When the end of the school year come in sight, we tend to focus attention on the senior.
But it is a milestone for high school juniors as well. The impending end of the school year means it is getting to be time to settle on a college.
For families in the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus region, a stream of news recently makes it apparent they would do well to shop locally.
Foremost was news that Jamestown Community College is deemed the "Top Performing Public Two-Year College" in New York by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a publication of news and information about colleges and universities.
The report measures hard-and-fast results: graduation rate, completions per every 100 students, cost per completion and spending per completion, among other things. JCC topped the list of 35 public two-year colleges in the State University of New York and the City University of New York with at least 200 freshmen per year.
At the time of the announcement, Marilyn A. Zagora, vice president and dean of academic affairs at JCC, said the report ''reminds us that JCC is unique among community colleges in that we serve high numbers of students who were top scholars in their high school classes.''
''That is not likely to be the same profile found at every community college. Through opportunities including the Unified Student Assistance Scholarship, our honors program, and our strong transfer articulation agreements, JCC attracts high academic achievers who are confident that a JCC education will connect them to their goals and prepare them for both career success and the pursuit of bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctorates," she said.
Then there was the opening of a major science center last fall which houses state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, and prep rooms for courses in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, and geology. The center particularly serves students in the college's associate degrees in liberal arts and sciences programs.
And the most recent news is that Jamestown Community College and five other community colleges are offering 34 different associate degree and certificate programs entirely online. Partners with JCC in the new Online Western New York Learning Alliance are Corning Community College, Erie Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Genesee Community College, and Monroe Community College.
If this reads unabashedly like an ad, well, so be it.
The college is a gem. We should all be JCC boosters.