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  • Access – Overview

    The Vision of Erie Community College calls for it to serve the people of Erie County by being an innovative learning resource by providing universal access to lifelong learning and catalyzing economic and cultural development. This vision is fully enshrined in our strategic plan through the following major initiatives:

    Development of Academic Master Plan

    ECC envisions an institution where curriculum decisions are based on the best available data about the region’s economic demands and the needs of our four-year partners. Prospective students who seek to find jobs upon graduation will have access to a wide range of programs while prospective transfer students will be directed into a clear transfer pathway or dual admissions agreement in order to ensure smoother passage to the four-year degree.

    ECC has significant program diversity that offers students many pathways to continuing their education or joining the workforce. Over the next several years the college will ensure that all programs are a strategic fit to in-demand jobs or four-year transfer paths. This will be accomplished by periodic market analysis connected to the college’s curriculum development process and will include new program development in addition to program consolidation and elimination. Already these efforts have resulted in the recent creation of the following degree and certificate programs:

    Certificates:

    • Accounting Technician
    • Brewing Science and Service
    • Corrections Officer
    • Food Preparation and Safety
    • Mechatronics
    • Quality Assurance Technician

    Degrees:

    • Fine Arts
    • Health and Wellness Promotion
    • Nanotechnology

    Objectives:

    • Conduct workforce and transfer market analyses to identify the right programs for ECC
    • Complete the construction of the ECC Nanotechnology Center and cement the college’s regional leadership role in this key emerging technology
    • Drive curriculum development around STEM building construction

    Investment in Online Education

    The curricular changes described above will be coupled with a significant growth in online instruction at ECC. ECC’s faculty will continue the drive toward online instruction, bringing more courses into the online modality and improving educational access for students who cannot attend classes on a physical campus. In addition, the college will continue reforming its recruitment, marketing, and intake processes in order to harmonize the work of the various offices that currently work in these areas so as to build a robust enrollment pipeline.

    The institution has already begun directing significant resources toward online instruction in order to facilitate growth and to position itself for the learning modalities of the future of higher education. Resources are being directed toward assistance with instructional design, mentorship and tutoring for students, and construction of fully-online programs with fully-online student supports in the Open SUNY+ environment.

    Objectives:

    • Completion of the Open SUNY self-assessment in order to establish a baseline for future program improvements
    • Continual evaluation and assessment of online academic offerings
    • 3% annual online enrollment growth
    • Development of at least one Open SUNY+ program by fall 2019
    • Expansion of online mentoring, tutoring, and technical support services for students
    • Migrating existing paper processes to online self-service in order to serve online students and increase convenience for all students

    Faculty Diversity

    While these curricular changes and shift toward online instruction are occurring ECC will be in the midst of diversifying its faculty, aiming to reach equity with its peers in the SUNY system. Diversification is a moral imperative and a fundamental indicator of fairness.

    The college’s diversity is essential to its success. While ECC has achieved parity with its SUNY peers in staff diversity, this has not been achieved among the faculty ranks. The college will identify areas where strategic growth in diversity can be achieved, expand faculty searches to non-traditional outlets, and develop programming to illustrate the importance of diversity to hiring managers.

    Objectives:

    • 15% faculty diversity rate by 2018
    • 18% faculty diversity rate by 2020