Tag Archives: suffolk county community college

Liberal arts majors accounted for more than 40% of SCCC grads in past 5 years

Karen Barrera, 18, is a liberal arts major in her second semester at Suffolk. She chose the major because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study.

“After a semester at Suffolk, I realized there’s nothing wrong with not knowing what I want to study,” Barrera said. “I’ve been thinking of a math professor, but we’ll see what the rest of the semester brings me.”

Barrera isn’t alone.

According to research by Urban.org, 40 percent of students arrive in college with a small idea of what they want to study, or what career they aspire to have in the future. When it’s time to choose a major, it’s usually undeclared or liberal arts, general studies.

In fact, among the five most common majors at Suffolk County Community College, in each of the last five years, liberal arts majors accounted for more than 40 percent of Suffolk’s graduates, according to the school’s 10-year graduation report.

The next most common majors include criminal justice,  nursing and business administration.

Emmanuel Louis-Jeune, 20, is in his third semester at Suffolk. He’s currently studying criminal justice. He grew up watching “Law & Order” with his brothers and uncle and said it played a role in him choosing this major.

“Me and my uncle used to always do everything together, we watched “Criminal Minds” and I grew a huge passion for it,” Louis-Jeune added.

In the 2016-17 school year, there was a 2.6 percent decrease in the number of students who graduated with liberal arts degrees. But that still made up for 42.7 percent of the graduating population.

The 2015-16 school year saw a 4.61 percent increase in the numbers of students in liberal arts from the previous year, with 44.5 percent of students choosing it as their major.

In the 2014-15 school year, there was a minor decrease in the amount of students enrolled, as it was 3729. But, Liberal Arts still remained as the most popular major with 44.7 percent enrolled in it. 16.36 percent of students chose the previous four.

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SCCC enrollment expected to continue decline

According to Suffolk County Community College’s fall semester 10-year enrollment report, since 2016, enrollment at the college has dropped by 4.3 percent to about 26,000.

And it does’t look like the trend is going to change any time soon.

Katherine Aguirre, Suffolk’s director of admissions, pointed to a decline in birthrates as “the greatest impact in enrollment.”

“Families with fewer children that filter into the K-12 system will cause a decrease in graduating class sizes,” she said.

As an example, she offered the senior class at Bayport-Blue Point School District, which expects to graduate 181 students in June. The district’s kindergarten class has 143 students. Assuming  that no children leave the district 12 years from now, there will be 38 fewer graduates,  about a 20 percent decrease.

“This is a national trend,” Aguirre said.

During a meeting with faculty and students at the Ammerman campus in February, SUNY Provost Tod Laursen noted that “community colleges are susceptible to a decline in enrollment,” and that the system is looking for ways to stem the problem.

The 10-year enrollment report includes the number of students enrolled in the college every fall semester starting from 2009-2018.

From fall 2009 to fall 2010, there was a increase of 1,925 students, which equated to the largest increase in the 10 years surveyed. This was followed by an increase of 2,151 students between fall 2009 through fall 2011.

Suffolk reached its highest number of students enrolled in fall 2016 with a total of 27,244.

Going forward, Aguirre said the college anticipates an enrollment decrease of about 2 percent in the next year. She said this is part due to a solid stock market and the steady economy.

The college continues to address this trend with numerous recruitment and retention initiatives. That includes leveraging technology, such as online classes, to enhance the student experience and help retain current students.

“Lastly, we will look at the on-boarding process to help students determine career pathways early on in their academic journey,” Aguirre said.

“When the economy is stable and doing well, people do not typically pursue career changes or additional educational opportunities.”

Ammerman’s top 3 oldest student organizations still going strong

Suffolk County Community College, founded in 1959, has seen thousands of students come through its brick-and-mortar walls. As many will attest, it’s difficult to leave a mark of their existence on campus history in such a small span of time. Not everyone can stamp their footprints into the wet cement stairs or scratch their names into tree bark. So what can they do?

One option is to participate in an organization.

Clubs, created by students, have very direct mission statements that restrict what they can or cannot do under their title. Organizations, however, have much broader mission statements, allowing them room to expand and redefine what they do.

While paperwork for clubs and organizations wasn’t necessary until recently—only about 10 to 15 years ago—there are some organizations dating as far back as the beginning of the college itself.

Here’s three of them that have endured throughout the years and still have a prominent campus presence, run by students, for students.

Campus Activities Board (CAB)

Ever walk around the cafeteria and notice there are people handing out stuffed animals? Maybe you have attended a campus movie night, or a highly discounted trip to Broadway. You can thank the Campus Activities Board, or CAB, for that. It’s the oldest organization on campus, having records of ski trips that date back as far as the 1960s and more recent events like the Spring semesters recurring Paint Day, where students were are able to interact with one another while creating art on a canvas.

According to Frank Vino, the adviser for CAB, the organization has a board of three executive members: executive administrative coordinator, executive financial coordinator, and executive recruitment coordinator.

With eight to 10 general members and hosting 30-35 events a year, CAB raises awareness about important issues.

Student Government Association

Making sure that students have a voice is the main goal of the Student Government Association, or SGA. The organization serves as a liaison between students and the administration, representing the student body during meetings and at conferences.

