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GCC's Board of Trustees hear ten year summary of the "Genesee Promise Plus" summer scholarship program

STAFF REPORTS

BATAVIA, N.Y. -- Ten years ago, the Genesee Community College Board of Trustees introduced a summer scholarship program that exemplified the College's commitment to increasing accessibility to higher education. As Genesee Promise Plus recognizes its ten year anniversary, more than 4,000 students have taken advantage of the tuition-free summer courses at GCC, Dr. Shelitha Williams, vice president of Student and Enrollment Services reported to the Trustees at the August 13, 2018 Board meeting. Genesee Promise Plus (GPP) scholarships remove financial barriers to college for citizens across the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) counties providing high school students, as well as adults with no previous college course credit the chance to "try it" tuition-free at GCC!

The program was originally aimed at graduating high school seniors, but in 2010 officials realized that GPP would serve high school juniors equally as well. And in 2013, GPP expanded again to provide adults who had never attended college in the past with the summer scholarship program.

While increasing access to college was GPP's primary goal, there have been any many tangential benefits. College bound students can complete developmental classes or prerequisites to lighten their freshman year course load helping ensure timely college graduation. GPP builds confidence and gives some students, particularly adults, the chance to try college without a huge investment, Dr. Williams said.

On average, 312 high school seniors annually participated in GPP with 2010 being the peak year of enrollment with 392 students. High school juniors averaged 82 participants annually with 2016 being the peak year with 197 enrolled students. Adults averaged 11 students annually with 30 students enrolled in 2014. This past year (2017), 27 adults enrolled. Final figures for this summer (2018) are not yet available.

In other business, the Board of Trustees:

Approved the granting of degrees and certificates to August 2018 graduates, subject to their satisfactory completion of academic requirements. The College anticipates awarding one Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree, 48 Associate in Science (A.S.) degrees, 38 Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degrees, and 1 certificate.

Heard a report from President Sunser about the hiring of five new employees including:

Michael Heel will begin his role as the director of Interdisciplinary Academic Support on September 7, 2018, a position that helps assess and develop new programs and curriculum. Heel served as coordinator and associate director of Curriculum Assessment at Monroe Community College for 10 years. He holds two Master's Degrees - one in Public Policy from Harvard University and the other in Political Science from the University of Rochester. He has been active in Middle States Commission for Higher Education as an evaluator and trainer, and he received a SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2015. Heel resides in Livonia, NY.

A seasoned GCC adjunct and a 20-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department, Jay Bushen will be a full-time Criminal Justice instructor this fall. His diverse experience in the RPD includes crime scene technician, bomb squad, recruitment, and investigating violent felony offenses. Bushen earned his BS in Criminal Justice from SUNY Buffalo State College, and his MA in Social Policy at Empire State College. He has also taught online courses at Aspen University and was Instructor of the Semester at GCC's Warsaw Campus Center in 2009. Bushen resides in Rochester, NY.

Amy Provenzo of Fairport, NY, will be joining GCC's Respiratory Care program as an instructor and clinical education coordinator. Her experience includes being an acute and critical care respiratory therapist, as well as a successful salesperson for Philips Respironics. She earned her BS in Respiratory Care from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

With more than 25 years of experience in customer relations including six years in undergraduate admissions, Ann Valento is a dynamic new member of GCC's ACE (Accelerated College Enrollment) team. Her previous position at Roberts Wesleyan was a data and response coordinator and communication specialist and included experience with program development, marketing and event coordination. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree Corporate Communications, both from Ithaca College. She resides in Pavilion, NY.

Michele Sformo is the new face in GCC's Business Office and she will serve as financial operations specialist. A GCC alumna with an AAS degree Accounting in 1986, Sformo continued her education earning a BS in Accounting from Empire State in 2010. Previously, she served as the finance director and assistant executive director for the Mental Health Association of Genesee and Orleans Counties. She resides in Corfu, NY.

Heard a report from Levi Olsen, GCC's director of Buildings and Grounds on the progress of the summer projects featuring extensive renovations in the B200 and C200 suites including new ceilings, flooring, paint, LED lighting, repairing electrical service as well as some asbestos removal and HVAC repairs. Other indoor projects included new concrete on the north entrance of the Genesee Center for the Arts, a new hot air curtain in the entrance of the Student Success Center and infrared imaging of the main electrical panels to proactively identify any concerns or issues. The pool was also drained, cleaned and regrouted as needed. Outside, the new pedestrian walkway features five themed garden islands and all the trees, shrubs and flowering perennials have been planted for this year's Phase I. In addition, the softball field has new sections of turf and infield mix.