Wind Energy Comes to GCC


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The ACE Department and GCC have partnered with three area high schools (Batavia, Alexander and Pavilion) to bring wind energy to the campus. Federal Title II (Tech Prep) and Title I funds were used to purchase a wind turbine that has been installed on the roof. While this turbine will generate electricity for GCC it will mainly be used by the local high schools and Genesee Community College for science and engineering instruction. The turbine will be much smaller than many windmills, standing at only 70 feet. The Batavia Campus was identified as an ideal location for the turbine since it is believed to be the windiest location in Genesee County.

The turbine will generate a variety of wind and meteorological data that will be transmitted to a computer housed at the Batavia Campus. Students will use and analyze the data as part of their educational programs. In addition to the GCC and ACE science classes at least two of the high schools are developing Career and Technical Education courses that would specifically include use of the wind turbine. Hundreds of students will directly benefit from the equipment each year.

In addition to its small size, the wind turbine is very quiet, rated with a noise level of 35 decibels, which is softer than a typical conversation. One side benefit of the wind turbine is that will generate about 1,500 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, which will slightly decrease the College’s electricity bill.

Besides supporting educational programs, the wind turbine reflects the State University of New York’s system-wide commitment to an “energy smart” New York.

GCC Announces New Math and Science Enrichment For Region’s Gifted and Talented Students


Research suggests that gifted and talented students are more likely to reach their full potential if they are immersed in enriched curriculum that matches their aptitude rather than their age. In order to assist the GLOW region in providing such opportunities, ACE Programs of Genesee Community College is pleased to announce a new program available to students demonstrating early signs of high potential in math and science.

The Math Science Preparatory program for students in 7th and 8th grade will be taught by full time GCC math and science faculty and expand upon the NYS math and science standards with content designed to prepare students for the academic rigor of college level science and mathematics. Students who successfully complete the two-year program will be eligible to participate in the Accelerated College Enrollment STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Enrichment Program at Genesee Community College including an option to complete an Associate (AS) Degree in Engineering Sciences within months of high school graduation.

Participating in any of the ACE Programs allows students to gain transferable college credit at a greatly reduced tuition rate (1/3 the regular in-state tuition charged by GCC). While ACE programs have always provided opportunities for exceptionally motivated students to achieve enough college credits to potentially earn an associate degree, the STEM enrichment program will be the first opportunity for high school students to pursue a specific AS degree through GCC. The goal of the preparatory program is to provide students with the opportunity to prepare for successful participation in this accelerated course of study.

Although there are many gifted and talented students who would benefit from this type of preparatory instruction, ACE can only select 48 participants for the first semester of Math Science Prep to ensure the highest quality experience for each student. All applicants must be nominated by a math or science teacher and approved by a school counselor or principal. Nominations must be submitted by March 15, 2012. Students will be invited to complete the application process after review of the nomination. The application deadline is March 30, 2012. Those accepted into the program will be notified by May 1 and activities will begin during the summer of 2012.

While ACE Programs office has shared this information with all area middle schools and is seeking nominations, parents and students are encouraged to be proactive and seek nomination by contacting the ACE Programs office or their school counselor. Additionally, GCC will award two students one year scholarships to the program through the first annual GCC 6th grade Math/Science Scholar awards.

For more information contact: Karlyn M. Finucane, Program Specialist, ACE Programs (585) 343-0055 ext. 6320 or email kmfinucane@genesee.edu.

AP and Advanced Studies


Students registered for courses through the Advanced Studies Program enjoy the advantage of developing a college transcript before graduating from High School. Grades and Credit are awarded based on work performed throughout the entire course.

 I don’t want you to have the impression that I am knocking the AP program, it obviously can have some tremendous benefits. Students who are in the top of their class, and doing well, typically can score well on an AP exam and have that credit transferred once they go off to college. However, not all students are A students, and not all students do well on AP exams. There should be no shame in being a B student, as most students are, and opportunities should exist for these students to excel in both high school and college. Here is some information that you might want to know about AP scores.

The AP exam is graded on a simple 5-point scale. Students who take the AP exam will get a score ranging from 1 to 5. The College Board defines the numbers as:
• 5 – Extremely well qualified to receive college credit
• 4 – Well qualified to receive college credit
• 3 – Qualified to receive college credit
• 2 – Possibly qualified to receive college credit
• 1 – No recommendation to receive college credit
Not every college treats AP scores the same way. According to Allen Grove, contributing communist for the New York Times, “although the College Board defines a 2 as “possibly qualified” to receive college credit, almost no college will accept a score of 2. In fact, most selective colleges will not accept a 3 for college credit”. Many SUNY colleges won’t accept a 3 for college credit. This will sometimes depend on the intended major of a college-bound student, and the credits they are attempting to transfer.

