North Country Community College President Dr. Steven Tyrell and V.P. for Financial Operations Bill Chapin address members of the Board of Supervisors.
Neither Essex or Clinton County will have to pick up the tab for a 3.3 percent increase to the North Country Community College budget.
School President Dr. Steven Tyrell and Vice President for Financial Operations Bill Chapin presented the 2012-13 college budget to members of the Finance, Tax Reduction and Mandate Relief Committee July 16. While the budget calls for the increase in expenditures to $13,630,00, both counties will be asked to contribute $1,190,000 to the school, the same amount they put into the 2011-12 budget.
“I think that we were all very pleased to hear that you were not asking for an increase,” Finance chairman Tom Scozzafava of Moriah said.
“We appreciate you coming to us with a budget that does not include an increase for the county,” Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston added.
“We are requesting the same dollar amount from Essex County that we received last year,” Chapin said. “We are very appreciative of the support that we receive from Essex County and the importance of that funding.”
Chapin also said that the school has been able to keep the tuition rate for Essex and Franklin County residents flat at $3,900 annually.
Scozzafava said that the public hearing on the NCCC budget in Essex County would be held July 30, at 9:45 a.m.
Dr. Tyrell pointed out the successes of the college that has them rated by one publication as the top community college in New York and 22nd in the nation.
“Our sponsors, as well as the quality of faculty and staff that we have on our campus, contribute to that,” Tyrell said. “They are very effective in helping the students gain the confidence to get through an associates degree or certificate program.”
Tyrell also said that the school works with students to help them give back to the counties that help fund their education.
“The staff gets them to think about ways to get the students to contribute back to Essex County once they leave,” he said.
The school, which also has a satellite campus in Ticonderoga as well as Malone, enrolls approximately 300 students from Essex County. Scozzafava said that he hoped the college would look to bring even more residents in.
“Dr. Tyrell assured the committee that they are going to try and work hard to recruit more residents from Essex County into the school,” Scozzafava said. “Any students that go to Adirondack or other colleges, we have to pay those colleges back to the tune of about $600,000 a year.”
Tyrell also spoke about the different mediums over which people attend college.
In the last 10 years, colleges have moved as quickly as they can to online instruction,” he said. “It has been a real advantage for people who are place-bound, especially community college. North Country has increased its online offerings. We have to look at all types of ways to deliver education today, including new kinds of ways that we see today and ways that we have not even seen yet. The one thing that we have to balance is that we cannot sacrifice the quality of education that we offer.”
Tyrell added that, if he were a college student that could just text his answer to his instructor, it would make him very happy.
“Those challenges post great opportunity for us,” Tyrell said. “There is no more exciting area to look at the use of new ways to use technology for education then in the community college setting.”