Capital project to create "Learning Commons"
State Sen. Rob Ortt today announced $12.5 million has been secured to create a Learning Commons center at Niagara County Community College. The money, included in the 2015-16 state budget, will be used to renovate and upgrade the college's library, Child Development Center and Faculty Resource Center.
"NCCC is an economic engine in Niagara County and an academic model for the community college system," Ortt said. "They provide quality, affordable education and career training options to local residents looking for advancement. This capital funding will enhance the student experience at NCCC and ensure that we continue to attract high-quality students locally and across the state."
NCCC President James P. Klyczek said, "This funding will make the Learning Commons project a reality for the students of Niagara County Community College. It will transform the conventional Henrietta G. Lewis Library and our current study facilities by fusing traditional resources with dynamic educational techniques. It will provide modern tools and integrated work environments that cater to multiple learning styles and group-focused work.
"The Learning Commons will become the nucleus of the campus; a place for faculty to collaborate and help students develop critical thinking skills while incorporating state-of-the-art technology, multiple student support services, and a home for both students and staff. This will support NCCC's overarching goals to improve student success and graduation rates.
"On behalf of the Niagara County Community College board of trustees, the board of directors for the Niagara County Community College Foundation, and the 7,000 students that the college serves every semester, we thank Sen. Ortt and his colleagues for this very generous and much-needed funding."
In addition to capital funding, the 2015-16 budget includes a $20 million increase for State University of New York and City University of New York community colleges. By increasing full-time equivalent funding by $100, base aid will be $2,597 per FTE for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
Development of the Learning Commons fits into NCCC's transition to a contemporary campus incorporating modern technology such as smart-technology classrooms, campus-wide Wi-Fi, and open-access computer labs.
NCCC, founded in 1962, is a partnership between Niagara County and SUNY. It offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs across arts, media and technology; business and hospitality; humanities and social sciences; and science, health and mathematics. Programs range from general educational development (GED) to surgical technology.
With numerous dual-admission and transfer options, many NCCC students transfer to public and private schools to complete bachelors' degrees. NCCC's low tuition and scholarship opportunities often save students thousands of dollars in annual tuition costs compared to other schools. NCCC offers small class sizes to maximize the individual attention students receive from instructors.