“In the majority of cases”, says Grove, “a student who scores a 4 or 5 will receive college credit. In rare cases, a school may require a 5. The exact guidelines vary from college to college, and they often vary from department to department within a college”. For example, a student may receive credit for a 3 in Spanish, but the same college might require a 5 in Chemistry.

The national average score on AP exams is just below a 3. In 2008, close to 3 million AP exams were administered nationally. The scores broke down as:
• 5 – 14% of test takers
• 4 – 19% of test takers
• 3 – 24% of test takers
• 2 – 22% of test takers
• 1 – 21% of test takers
Keep in mind that only 20-25% of high school graduates nationally take at least one AP exam. In a smaller school district, a graduating class of 125 may only have 31 students take an AP exam (25% of the class).

• Of those 31 students, 4 students (14%) will earn a 5.
• 6 students (19%) will earn a 4.
• 8 students (24%) will earn a 3.
• 7 students (22%) will earn a 2.
• 6 students (21%) will earn a 1.

Again, the average AP score is just below 3. The top 20-25% of all graduating seniors usually makes up the body of students taking AP exams, and only a little over half of those students earn a transferrable grade. Only one-third of them score a 4 or 5. If half of the top 20-25% of all graduating seniors can’t score a 3 or above on an AP exam, shouldn’t there be another way for those students to excel?

The Advanced Studies Program, through Genesee Community College’s ACE Program, helps to offer those opportunities to students who may not be in the top half of the top 20-25% of their class. Through this program, college level courses are offered to students right at their high school by their high school instructors who have been approved by GCC to teach the course for college credit.

In short, these instructors are approved to be adjunct instructors following the same guidelines as all of our adjuncts. They must also teach the course curriculum as though they were teaching a class of college students. Final grades are submitted to the college, and formally transcripted by our College Registrar. The credit earned on that college transcript can be transferred to any SUNY college, and most other colleges and universities with a grade of C or above.

Visit the ACE Programs web site to see what some former Advanced Studies students have said about earning college credit while still in high school:

http://www.genesee.edu/depts/ace/testimonials.cfm

Allen Grove is the former director of a program for new college students, a professor of English, and a freelance writer who focuses on college admissions, student success, and the transition from high school to college.

ACE Programs Provide Valuable Head Start for Ambitious Educational Careers


74% of Students entering 4-Year Colleges and Universities have goals well beyond Graduation.

As the academic year gets underway for the GLOW region High Schools, many students will be making important decisions that will affect the next decade or so of their lives.  If this sounds intense, it is!  Research suggests that over 70% of new college entrants plan to complete 6 or more years of study before entering the workforce.  Many of these students have economic factors in mind as they make this decision citing the ultimate goals of obtaining a higher quality job and earning higher wages as key reasons they are dedicating time, effort, and financial resources to this endeavor. 
 
When a High School student makes the decision to enroll for college credit through the Advanced Studies, College Today, and College Tech Prep Academies they are making major strides toward goals they may not realize until 8 to 10 years from now.  It is exciting to note that many students who take advantage of the Accelerated College Enrollment Programs leave their High School graduations already a full semester to full academic year ahead of their peers saving time and money as they travel down the sometimes lengthy higher education experience. 

As a student, parent of a student, or even just someone who knows a High School Junior or Senior planning to attend college in the future –  taking a look ahead toward all future goals can help you make the decisions today that will make the biggest contributions to your success.  As Accelerated Enrollment Program Specialists visit your school districts this fall they will provide information to each student enrolled in a college credit eligible High School Course regarding the registration process and the cost savings associated with completing college credits during High School. 

To recieve more information about Accelerated College Enrollment Programs available to you or the High School Student in your life simply click this button

and fill out the requested information.

