Schenectady County Community College officials are pleased with an 8 percent boost in enrollment this fall.
President Quintin B. Bullock reported that the college has about 4,400 full- and part-time students. He anticipated that the number may increase another by another 1 or 2 percent with additional students counted who are taking courses through the University in the High School program.
The college had budgeted for a 7 percent increase in enrollment so Bullock said this is welcome news.
The enrollment increase is not as much as 2009, which was up 10 percent in the fall compared to fall 2008. College officials attributed the large jump last year to the weak economy and people going back to school for retraining or learning new skills.
Board of Trustees Chairwoman Denise Murphy McGraw said the increasing enrollment is a sign of the college’s growing reputation.
“We’re on the rise. We are in the premier institution not only in the Capital Region but the state,” she said.
The board also adopted Bullock’s goals, which include increasing use of technology in the classroom, overseeing new capital projects such as student housing, the renovation of the Kindl building at 201 State St., expanding the music wing and enhancing awareness of the college.
Another key goal of Bullock’s is to obtain federal and state grants for the college and work with its nonprofit foundation to raise additional funds.
To help with this latter goal, the board renewed its contract with consultant Wally Altes to run from Sept. 1 through May 31, 2011 at a fee of $30,000.
Last year, the college hired Altes, the former president of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, at that same rate to use what McGraw called his “best Rolodex in town” to introduce new president Bullock to the heads of local companies.
McGraw said the college is broadening the scope of Altes’ work. He will be charged with two main tasks — working with the college’s new director of development to find new sources of revenue, including fundraising for the college’s foundation arm, and continue working with local companies to identify potential partnerships on new programs.
Bullock said the college is setting a goal to raise $500,000 from these other sources.
Altes said Monday by telephone that the scope of his job is still being defined. He thinks the first year of his employment has gone well, particularly in the college’s workforce development efforts.
“I think we have worked very hard to develop some new potential business contacts for training,” he said.
In other business, the board also agreed to spend up to $37,845 to install a network of “blue light” telephones on campus parking lots. These will allow students to dial security instantly to report an emergency.
McGraw said this was an initiative brought forth by former student Trustee Emily Miller and the college’s student government actively advocated for the phones.
Bullock said the lights would be installed in mid- to late October and the process would take about two weeks.
Board member Gary Hughes also reported that an anonymous benefactor has provided new uniforms for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as cheerleaders, should the college be able to field a squad. The first men’s home game is Oct. 26 at its new location at City Center with a scrimmage against SUNY-Cobleskill. The regular season home opener is on Nov. 13 with the women’s game at 1 p.m. and the men at 3 p.m., both against Clinton Community College.
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