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Value and quality of JCC education topic of Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club program

January 11, 2017
By Sue Hammond - , Westfield Republican

At the Jan. 3 meeting of the Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville, which was held in Westfield at The Parkview, members were offered an informative presentation by Kirk Young, Ph.D., JCC Vice President, Enrollment Management and Institutional Advancement, about the advantages of a Jamestown Community College education. Young is also the Executive Director of the JCC Foundation, and he is a newer member of the Jamestown Rotary Club.

The focus of his program was what Young called "value and quality propositions" of a JCC education. JCC has the two main campuses of the Jamestown Campus in Jamestown and the Cattaraugus County Campus in Olean. It also has the North County Center site in Dunkirk. Total student enrollment at JCC is about 5,000, which includes 3,000 full time students. JCC, which is part of the SUNY system, currently offers 35 degree programs and 20 certificate programs. In addition, it has 11 degree programs and 5 certificate ones that are available online.

JCC also offers its College Connections program. This program allows students of area high schools, which have agreements with JCC, to receive college credits concurrently with their high school courses. For example, those students who are enrolled in the biotechnology program in their high schools are earning college credits. Young, who has a background in leadership development, is currently building a program called JCC Leadership Academy. Through this program high school students will gain college credits by attending JCC leadership workshops, classes and summer programs.

Article Photos

Photo by Sue Hammond
Kirk Young, Ph.D. (right), Jamestown Community College Vice President, was a guest presenter at a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Westfield-Mayville. He was introduced by Adele Harrington (left), this group’s immediate past president.

Young stated, "In a time when so much is being said about the growing cost of higher education as well as the ever-increasing amount of student-loan debt, JCC continues to be a very affordable option, whether your goal is a two-year degree focused on manufacturing and technology, or if your goal is to transfer on for a four-year degree in one of our many transfer-oriented degrees."

He continued, "Student debt is a huge deal. I believe that the next bubble to burst is the student-loan debt one. JCC students are able to take advantage of a high-quality education, without incurring huge debt. More than 80% of JCC students receive some form of financial aid. Also, there are over 70 scholarships available to JCC students."

The average cost of annual tuition for JCC students who are NYS residents is $4,520, and for full-time non-NYS resident students it is $9,040. Campus housing, which has been available at the Jamestown main campus, is now also offered to the JCC Cattaraugus County students, though the housing is on the nearby St. Bonaventure campus in Doyle Hall. The average cost of JCC housing is $7,500 per year.

With a student to faculty ratio of 16:1, JCC students are able to receive sufficient and personalized academic assistance, which may not be the case at larger colleges and universities. More than 50% of JCC students go on to earn a bachelor's degree or pursue higher education.

Further adding to his "value proposition" of a JCC education, Young presented data based on the WNY region about the costs of a college education. "If a student attends a SUNY college or university for all four years of his/her program, the average tuition cost is $32,300. If a student attends JCC for the first two years, and then a SUNY college or university for the final two years of the program, the cost is $25,200, which is a savings of $7,100," said Young.

"The tuition cost for a student to attend a private college or university for four years is $121,700, while the cost is $69,900 if the student attends JCC for the first two years and then transfers to the private institution for the last two years. This is a reduced cost of $51,800. The fee for a student who attends an engineering or technical university for all four years is $146,400. If the same student was enrolled at JCC for the first two years, and then transferred to the engineering or technical university for the last two years of undergraduate study, the cost would be $82,500, which is $63,900 less."

There is a brand-new Manufacturing Technology Institute on the JCC Cattaraugus County Campus in Olean, and the MTI on the JCC Jamestown campus is being remodeled as a state of the art facility.

Referring to an economic impact study that was conducted for JCC about five years ago, Young said that for every $1 spent in JCC education, there is a $5.30 return in future income. Annually JCC generates $33.7 million for the local economy. Both JCC and SUNY Fredonia are partnering with Athenex, the global oncology pharmaceutical company that plans to build a 300,000 square-foot plant in Dunkirk and expects to employ 900 people, with the hope of filling positions at the facility with local employees who have the necessary skills.

As part of his "quality proposition" topic, Young discussed the low student to faculty ratio, the wide range of studies available to JCC students, and the preparedness of JCC graduates, whether they continue their studies at four-year institutions or they enter the workforce. He said, "JCC is helping to make responsible, independent individuals who can make a significant impact in their communities and beyond. JCC offers many unique opportunities, such as robust, domestic internships that range from being located downtown to Disney World, and also international internships. JCC students may have unique educational and cultural experiences by studying abroad for a few weeks or several months in one of 27 countries."

Young announced, "These are exciting times at JCC. There has never been a better time to invest in yourself and in your future by working toward a degree in one of our many academic programs." He noted that JCC officials, as well as those at the other SUNY and also CUNY schools, were very interested in NYS Governor Cuomo's plan for offering free college tuition, which the Governor publicly announced on Jan. 3.



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