Schenectady County Community College has a big impact on the local business community, according to a recent report on the college’s economic impact.
A majority of students remain in the area after graduation and spend money at local businesses, according to a June 2014 economic impact study by Economic Modeling Specialists International.
“The college is committed to putting students on the path to success and plays a key role in helping them increase their employability and achieve their individual potential,” the report states. “The expenditures of SCCC, along with the spending of its employees and its students, further support the local economy through the output and employment generated by local businesses.”
About 84 percent of SCCC students stay in the Schenectady area, as well as Albany and Saratoga counties, after graduation. Also, nearly 500 students relocated to the region because of the two-year college during the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Those students who relocated to the area to attend SCCC spent a total of $2.6 million at local businesses over the past two years. The total effect of SCCC on the local business community was $168.2 million in 2012-13, according to the report.
“SCCC’s greatest economic impact stems from the education, skills training and career enhancement that it provides,” the report states. “Since it was established, the college has supplied skills training to students who have subsequently entered or re-entered the regional workforce.”
SCCC offers degree programs in a range of fields including business administration, culinary arts, and hospitality and tourism management. Last year the college welcomed about 8,900 students, with another 1,326 non-credit students.
During that time the college awarded 26 bachelor’s degrees, 425 associate’s degrees and 105 certificates. As of last year SCCC employed 555 faculty and staff, with 88 percent who lived in the region.
“The results of this study show that SCCC has a significant positive impact on the local business community and generates a return on investment for its main stakeholder groups: students, society and taxpayers,” the report says.
SCCC has also experienced a lot of changes over the past year.
In March, Quintin Bullock stepped down as president to lead a much larger school in Pittsburgh — the Community College of Allegheny County. Martha Asselin, who served as vice president of student affairs at the college, is now acting president.
The college is charging forward with a national search for Bullock’s replacement by the end of the 2014-15 academic year. Asselin plans to enter her name in the pool of applicants.
SCCC Board of Trustees Chairwoman Denise Murphy McGraw was playing a prominent role in the college’s next chapter until she announced she would not be seeking another term in June. Ann Fleming Brown, director of admissions at Union College, is now head of the board.
The college has expanded over the past five years with a new music building and student housing and has also leased additional space in downtown Albany and Schenectady.
SCCC is celebrating its 45th anniversary in September, which is when school officials plan to unveil its first mascot — Royal the Duck. The college is also looking to expand its health science programs with development of a new $24 million science building next year.