Genesee Community College expects enrollment for the fall semester to top 7,000, an increase of about 5 percent to a record, according to GCC President Stuart Steiner.
The college's May commencement graduated 808 students, also a record for the two-year college, which accepted its first class in the fall of 1968. Summer school enrollment also set a record this year.
The college has become, in the words of County Legislator Hollis D. Upson, "an economic engine." Upson is chairman of the Legislature's Ways and Means Committee, which must give initial approval of the GCC operating budget. This year's is $34.2 million, an increase of 3 percent.
Upson's assessment notes that the college is one of the largest employers in the county with a faculty and staff of 700 full- and part-time employees. It also provides more than 200 additional jobs to students in federally funded work study and student work assistance programs.
Steiner added that more than half of the full-time employees reside in Genesee County.
Genesee, as sponsor of the college, pays $1.9 million, or less than 5.7 percent of the total operating budget, a decrease from last year's 5.9 percent, the lowest level in the college's history.
Steiner said the college has the second lowest operating cost per student in the state university system. The figure of $7,519 compares with the state average of $9,028.
This fall, GCC will more than double the size of its nursing program with 250 students. Because of its growth, the program will be moving in August to the new Upstate New York Medical and Technical Park on land adjoining the Batavia campus. The facility, built by the Genesee County Economic Development Center, will host medical services and life science companies in cooperation with the University at Buffalo.