For colleges today, student recruitment involves more than mailing brochures and making hundreds of phone calls - it requires creativity.
At Jamestown Community College's board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, members of JCC's administrative team unveiled a high-powered plan to attract new students, and the college's new science facility - set to officially open on Sunday, Nov. 20 - is at the center of that plan.
"We have a team of individuals that have been involved in putting together a plan in how we will utilize the science center in recruitment and roll out the center to the community," said Gregory DeCinque, JCC president. "The science center was designed to provide high quality education to future generations of college students and we intend to fully maximize recruitment opportunities afforded to us by that center."
Fresh recruitment initiatives are a topic of focus at JCC because of a roughly 6 percent decline in enrollment from last year and more so because of the increased recruitment efforts of private colleges and other universities throughout the area, according to Marilyn Zagora, vice president and dean of academic affairs.
"Last year was an exceptional year and we anticipated and budgeted for a decline this year," Zagora said, citing total student population this fall at 3,926. "And as these economic shifts have occurred, colleges around the region and particularly private colleges are adjusting their recruitment methods and financial aid packages and scholarship opportunities," Zagora said.
Nelson Gariffi, director of marketing and academic initiatives, explained a plan that includes a series of lectures throughout the year, open to the public and delivered by JCC alumni that since graduation have found careers in the sciences, and also a new program the college is calling Science Discovery Days.
"We will invite younger students - high school and middle school students - as part of our early awareness program," Gariffi said. "Students and their teachers will spend time with out faculty to understand the discipline within not only the natural sciences but in the diverse career pathways that you can take from here."
The board of trustees also passed a resolution to authorize agreements to begin construction of a third residence hall on the Jamestown campus, which is scheduled to begin within the upcoming weeks. The residence hall will be complete and open to students by the beginning of the fall 2012 semester.
At the upcoming 10,000 Maniacs concert, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1, at JCC's Scharmann Theatre, both Dennis Drew and Steven Gustafson will be specially commended as the board passed a resolution of commendation on their behalf on Tuesday for their contributions to the arts in Jamestown.
While the Saturday show is sold out, there is a matinee show at 2 p.m. on Sunday for which tickets are still available.