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FLCC seeks ways to woo veterans

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Posted: Thursday, January 12, 2012 10:42 am

HOPEWELL — Finger Lakes Community College wants to see more veterans among its non-traditional students, one of the reasons it’s partnering on a grant that would increase the availability of veterans services in the area.

The Canandaigua Veterans’ Administration submitted the grant application. If awarded, it would allow them to add a position to assist veterans. That person, who would not be an FLCC employee, would assist veterans at the college through various services, including counseling, explained Joseph Nairn, executive assistant to the president.

“You’re seeing more veterans come back with PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder],” he commented after an FLCC committee meeting Wednesday. “In order for them to be successful, they need some help readjusting.”

“From time to time, we mention the veterans services ... from time to time, I read about colleges that are promoting, to a considerable extent, programs for veterans encouraging their enrollment,” noted Trustee Harry Burt during the meeting. “We’re hearing that veterans come out [of the service] and don’t have jobs — I’m wondering if there’s anything more that we could be doing to woo veterans here?”

FLCC President Barb Risser responded by saying the college boasts an active veterans committee devoted to the task. Every few months the committee monitors veteran enrollment and looks at possibilities to increase it, explained Amy Pauley, FLCC development officer.

“To be competitive, we need some population to work with,” she said. “We’re not quite there yet.”

Risser said the college currently has about 120 veterans among its student population. Private colleges, she added, have an advantage because they’re able to waive the difference between veterans’ benefits and their tuition.

“It’s a wonderful thing that they can do that,” Risser said, adding that FLCC, because it’s a public institution, cannot.

“Private institutions can do tuition discounts,” Nairn clarified after the meeting. “Basically, they mark down the rest of the cost.”

In other business yesterday:

• REPORT PROGRESS — The board reviewed progress on their Middle States Commission on Higher Education report. Nairn said the report, 150 to 200 long, is an internal review of the college’s practices, including topics like institutional integrity and fiscal management.

The report is a precursor to a peer-review visit scheduled for mid-March, a process FLCC must undergo for re-accreditation by the Middle States Commission. The report must be finished and submitted to peer reviewers six weeks prior to their visit, Nairn explained. It’s currently in the editing phase.

“I think the team will be thrilled,” Risser said during the meeting, noting the written and visual contents are strong. “It has nice pictures of our students ... we’re in really excellent shape with Middle States.”

• REVENUE UPDATE — Vice President of Administration and Finance Jim Fisher said enrollment tuition for the fall was down about $150,000.

“But, we have had higher-than-budgeted winter [revenue],” he added, noting preliminary figures show they were about $65,000 over budgeted revenue, “so we should be closing that gap a bit.

“Spring registration is still going on, so it’s really too early to make too many conclusions about the spring tuition at this point. We’ll have a better idea when we meet next month.”

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