Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 4:35pm

The students have spoken, and, according to the 2010 Student Opinion Survey administered by the State University of New York (SUNY), JCC earned top grades.

“We have been very pleased with the top grades JCC received in previous years' surveys, but this year's results indicate that the college has continued to grow even stronger,” said JCC President Gregory T. DeCinque. “The survey assessed student opinions in category clusters titled college impressions and plans, college services and facilities, and college environment, experiences, and outcomes. This feedback is particularly important because it comes from the individuals who know us best – our students.”

JCC ranked in the top five among participating SUNY community colleges on 60 of 106 survey items. Of particular note are first place rankings in five areas related to student growth and learning. “These top rankings asked students to assess how JCC helped them learn to work well with others, acquire knowledge and skills needed for careers, develop leadership skills, and develop an openness to the opinions of others,” said Marilyn A. Zagora, vice president and dean of academic affairs. “The credit for these rankings goes to our dedicated faculty who are committed to providing challenging academic experiences that will connect students to their goals,” she said.

While JCC fared well among all participating colleges, JCC's ranking among “peer colleges” – other SUNY community colleges of JCC's size – was even more dramatic. JCC earned first place rankings among its peer colleges on 17 different satisfaction measures in diverse areas including overall quality of education, classroom facilities, health and wellness programs, availability of internships, and the use of innovative technology to facilitate learning.

“JCC prides itself on providing a caring environment and individual attention,” said Dr. Zagora. “The high grades we received when the survey was last administered in 2006 are now even higher in areas that reflect that commitment to our students,” she added, citing higher scores in categories including sense of belonging, the availability of instructors outside of class, student input on college policies/plans, and faculty and staff respect for students.

“The survey results are a solid representation of my experiences at JCC,” said Molly Woodfield of Lakewood, student representative to JCC's board of trustees. “The college is very dedicated to meeting the needs of its students as well as the community.”

"I've taken classes on both the Jamestown and Cattaraugus County campuses,” said Cameron Lewis, a sophomore from Olean. “JCC's faculty and staff make this a great learning environment. I've definitely grown here and am well prepared to transfer to pursue my bachelor's degree."

While the survey results are certainly giving JCC reasons to celebrate, Dr. DeCinque noted that they will also be used to chart directions for growth and improvement. “Even though we can be proud of the fact that JCC was at or above the statistical average in every single survey category, we remain committed to continuous improvement. Success is a continuum, not a destination,” he said.

The Student Opinion Survey, a product of the American College Testing Service (ACT), is administered to SUNY students across the state every three to four years. The survey measures student satisfaction with over 100 different questions covering 34 college services and programs. Students answer survey questions using numerical scales, giving college leaders a statistical profile of student satisfaction.
Twenty-seven of SUNY's 30 community colleges administered the 2010 survey to students last spring. Most campuses, including JCC, elected to administer the survey instrument during classes. JCC's sample included 522 students who completed the survey confidentially at JCC's Jamestown Campus as well as at the Cattaraugus County Campus in Olean and at the North County Center in Dunkirk.


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