The SGA has an elected board of 12-15 members, including a president, vice president, secretary and financial chair, and an additional number of general members. The elected board is voted in by the general student body, and all students are encouraged to vote in campus elections.

Always busy with campus concerns, the last time the SGA was on hiatus from the late 80s and to the early 1990s. They remain active on campus to this day.

Compass


Extra! Extra!

Compass, the Ammerman campus’ only newspaper, has been navigating news since 1962 and remained loyal to its purpose: to give voice to the student body.

Students submit their works on issues ranging current events, sports news, celebrity gossip and even opinion articles. Compass provides a platform for students to let their voices be read rather than heard across campus on a monthly basis.

“I think that the newspaper has lasted for as long as it has is because of the commitment that students have shown to informing their fellow students about what’s going on in the world, in their communities, and on campus,” said William Burns, adviser to the student paper. “The Compass has expressed the connections between these three public spheres: what happens in one sphere influences the other two.”

The student-run paper is constantly taking submissions and suggestions for more articles and printing copies that are available across campus.

While these organizations have been around for quite some time, they are always looking for new members to continue their mission statements.

It’s important to note that all students are welcome in every organization and are encouraged to take part in campus activities. Whether it’s submitting a small article or running for office, the SCCC community has a spot for every student.

Why do students choose SCCC? 5 people share their stories

Every student at Suffolk County Community College has a different story and a different purpose for attending the school.  Some say it’s the convenience of being close to home. Others seek to save up before transferring someplace else. Others either are still “looking to find themselves” or have come across hurdles in their lives that Suffolk is helping them to overcome.

Here are five people who shared their reason for choosing to come to Suffolk.

Jamie Gilmore, 19
Business retail management

Gilmore, of Middle Island, is a business retail management major. She originally attended Florida Atlantic University last year, but found that to be cost prohibitive.

“It was so expensive to go to FAU, especially since I live here on Long Island. Suffolk is so much more convenient,” Gillmore said. “Plus, I don’t have to worry about eating bad food from the cafe or spending my working money on some decent food. It’s nice to be able to come home every day to a nice home-cooked meal. Going away to college isn’t meant for everyone, but I’m just glad that I at least tried it to see for myself.”

Tanner Bardes, 20
Liberal arts major

Bardes, 20, of Wading River, at first said he wasn’t sure why he came to Suffolk.

“I guess since I saw all of my friends and siblings going to college, I just caught a [Fear of Missing Out],” said Tanner, who said he has a passion for creating music.

“There’s so many times that I believe that I’m wasting my time here when I could be making music and building my portfolio, you know I’ve always enjoyed music so much and eventually I want to be either a rapper or a producer or maybe even both.”

Vincent Alvino, 19
Liberal arts major

Alvino, 19, of Coram, said he’s “Honestly not sure what I want to do yet. Coming here to SCCC is convenient. It isn’t expensive. It gives me options of potential future career opportunities, and it gives me options to go to other schools,” Alvino said. “This is exactly what I need.”

Sydney Geddes, 19
Occupational therapy assistant

Geddes, of Medford, is an occupational therapy assistant and was originally going to the University of Cortland for track until an unfortunate turn in events occurred in her family.

“My dad lost his job and couldn’t help me with my loans for Cortland” after a long sigh, Sydney continued to say “For now, I’m going to make the best of my time here and get my associates degree and then transfer to Stony Brook to finish up.”

“It was early August.” She paused to gather herself after getting choked up. “August 12, 2018, to be exact. I was in my room, checking off items on my list of things to bring upstate with me to college and I heard a knock on my door. I saw both of my parents come in and close the door behind them. My parents never knock and they never both come into my room at the same time so I knew something was up. My heart began to beat nearly out of my damn chest.”

“Depressed wasn’t even the word to describe how I was feeling,” she continued. “But little did I know, this was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I can stay home in my nice comfy bed, keep my job while going to school, and I don’t have to do track anymore so it’s the best of both worlds.”

 

Students, school seek more conversation about mental health

Mental health is often a subject college students shy away from, or make sly jokes about. But it’s a major problem.

Consider that 80 percent of students feel overwhelmed by their academic responsibilities and only 60 percent of these students seek help, according to the National Alliance in Mental Illness. Fifty percent say these struggles affect their grades.

At SCCC, it is a topic dedicated to small sections of professors’ syllabuses, and one small collection of pamphlets in the Health Services Office. 

Mental health issues include but are not limited to: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction and feeling suicidal. The signs can be difficult to spot depending on how the person copes with them, which makes offering aid to those who are struggling that much harder. 

It’s harder to reach out to students who need help at transient schools like Suffolk, experts say.

“The stigma has changed in more recent years, but it’s still difficult to talk about mental health,” said 26-year-old Evan Haun, the coordinator of Mental Health Services on the Ammerman campus, “We try to make ourselves as accessible and seen as possible, visiting as many classrooms as we can to decrease the anxiety of the issue.” 

