×

Students go back to school at NCCC

SARANAC LAKE – North Country Community College welcomed new and returning students back to its campuses on Aug. 29 with new program offerings, a combination of in-person, hybrid and online classes, full residence halls and athletic teams, and a series of upcoming capital projects planned on its campuses.

This is the college’s 55th year of serving the communities of Essex and Franklin counties. North Country has three locations — Malone, Saranac Lake and Ticonderoga. The college will also offer classes this fall at Akwesasne, part of an ongoing partnership with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, and in correctional facilities in Ray Brook and Malone, as part of the Second Chance Pell program.

Part of the State University of New York system, the college has 25 degree and certificate programs designed to give students the knowledge and skills to immediately enter the workforce or prepare them for transfer to a four-year college or university.

Good indicators

Final enrollment numbers won’t be available until the fall semester verification period is complete, but NCCC has surpassed 1,500 applications for fall 2022, an increase over last year that brings the college back to pre-pandemic levels.

“That’s a good indicator for enrollment,” said Kyle Johnston, Vice President for Marketing and Enrollment. “We are also seeing a strong number of students that are first-time-in-college, which is a group that we have been anxiously preparing for. Students’ expectations have changed drastically over the last couple of years, and we need to meet those expectations along with keeping a keen eye on ensuring college is affordable.”

In another positive sign, the college’s residence halls on the Saranac Lake campus are nearly full for the fall semester after being closed during much of the 2020-21 academic year and partially full last year. Athletics are underway, with the men’s and women’s soccer teams boasting full rosters, including 15 international students.

New programs

The college is excited to announce the launch of a new Digital Advertising and Design certificate. This one-year program includes a blend of art, design and business courses that are geared for in-demand career opportunities — whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, refreshing your skills, or looking to move up the ladder.

“The Digital Advertising and Design certificate is a perfect example of the college answering the needs of our counties,” said Sarah Maroun, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “This program was created in response to feedback we received at community advisory boards from local businesses who are struggling to find employees with skills in both business and artistic design. This one-year certificate provides a solid foundation to support the multiple needs within a small business, including social media marketing.”

North Country also has new offerings from its Business Department. The one-year Entrepreneurship certificate is a focused preparation for the business world, with an emphasis on business ownership and management skills. The college also recently added a Healthcare Administration track to its two-year Business Administration degree. Designed to transfer easily into a bachelor’s program, this track provides training for students looking to enter the healthcare system in an administrative capacity, an increasingly complex and evolving field.

Earlier in August, NCCC announced it will host training for two in-demand career opportunities in the region. Emergency Medical Technician classes will take place in Malone and Saranac Lake this fall, and in Ticonderoga in the spring. A state-approved 90-hour wastewater management training course takes place in Saranac Lake this fall. For details on these training opportunities, visit online at www.nccc.edu/emstraining or at www.nccc.edu/wastewater-management.

Upcoming projects

The college is gearing up for a series of major capital projects: the modernization of nursing labs on all three campuses, along with upgrades to the science labs on the Saranac Lake and Malone campuses. Design work for these projects is being finalized with the bulk of the work expected to begin in the spring of 2023.

The $2.1 million nursing lab project is funded in part through a $1 million grant secured by Rep. Elise Stefanik and supported by Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

More updates

In an effort to keep college affordable, North Country has frozen tuition levels for the 2022-23 academic year at $5,280 for resident students, $7,920 for non-residents, excluding fees and other charges.

North Country is continuing a partnership with Citizen Advocates to provide mental health services to our students. This is also the second year of the college’s Peer Advocate Program, in which trained student advocates help direct their peers to a myriad of resources and support.

This summer the college completed a multi-campus update and expansion of its surveillance camera network. IT staff are currently working on an expansion of the college’s emergency alert capabilities.

North Country welcomes four new faculty members this fall: Sean LaPlante (Math), Brandi Taylor (Humanities), Lauren Heath (Nursing), and Richard Davenport (Nursing).

Student engagement programming will take place both in-person and virtually this year.

New signage featuring the college’s updated branding is being installed across our campuses and in our communities.