PLATTSBURGH — Clinton Community College is asking for an additional $175,000 in financial support from the county for 2017-18.

That's the highest funding increase the school has sought in the past nine years.

If approved, it would bring the county's contribution for the upcoming budget year to $2,872,132.

The funding is needed to balance CCC's $13,629,554 spending plan, which down 1.2 percent over that of the current year.

HIGHER TUITION

While presenting the request to the County Finance Committee Wednesday night, CCC President Ray DiPasquale explained the budget also reflects an increase in fringe-benefit costs, expenses related to bringing the school's new 30,000-square-foot Institute for Advanced Manufacturing online and a decrease in state funding of $274,374.

"We are only exceeding the 2009 (state-aid) rate by $72," CCC Vice President for Administration and Finance Lisa Shovan said at the meeting.

Additionally, the plan calls for resident tuition rates to increase 8 percent, or $344 annually for full-time students.

Annual tuition for full-time, non-resident students will increase 4.3 percent, or $400.

"It's important to note that that still keeps us well below the Pell Grant, and that's important for students," DiPasquale said.

And the school hopes to stabilize tuition rates over the coming years, Shovan added.

LOWER COSTS

The budget also reduces equipment costs by 45.7 percent ($84,000) and personnel expenses by 3.1 percent ($235,805).

Among the factors contributing to the decrease in personnel costs are:

• Elimination of two positions.

• Reorganization of administration and finance operations.

• Reduction in compensation base through entry-level hires into positions vacated by long-term employees.

• Reduction in adjunct/part-time budget relative to budgeted decrease in enrollment.

• No compensatory increases, with the exception of CSEA-negotiated contract.

The college plans to use $363,558 in fund balance in 2017-18, which will leave $400,683 of the reserves remaining.

ENROLLMENT GOALS

Still, DiPasquale said, CCC has a plan to turn things around and is optimistic about the future. 

"Our numbers will turn from red, hopefully, to black very soon," he said.

Boosting enrollment is a primary goal for the college, according to DiPasquale.

"Last year was the lowest enrollment in the history of the college, and this year, what we're attempting to do is keep that enrollment stable so that it doesn't dip any further."

The school estimates its 2016-17 full-time-equivalent enrollment at 959. It has budgeted for the equivalent of 956 full-time students in 2017-18.

CCC is projecting modest increases in enrollment over the following two years, DiPasquale said, "that hopefully will get us where we need to be."

Among the efforts being made to boost student numbers are

• Debuting the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at the start of upcoming fall semester.

• Re-establishing program for international students.

• Maintaining distance-learning program.

• Continuing publicity, marketing and outreach work.

• Responding quickly to needs of the community, businesses and industries.

CHANGES

Additionally, the president noted, "we've been hosting all kinds of events to bring more attention to the school."

CCC, he continued, has been reviewing all of its programming and has added new programs in health-services management, applied psychology, electronics and information technology and cyber security.

The college also has a new nursing program, which, DiPasquale said, is "very unique in that you'll spend three years at Clinton, one year at Plattsburgh State, leading toward a bachelor's degree in nursing."

A drone-technology program is in the works, as well, he said.

“When you see the numbers of where we are today, where we're going to go next year and where we'll be in two years from now, you begin to see that the numbers are going to look better,” DiPasquale said.

The school plans to close the gap between its revenues and expenditures in 2018-19, Shovan said, "and our expectation in working the plan is that we will actually be at a surplus position in 2019-20."

Email Ashleigh Livingston:

alivingston@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @AshJLivingston 

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Ashleigh Livingston reports education and health news. She is a graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, where she also serves as an adjunct lecturer.

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