Saturday, February 05, 2011


A few weeks ago, I attended the Programs & Education Committee. Chairman Wayne Harris and the rest of us got to hear about the status of UCCC. The Dean of Admin, Mark Komdat, gave us a pretty detailed report on the programs, finances and enrolment status. It seemed on course for the 95% expected projection.

Dean Komdat said that as of December, the projections were heading for 78% but already reached 88% by the mid January meeting. While I type this, Its probably at the desired amount heading into this semester. We discussed the possible reasons for the sluggish enrolment numbers, attributing issues such as changes in healthcare coverage for students under 26 as well as the economic stress in the Hudson Valley.
Mark then explained that they are looking to boost summer enrolment by implementing a head start collegian program for recent high school graduates.
Kathleen Keyser was present to give us a brief overview of the history of the RISE Program and how it has existed for more than twenty years under different names. I was shocked at the number of students that had utilized the program. At that point I realized that if I wasn't fully aware with the program and didn't know what it does, then most of us are in the same position.
RISE has served more than five hundred students with children who are on temporary assistance and has enabled them to earn a degree, a certificate or a diploma in select areas and to become self-sufficient. Those that qualify, get into the program through referral. There are a number of incremental programs designed to build a learning student. Eventually DSS assigns the students in specific activities to assess their engagement. The "Participation Summary" requires a designated number of hours each month.
(Im' going to have to get a tour of the program)

Wayne Harris asked if the participants were all women. Kathleen said men had been referred in the past, but not often. Don Gregorius asked about the entry program. Kathleen said the "Essential Skills" classes start at the beginning of summer to prepare students for the fall.
 Marianne Collins, the Dean of Advancement, noted that those who graduated the many courses in the RISE program had a 98% success rate of stepping out of the assistance system and staying out. Considering the cost of subsidizing a family through the safetynet, the educational investment in the head of household is well worth it. 
There are under 20 referrals in any annual program. Of those participating, some achieve sufficient employment during the course and drop out. Certainly not a negative. I only wish we had the resources to offer to place more referrals in the program. Perhaps the 2012 budget.


Carl Chipman said...


I look at UCCC and DCCC and see a "Tale of Two Cities (actually counties). DCCC has rising enrollment, much lower tuition, and less money spent proportionately from the county for support. UCCC must look at holding tuition down to affordable levels and creating greater educational efficiencies or the downward trwnd will continue. More money is not the answer but how it is spent to educate is.

Anonymous said...

Good reporting job mike at least some of our legislators earn their money

Anonymous said...

Want to fix the college and the ever expanding budget? Get rid of the current administration. Get new people from top to bottom. The management of the college is horrendous and the main reason the enrollment is down. As long as tuition at DCC is $2,900.00 and the tuition at UCCC is $3,820, UCCC will lose enrollment. It is suppose to be a lower cost alternative.