To read the entire First Year Student Profile from the Chronicle of Higher Education visit: http://chronicle.com/article/A-Profile-of-This-Years/126067/

Cathie Hogan Honored as NISOD Award Winner


Each year the ACE Programs honor one of our teachers with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) annual award. This award emphasizes the importance of teaching and leadership excellence in institutions of higher education. Cathie Hogan was an obvious choice to be recognized as our honoree this year.
Cathie has been teaching at Lyndonville High School for 36 years with 16 of those years featuring active involvement in ACE Programs through both our Advanced Studies and College Tech Prep Programs.   She has shared her instructional talents  and subject area knowledge by offering several GCC courses through ACE including Principals of Business, Personal Money Management and First Year Experience.  Thanks to all her extra efforts and many talents as an educator, Cathie has provided college credit opportunities to hundreds of students in Lyndonville High School, cumulatively saving them well over one hundred thousand dollars in college tuition costs.

Cathie Hogan was congratulated by Edward Levinstein, Associate Dean of ACE Programs, at the Adjunct Dinner after receiving her NISOD award.

Cathie is the type of teacher who is always looking for new ideas, programs and other means of enhancing her students’ education and experiences. She has high expectations of her students and motivates them to reach their potential while at the same time making her lessons engaging and interesting.

Cathie worked with College Tech Prep and the other Business instructors to develop the Virtual Enterprise program in the GLOW Region that began in September 2003. She has led Lyndonville High School’s Virtual Company, M3 (Movies, Music and More) ever since. As a direct result of Cathie’s leadership in the past 8 years her students have won numerous Virtual Enterprise awards in the Rochester Region. Her students have also worked hard to fundraise throughout 7 of the last 8 years so they could attend the International Trade Fair in New York City where they have also been honored with numerous awards.

Cathie is very deserving of the NISOD award for her dedication to her students and her profession, as well as the level of excellence in teaching that she has exhibited. There are many students from Lyndonville High School who are better citizens for having her as a teacher.

Congratulations from the entire ACE Program Team go out to Cathie and to the entire Lyndonville School District.

Academy Programs Welcome New Students, Invite More


Health Academy Students met at the GCC Main Campus to review the exciting program activities available to them during the 2011-12 academic year.

In preparation for the upcoming school year the Health, Legal and IT academy students and their parents attended orientations at GCC and Genesee Valley Educational Partnership in the last week.   After reviewing the outline of the year long program, students received instructions to register online for their college courses, and the IT and Legal Academy students were given their first assignment which is due the first day of school.

The Legal Academy provides students with a complete overview of professions available within the State and Federal Government's vast Legal System.

These programs are open to high school seniors with an 80 or above overall GPA who are looking for a challenge during their senior year.  Students will work on curriculum in their field of choice, earn 15-17 college credits, and participate in job shadows and internships in order to help determine their long term career goals.  

Students from the IT Academy met at the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership to learn more about this high tech opportunity.

More information about the three different career academies can be found on the ACE Programs website:  http://www.genesee.edu/depts/ACE/techprep/.

Interested students may still apply.  Deadline is August 29th.  Contact Debbie Dunlevy at dkdunlevy@genesee.edu for details.

Community Connections Drive ACE Vision


Why am I passionate about ACE?  This question was posed to the entire ACE staff by our newest member, Karlyn Finucane as inspiration for some of our first blog posts.   In my opinion, it is a great question to lead off with since each of us can write volumes on the subject, and the question should lead us into many other interesting topics about ACE and concurrent enrollment in general.

If you are at all familiar with ACE, you might expect me to summon our statistics showing the thousands of high school students who participate, the tens of thousands of credit hours they earn and the millions in tuition they collectively save when they transfer credits to colleges throughout the country.  Certainly, there are many advantages and benefits of ACE that we continuously discuss with students, parents and school administrators.   All of us in ACE take great pride and personal satisfaction in our role and I would be remiss to not eventually discuss our impact in terms of numbers since they are truly staggering.  For most of us, the ability to help students in such a way is of course, part of what makes us passionate.  We will certainly discuss this in detail in a future blog post, but the greatest source of my passion for ACE stems more from aspects beyond the numbers.

Students recognized during the Outstanding Scholars Awards took a moment to join the "Faces of Ace" Campaign to highlight the diversity of academic fields pursued by ACE students.

As anyone who has worked within ACE will attest, this job provides exposure to many different sectors of our community.  This aspect of the job makes it not only interesting, but gives ACE the opportunity to help develop meaningful relationships and connections that benefit students and the community.  Nurturing these connections and relationships and watching them develop is the greatest source of my passion since ultimately, those connections are what result in the best opportunities for students.   Over time, ACE’s role has evolved into something more than providing college credit opportunities for students.  As wonderful as providing that opportunity is, we also have a role in influencing programmatic and regional improvements in education and the local economy.

