JCC Denotes ‘Very Successful’ Outreach Efforts

Jamestown Community College has been reinforcing its engagement with local high school students throughout the region. The marketing department presented to board of trustees regarding that push during a recent meeting. P-J file photo by Jordan W. Patterson

Jamestown Community College has been reinforcing its outreach to local school districts since President Daniel DeMarte’s hire last year. College officials reported a steady increase in local participation.

Kirk Young, director of marketing, highlighted recent events at an April 16 board of trustees meeting about the college’s engagement with potential enrollments around Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

In an attempt to keep the board updated on the institution’s month-to-month efforts, DeMarte intends on having similar reports at future meetings.

During the presentation, Young emphasized open houses and parent-student orientations organized by college that garnered varying success throughout the region.

The orientations, featuring presentations and workshops, focused on college preparation and financial aid education. Four strategically-placed events were held with two taking place in both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus. DeMarte worked with local school districts to determine ideal locations to better serve the surrounding communities.

The first event was held at Portville Central School, that saw 19 students, with their families, attend. The event served as the south county effort in Cattaraugus. Surrounding school districts were invited with varying attendance, but the majority of students were from Portville.

The north county event was held at Cattaraugus Little Valley Central School. The event was the lowest attended by local students with only five total families attending.

The north county event in Chautauqua was held at Dunkirk High School. Students form Dunkirk, Pine Valley Central School, Fredonia Central School and Bethel Baptist Christian Academy, with 19 families attended.

The south county effort in Chautauqua was the highest attended with 54 families participating. The event was held at Jamestown High School. A mix of Jamestown, Randolph Central School, Falconer Central School and Southwestern Central School students were in attendance.

“They were very effective meetings,” Young said. “I was pleasantly surprised by the attendance. They were all in the evening, and you always wonder if the students will come back in the evening and attend these things.”

The orientations also welcomed school administrators and officials including superintendents, principals and guidance counselors. Young said the presentations throughout both counties allowed the college to engage employees of each district as well.

“We will be definitely continuing this effort,” Young said.

Young realized many of the students who attended the events were juniors. Because the event was in the spring, he believed it was too late reach many potential seniors who possibly already made post-graduation plans. He said his department has plans to conduct similar events in the fall to connect with potential college freshmen going forward.

While JCC officials traveled to neighboring high schools, it also offered families and students the opportunity to visit the college through a series of open houses Young described as “very successful.” Events were held at each of JCC’s locations in Dunkirk, Jamestown and Olean. In 2017, the aggregate number of students who attended on all three campuses was 114. In 2018, there were 142 students and this year’s open houses observed a total of 148 students attend.

“One thing that we are seeing and we’re seeing this with our application numbers as well our open house numbers and other things, we are seeing a steady increase in participation and interest from students,” Young said.