Excels: Engagement

The word “community” in the name of our institution is not an afterthought or an irrelevant add-on. SUNY Erie has always been rooted in the neighborhoods of Western New York, and the SUNY Erie that is emerging is one that is actively engaged with the residents of our towns and cities.


Engagement works both ways, of course, and just as we seek the support of our legislative and industry partners we also know that we cannot isolate ourselves from the life of our communities. To fully engage in the life of our communities the college will pursue the following initiatives:

Workforce Development

As a leader in forging connections between non-credit offerings and academic programs, SUNY Erie will continue to build non-credit-to-academic pathways and strengthen partnerships with regional development agencies like the Regional Economic Development Council of Western New York. Combined with its focus on alternative energy through the Green Building Technology Center and on automotive technology through its Vehicle Technology Training Center, SUNY Erie will continue to lead the way in connecting qualified workers with local employers.

  • Establish stronger partnerships between institutions in Western New York in order to reduce unnecessary program duplication and embrace regionalization
  • Support stackable and national credentialing with coursework that advances employability of trainees who participate in customized non-credit professional development and skill training offerings
  • Simplify and promote the use of the Life Enhancement Assessment Program (LEAP) in order to promote Workforce-to-Academics transitions

Employee Development And Engagement

SUNY Erie was born in the relatively small Pierce Arrow administrative building 70 years ago, grew into a large suburban institution in 1960, expanded that campus in 1968, and built two new campuses in the early 70s. The move to the Old Post Office in the early 80s, followed by additions at 45 Oak and Flickinger Center, grew the college’s footprint significantly. These expansions have been welcome, but they have also physically separated our staff and sometimes make it difficult to generate meaningful engagement. SUNY Erie will address this deficit by building collaborative spaces for our students, finding office space for our dedicated but underpaid adjunct faculty, and creating low-cost but dynamic opportunities for professional development that make use of the staff and faculty expertise that already exists at the college.

  • Measure existing staff and faculty engagement through periodic surveying
  • Review and restructure the current model for staff and faculty development
  • Create executive/governance partnership to identify and fund college training priorities
  • Create more collaborative spaces for faculty and staff, focusing first on adjunct faculty

Civic Engagement

SUNY Erie is already engaged in the cultural and physical spaces of its communities, but this engagement is not always managed or nurtured. The college is not merely another resident or stakeholder in Western NY: it is, rather, the keeper of a solemn promise by the State of New York to provide everyone with access to a quality education. As such, SUNY Erie will act as the gateway to that promise. To do so it will pursue an aggressive philanthropy campaign and also offer itself as a cultural and knowledge hub to its community partners.

In addition, Erie Community College will make a strong investment in applied learning during the next five years. We will study and implement service learning opportunities, internships, and new approaches to career services.

  • Build service learning opportunities in all of its academic programs in order to strengthen the relationship between SUNY Erie’s students, faculty, staff, and our surrounding communities
  • Review its facilities usage fee structure in order to facilitate greater community use of its buildings
  • Perform a comprehensive review of SUNY Erie’s presence within social networks and develop an action plan
  • Identify major funding needs for the college in order to develop bundled fundraising campaigns that allow for capital and other needs to be met