Schenectady County Community College officials are citing the school’s programs and its increased profile as reasons for a projected 1.5 percent increase in spring enrollment.
The college on Monday boasted about the increase in full-time equivalent students from the previous semester, though officials were not able to provide specific numbers immediately. The official count won’t be known for a couple of weeks, as the college is still enrolling students for the spring semester.
SCCC board of trustees Chairwoman Denise Murphy McGraw said the college continues to see growth because its focus has been on meeting the educational needs of people who are looking to re-enter college or who are already in the workforce and want to acquire new skills.
“We have been partnering with employers in the region to try to be very practical about what we develop,” she said.
The college has implemented programs in nanoscale materials and alternative energy in response to the jobs at GlobalFoundries and GE Energy. Most recently, it is seeking SUNY approval for a new program in casino and gaming management as the state is looking to legalize casino gambling.
“We’ve adjusted to the challenges of the current economy,” she said.
In addition, McGraw attributed the enrollment growth to the increased publicity about SCCC with the opening of its student housing facility across the street, completion of its new 13,000-square-foot music wing addition and the start of the second year of classes being offered at the Center City downtown location.
“You might not want to take advantage of any of those things, but we’re in your mind. You’re hearing about it; you’re reading about it,” she said. “I think people who had never considered us, for whatever reasons, now really are.”
SCCC President Quintin Bullock was also pleased with the numbers, which are on track with his expectations.
“This year’s enrollment growth is a direct result of our work to provide higher education opportunities throughout the Capital Region as we’ve seen great success at our Center City location, and we will see continued success through future expansion projects to come,” he said in a statement.
Bullock said Monday that there is growth in both the college’s general education programs and its newer course offerings.