Financial Struggles for Columbia-Greene Community College
Learn about the CGCC financial struggles and how you can support better funding
March 24, 2018
New York State (NYS) Funding for Columbia-Greene Community College (CGCC) has significantly decreased, Columbia and Greene County are increasing their contributions to help compensate.
NYS funding to community colleges is based on enrolled students, and enrollment is declining. This payment structure is a precarious way to fund community colleges. The institution’s costs are roughly the same, even if enrollment goes down.
Across NYS, there is an overall trend of decreasing enrollment at community colleges. From Fall 2012 – Fall 2016, the 30 NYS community colleges experienced a decline by 20% (15% mean). Fueled by the region’s decrease in high school graduates, CGCC’s decline was 27%.
While the state contributions to community colleges have decreased, student tuition and county contributions have increased. CGCC has also drawn down it’s fund balance. In the coming years, there will be no fund balance to draw on and the counties are expected to significantly increase contributions.
CCGC, along with many other community colleges, are asking NYS to switch to a fixed cost model, the same way that four year SUNYs are funded. This would provide a predictable “floor” of funding from year to year. In addition, there is an ask to increase funds to community colleges across the state, including $15.8 million in additional base, $6.3 million to cover inflation, $1.9 million for support of low income students, and $13.5 million for workforce development programs. CCGC would receive a portion of these funds.
Support Community College
[Good jobs that pay family-sustaining wages] increasingly require education beyond high school, suggesting the need to help people access not only jobs but education and training as well.
CGCC plays a key role in workforce development. We currently suffer from under employment, where people struggle to find adequate salaries and meaningful work. Meanwhile, many employers have difficulty finding qualified employees. The college is helping to bridge the gap and could play an even larger role.
Many CGCC students are working while in school. Students often struggle to find time within their work schedule to be a full time student so they can qualify for financial aid.
New Cybersecurity Degree
In Fall 2018, CGCC will launch a cybersecurity and computer forensics degree specifically designed to prepare students to transfer to a 4 year program in cybersecurity.
New Historic Preservation Certificate
In Fall 2019, CGCC will launch a Certificate in Construction Technology/Preservation Carpentry.
Proposed 4 Year Nursing Degree
CGCC has a successful nursing program and graduates typically find quality employment. CGCC has requested that NYS grant the college the ability to offer a four year nursing school, where students would earn a BSN which will be a continuing education requirement starting in 2020. This would enable people to work locally, while working towards their next degree.