One example is the Career Pathways in Biotechnology grant program that was a collaboration between ACE and the Genesee County Economic Development Center.  The grant provided funding for lab materials, field trips, teacher training and tuition toward credit bearing biology courses in several local districts.  The GCEDC and GCC’s goals were to increase awareness of biotechnology and life sciences opportunities for students with long term hopes to attract biotech and life science companies to Genesee County.  ACE continues its relationship with the GCEDC to develop additional opportunities for middle and high school students in the region.

Building Lego Robots was a highlight for many students during the MST Camp

ACE’s College Tech Prep Program, under the leadership of Deb Dunlevy, has successfully collaborated with BOCES, high school and college personnel to develop the Legal, Health and Information Technology Academies.  Dozens of students go through these academies annually and earn at least fifteen college credits while gaining real life exposure in their intended career.  Our hope is to have new academies developed in different disciplines with help from local districts, agencies and businesses.  Tech Prep has also facilitated events such as Tech Wars, Science Fairs, assisted the Genesee County Business Education Alliance with the Math Science and Technology summer camp and partnered with Batavia High School to fund the eventual construction of an educational windmill at GCC.

Although I could list dozens of more examples, I will end with this one that is a little closer to home. I mentioned before that ACE plays a role in positively influencing programmatic and regional improvements in education and the local economy.  A recent example of how GCC and ACE has influenced changes in our local education system is our partnerships with some districts to provide transitional courses in the high schools.  This fall, a few high schools  (we hope that number will grow as we realize some successes)  will provide transitional courses in reading, English and math for students who may not be considered “college ready” by the time they leave high school.  Many people argue that there is a disconnect between the New York State standards that each high school must concentrate on and what colleges expect from first year students.   Not all high school students, even after they have earned their diploma, have mastered what they need to know in order jump into college credit courses.  Offering transitional courses will help bridge and fill the gaps by connecting GCC and high school faculty to work on curricula to suit everyone’s needs and expectations.   If successful, we will limit the number of students who spend their first year of college (and financial aid) on transitional courses.

When GCC and high school faculty have been brought together in the past, it has proven to be beneficial to both.  I look forward to seeing them work together on this transitional course project.  Again, it is the connections we make that provide wonderful opportunities for all and help us obtain new and unique perspectives.  The sharing of ideas and thoughts about the discipline and teaching strategies often result in a new spark for both teachers that spread into the classroom.  Often I hear from college faculty that they learn as much about offering our courses from high school teachers as they have shared.

Every connection and relationship developed provides us with extra incentive to provide more opportunities.  The more connections we make, the better our chances are of developing something new, innovative and impactful for our students.

Getting off the ground with Tech Prep!


Together with the Genesee County Business Education Alliance, ACE’s Tech Prep helped develop and host the MST Explorers’ Camp for middle school students from July 19-22.

Bob Miller Flight Training gave free airplane rides to 30 middle school kids from the Genesee County, BEA Summer Career Camp.

Reducing number of Years in College Key to Real Savings!


In a recent New York Times article discussing the website “MyEdu” the suggestion was made that the best way to reduce the overall cost of a college education is to reduce the number of years spent pursuing a degree.   This concept seems like common sense, however many students spend a minimum of six years pursuing a four year degree. 

Slightly more than half of all college students nationally graduate in six years, not four, if at all. – Reeve Hamilton NYT

  At the community college level it has been observed that students often spend three to four years obtaining an associates degree, particularly in high demand areas of nursing, physical therapy assisting, and information technology.

Students who participate in the Accelerated Enrollment programs offered by Genesee Community College are already well on their way to reducing the number of years they will need to pay full college tuition.  By completing college credit courses at a fraction of the regular tuition Advanced Studies and College Today students can shave an entire year from their overall college investment. 

While paying approximately 40% of the regular tuition rate, ACE students typically earn 3-12 college credits during each of their Junior and Senior year of high school.  Unlike Advanced Placement, the students aren’t limited to their performance on one exam to earn the credit.  Instead of spending a year studying for an exam, Advanced Studies students spend the year participating in a college level course and earn their grade the same way they would in the college setting.  Courses such as FYE (First Year Experience) and CEP (Career and Education Planning) help students map out their future, another suggestion offered by the New York Times article.

To learn more about Accelerated Enrollment at Genesee Community College click here:

Summer Opportunities On Campus


ACE Students are eligible for the Genesee Promise+ Program, another way to Accelerate your Academic Success!

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