WE PLANT: It starts with seeds, from our Childcare Academic Certificates to Accelerated College Enrollment programs and the new academic programs continuously developed, GCC is planting foundations for the future.

For years, GCC has offered certificate programs that can be completed in just one year. These programs, which generally require 30 academic credit hours, are designed to provide specific knowledge and skills required to perform a specific function. While these certificate programs can catapult learners into two- and four-year degree programs, they also fast-track the transition from novice to qualified worker. Certificates are also the pathway for career advancement for incumbent workers who are stalled in their occupation. This year, we introduced two important new certificate programs:

  • Turning a hobby or a personal passion into a full-time business will be easier after earning the Entrepreneurship Certificate which can be 75% completed online! Business and Management Principles, Marketing, Business Communication and Law, Professional Sales and Advertising are all covered in the program.
  • Since its introduction in 1982, GCC’s Fashion Business program has evolved with the times and now includes concentrations in E-Commerce, Event Planning, Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Design. NYS has a shortage of skilled alteration sewers and qualified fashion digital designers, and to meet the demands of this billion dollar industry and support the fashion-focused entrepreneur, officials at GCC announced a new one-year Fashion Design Certificate program in April 2018. Individuals can now enroll in GCC’s core Fashion Design classes as a fast-track to start working in the fashion industry, start a small business or work from home in a fashion-related capacity. Of course, certificate program students can also apply their credits toward a GCC Fashion Business Merchandising A.A.S. The College has several articulation agreements with other institutions including an innovative program that allows students to complete their first two years at GCC, a third year at Buffalo State College and then their final year at the Fashion Institute Technology in New York City.

The unique growth and development of GCC’s Fashion Business Program, which offers four associate degree options, one certificate, and the unique 2+1+1 program demonstrates the College’s Mission Statement to provide educational experiences which promote intellectual and social growth, workforce and economic development and global citizenship.”

Fashion Students in NYC
GCC Fashion Students
Richard Call

Beyond the planting of seeds metaphor, GCC literally dug into the ground in 2016 to begin construction of the Richard C. Call Arena and the Student Success Center. After a successful $5.5 million capital campaign, Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees formally dedicated the College’s new event center in honor of longtime College supporter Richard C. Call, [PIC] who was a member of the GCC Foundation Board from 2001 until his death in 2014. Mr. Call was a strong proponent of volunteerism and philanthropy, and also an advocate of a new event center at GCC.

  • Performance Improvement Fund Opens Doors of Opportunity-Under a SUNY Performance Improvement Fund or “PIF Grant,” GCC was awarded $179,000 in 2017 with the goal of enhancing diversity and inclusion across campus over a three year period. The program has three major objectives:
    • To create a training program for faculty and staff who serve on a new employee screening/search committee to better understand and avoid implicit bias.
    • To establish an internship program which invites professionals from historically underrepresented backgrounds to learn about careers in higher education. Candidates will serve as an adjunct instructors or Student Affairs staff members for one semester while receiving mentorship and professional development from GCC.
    • To implement a program for faculty and staff (with limited urban experiences) to spend time at an urban SUNY campus, learning about the unique culture at that institution and within that city. The hope is for these individuals to better understand GCC students from urban cultures.

Sara E. Vacin was hired as GCC’s Diversity and Inclusion coordinator and among her first initiatives were creating a Diversity and Inclusion webpage, developing a new OneGCC logo and a wide range of programs under the theme of Inclusive Excellence. There is also a dedicated Facebook page and social media handle: #oneGCC.

  • As seeds get buried in the dirt, buried under the stairway of new Richard C. Call Arena is a Time Capsule marking the College’s 50th Anniversary. Encapsulated is a treasure trunk filled to the brim with over 200 items of College memorabilia documenting, preserving and celebrating the College’s first 50 years. The Time Capsule is scheduled to be opened in May of 2068 as part of GCC’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. The collection includes a math book, alumni buttons, photo albums, several athletic jerseys, the musical score “Hymn to Genesee,” numerous event programs and related marketing materials, GCC “swag” or imprinted items, 1968 edition of Time Magazine, a bus schedule, cellular telephone and even a few items from the NASA CHANDRA space telescope donated by Donald Conway ’79.
Certified Instructor Norm Isler demonstrates flying a more advanced drone with three students in the Spring 2016 “Introduction to Drones” course.
  • GCC is continuously evaluating the workforce and then adjusting both the credit and non-credit course offerings and programs to address regional employment needs. In early October 2017, GCC’s BEST Center took to the skies by offering a series of noncredit drone opportunities starting with two informational sessions, and then a three-day, 18-hour, intensive course “Introduction to Drones,” which supplied each participant with a small drone, an onboard camera, a remote control, and a simulator all to learn the basics of flying, piloting skills, safety and regulations of drone flying and suitable preparation to take the FAA Remote Pilot Certification test.

Our Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Career Pathways program helps students explore career options and make a smooth transition from high school to college and ultimately to professional careers.

  • In March 2018, through a partnership with the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) Mt. Morris campus, GCC and the ACE program launched the new Sports Science Academy which welcomed students in its inaugural year. The academy provides highly motivated high school seniors with an opportunity for hands-on exploration of sports science by combining secondary education with collegiate education allowing students to earn 14 college credits at the discounted ACE rate.


  • The annual Tech Wars brings GLOW region middle and high school students together in an array of “tech-head” competitions including the popular Robotic Tractor Pull, Catapults, SUMO Bots, Bridge Designing and a Regatta using the College’s Aquatics Center. This year, the event drew an all-time record crowd of more than 750 students from 23 regional school districts.