The transient problem

Suffolk offers many services that fit all types of students, from group sessions to individual counseling, which includes three to five sessions with a counselor. A new service being offered is creative arts therapy, which involves creating paintings, 3D sculpture and other forms of art to help express how one is feeling if they don’t have the words to. Every service is confidential, excluding immediate emergencies, Haun said.

Another option is a group activity called Wind Down Wednesdays that takes place during Common Hour in the Meditation Room of the Babylon Student Center.

While it’s focus isn’t necessarily on mental illness, it does seek to bring comfort and relaxation to those who may feel stressed from school or outside issues. During the meetings, they enjoy meditating, coloring and aromatherapy.

Students interviewed this story said they felt the issue is “extremely important,” and something that should at least be addressed at the beginning of semesters.

However, they said it is one seldom discussed by professors.

“The only time I can remember mental health being discussed in class was psychology, and it was discussed thoroughly. Other than that, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a professor bring it up,” said 19-year-old Stevie Adams, a Radio/TV major from Selden.

The mental health department also feels professors have a sort of responsibility to make the services known to their students.

“It was a hard push to get professors to include information about our services, but I’m happy we did because we’ve seen a considerable increase in the amount of students coming in for sessions. When we ask where they heard about us, they’ll usually say their professors referred them,” Haun said.

How can we address the problem better?

As far as what they feel could be done to improve the issue, answers ranged from creating polls, to simply being more vocal and starting a more open conversation within the campus.

“I think some sort of email survey could help so administration and the staff would know where to go from here,” said 20-year-old Jovian Schaeffer, a liberal arts major from Middle Island.

When asked about what could be improved about the school’s approach, Adams said, “I think Suffolk should let us know that this is a safe space to make anyone with any sort of mental health issue feel like they’re not alone.”

Men’s, women’s basketball advance in NJCAA playoffs

Suffolk’s men’s and women’s basketball teams both advanced to the second round of the NJCAA conference playoffs this past week.

The undefeated men’s team faced Dutchess Community College and soundly defeated them 84-50.

In the first half, Suffolk and their suffocating defense played a big role, limiting their opponent to 20 points. In the second half, they displayed their artillery, outscoring their opponent 52-30.

Tyree Grimsley was a figure with 24 points, six rebounds and three steals, Steven Tynes had 19 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and four steals. James Signer had 12 points, eight rebounds, four blocks and Jaye Bookhart had ten 10 points.

With this win, the Sharks move on to the Regional XV Semifinal where they will face Queensborough Community College this Saturday at 7:15 p.m. at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

They had two previous meetings this season, with the Sharks being victorious in both games. They averaged 91 points per game and held their opponent to 68 points.

The women’s basketball team defeated Borough of Manhattan Community College 52-37 in the first round of playoffs. They go on to play Nassau Community College for the second round of playoffs at Borough of Manhattan Community College on Saturday.

Suffolk basketball heads to playoffs after historic 24-0 record

Suffolk’s basketball team capped off a historic season Feb. 19 with a 123-45 rout of the Borough of Manhattan Community College,  completing the regular season with a perfect 24-0 record.

The Sharks, ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA, are set to play Dutchess Community College in the Section XV Division III conference playoffs in the Ammerman campus Brookhaven Gymnasium at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

The team had not previously ended a season undefeated. Suffolk has beaten Dutchess twice this season.

Standout point guard Steven Tynes, who coach Victor Correa has described as the team’s leader, led the way for the Sharks in the win against Manhattan (20-8), scoring 29 points. He also had five rebounds, 10 assists and eight steals.

“It feels great. We worked hard all season. The results speak for themselves,” Tynes said. “It means everything to be a leader. I push everyone and they all push me.” 

Tynes had strong backup. Ryan Graziano had 16 points and seven rebounds. James Signer had 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks,  and Tyree Grimsley added 15 points, nine rebounds and eight steals. RJ Walker had 12 points. Jon Agostino added four points and 10 assists.

Last season, the Sharks had three losses, all coming against Nassau County Community College. But this year, they topped Nassau in both of their two matches. “It means everything. It’s nice to beat Nassau, our direct rival. We worked a bit harder this year,” Signer said.

The Sharks averaged 91 points per game this season, while allowing 71 points. They shot 50 percent from the field and held their opponents to a low 39 percent. They shot 37 percent from beyond the arc while holding their opponents to 32 percent. They also averaged 39 rebounds, 22 assists, 12 steals and six blocks per game.

“I think a lot of people fail to realize the work ethic of this team,” said Kyle Dowd, 18, a radio and TV major who in his second semester at Suffolk who attended eight games this year. “They’ve been displaying this type of basketball all year and the results showed in the 24 games they’ve played this year,” Dowd said. “They really wanted this game against Nassau. You could tell.”

Tynes finished the season averaging 21 points, 9.5 assists and 3.6 rebounds shooting 50.2 percent from the field. Grimsley averaged 18 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 71 percent from the field. Graziano averaged 13 points shooting 45 percent from the field.

Jaye Bookhart, who averaged 11 points while nailing three assists and three boards, shooting 44 percent from the field, said the team has to go into the playoffs with a specific mindset.

“In playoffs, everyone is 0-0,” he said. “We’re going back to the basics and keep getting buckets.”