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JCC budget seeks county contribution increase, three positions

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Jefferson Community College officials unveiled a $27.9 million 2013-14 budget at the Jefferson County Board of Legislators Finance and Rules Committee meeting Tuesday that asks for a 3 percent increase in sponsor contributions from the county and the creation of three positions in a proposal its president said would help the college continue the growth it has experienced in recent years.

“No matter how you look at it, JCC is doing an outstanding job of meeting the needs of the community,” said President Carole A. McCoy. “Our graduation rate is the highest in the state, 83 percent of the community has a positive perception of the college, we broke a record for the number of students enrolling, we had a 100 percent licensure passage rate for nursing and we’re planning to open our residence hall in 2014.”

Next year’s local share is $6,479,368, a 3.8 percent, or $237,509, increase from $6,241,859. Most of that, $4,769,055, is expected to come from Jefferson County as the sponsoring county. Local share also includes revenue from other counties whose students attend JCC.

State aid will cover 25 percent of the total budget while tuition will cover nearly 43 percent. Tuition totals are projected at $11,959,655, a 4 percent, or $460,099, increase from this year’s $11,499,556. However, full-time student tuition will increase 3.2 percent, or $60 per semester. Part-time tuition will increase by $5 per credit hour.

State aid increased by $150 per full-time equivalent student for a total of $2,422 per student; that is the second consecutive year the rate has increased.

However, officials noted, the college’s state aid is $253 per student less than it was in 2008-09.

Community colleges in the state had requested a $205 increase per FTE student.

For the fall 2012 semester, 2,249 full-time and 1,808 part-time students attended JCC — a record high of 4,057 students.

According to the budget, approximately 570 students will graduate this year.

JCC had the highest six-year graduation rate among the state’s 35 community colleges, according to The Center for an Urban Future’s 2013 Completion Day report. The center is a New York City-based think tank. For the Completion Day report, the center looked at SUNY and CUNY community colleges.

To capitalize on its growth, the college has proposed creating three positions:

n A faculty member who will teach about chemical dependency in the human services program.

n A faculty member who will teach culinary skills in the hospitality and tourism program.

n An admissions recruiter whose job will be to expand the college’s enrollment across the north country.

The proposed 2013-14 budget represents a much more optimistic outlook on the college’s future than in 2011, when officials cut staff and raised tuition by 5 percent.

A growing sector of the student population is adult and nontraditional students who are seeking to retrain for new jobs or change professions.

“That is an area of emphasis for us going forward,” Mrs. McCoy said.

The committee recommended a resolution to adopt the budget that will have to be approved by the full Board of Legislators next month. Following that, it will need final approval from the state.

Committee members also endorsed a resolution to authorize the purchase of a $1.24 million upgrade to the county’s financial software and hardware and a resolution to authorize an agreement with Danser and Knudsen Psychological Services to conduct evaluations for probation officers who wish to carry firearms while on duty.

Prior to the Finance and Rules Committee meeting, the Board of Legislators Health and Human Services Committee directed county administrators to draft a policy pertaining to the deployment of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone hydrochloride, or Narcan, with Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies.

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