ITHACA, NY – On Tuesday, Tompkins Cortland Community College President Carl Haynes came to the Tompkins County Legislature on Tuesday to deliver a “State of the College” report.

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We’ve highlighted some of the more interesting initiatives and statistics from Haynes’ report below.

1 – Bridging the gap

Haynes spoke about a particular group of students for whom TC3’s English offerings were not a good fit. These were students who were not quite ready for English 101, but had a good enough grasp on the subject that the wouldn’t benefit from rudimentary instruction.

English Professor Bruce Need led an initiative focused on bridging the gap for these students. The program had students that fell into this middle ground co-enroll in both programs simultaneously.

Haynes said the program has been working, with about 75 percent of the students passing.

“It’s become a mainstream part of what we’re doing to address the developmental needs of our students,” Haynes said. “That success that he’s brought about in English is now moving ahead in our math faculty and our reading faculty, and we’re going to be launching similar initiatives in the next semester.”

2 – Global initiative

Haynes said another area that TC3 aims to excel at is in providing a multicultural environment for learning. He said that students from 50 or more different countries attended the school.

“All of what we do here helps our student be prepared for the increasing cultural diversity in our broader community, our broader region,” Haynes said, adding it was important for students “to have experience studying and learning and getting to know students from other cultures.”

He also said the school was seeing an increasing number of students pursuing study abroad opportunities, which provide an even more direct experience with other cultures.

3 – Dispelling misperceptions

Haynes laid out a few different ways that TC3 defies stereotypes attributed to college campuses.

First was the myth that student athletes are sometimes skate by based on athletic, not academic, prowess.

Haynes says that’s not true of TC3. “I’m always proud to highlight that our athletes have a higher GPA average than our regular student body. It really does underscore that they’re student athletes – they’re students first,” he said.

Haynes also highlighted the good behavior of TC3 students. “They did an in-depth survey of our students regarding use of drugs, use of alcohol, sexual activity, that sort of thing. It does not support the myths that we all might have about it being rampant on campus,” said Haynes.

“I think the only thing that was true,” he added, “is that students don’t get enough sleep.”

Addressing the modern concern of having a degree but still being stuck in a menial job, Haynes gave some statistics about TC3 grads. 80 percent of them, he said, get jobs in the fields related to their academic program. 67 percent of them remain employed in the region.

4 – Addressing the need for childcare

Haynes said that TC3 has a really significant demand for child care, primarily from students. In response to that demand, the school is aiming to construct a new childcare center.

“Oftentimes, students who get pregnant while they’re at the college need to drop out because of lack of child care, because we didn’t have infant care… It’s something we’ve really needed to address,” Haynes said.

The new facility will offer infant care for children as young as six weeks old. The new facility will more than double TC3’s childcare capacity, according to Haynes.

Haynes also noted that he wouldn’t be having to come asking the legislature for money – thanks to a generous $2 million dollar donation from retired Cornell professor Arthur Kuckes.

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.