quintin B. Bullock unveiled his proposed reorganizational structure for the college. Bullock is proposing new positions including the dean of information technology. The college currently lacks an information technology officer.

He is also proposing to elevate some dean positions to the status of vice president, including the vice president of academic affairs.

Bullock seeks to change the Office of Continuing Education to the Division of Workforce Development. This part of the college would house not only continuing education but also other programs the college runs to help train students for needed skills like Youth Build, which helps young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 earn a GED and get construction job skills.

Bullock also wants to create a vice president or dean of student affairs position. He explained that SCCC had someone in this job but that person retired about nine years ago and the position was not filled.

Two associate deans would manage the two major areas under student affairs — campus life, responsible for career and employment services, student activities and athletics, and college access, responsible for financial aid, admissions and the SUNY College and Career Counseling Center.

Bullock proposed that the college do internal searches to fill these positions. He does not plan to change any of the academic departments.

He said his reorganizational plan is basically just a reallocation of existing resources. “There is no additional cost for the changes being proposed.”

He would also like to create a position of executive assistant to the president to help assist in identifying potential grant funding for the college. However, Bullock said he would not fill this job right away, citing the economy.

The SCCC Board of Trustees reviewed the proposal and is expected to consider it at its meeting next month.

Also, the board approved awarding a contract to Mid-States Industries to renovate the Elston Hall entrance portico on Washington Avenue at a cost not to exceed $421,517. SCCC officials have expressed concern about the appearance of the facade at that entrance to the college and wanted the portico stabilized and rehabilitated.

“We want to have this project done over the summer, so when we open the doors for the fall semester, that front entrance is open and looking beautiful,” said Dean of Administration Patricia Godlewski.

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