Swanger reviews FMCC’s progress

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger reviewed the year’s progresses during last Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

With the 2016-17 school year coming to an end, Swanger took time to review some of the bigger activities and changes the college has undergone throughout the year.

“When we start putting this together, it always amazes me how much we get done in a year, when you reflect on it,” Swanger said. “It is a great opportunity for us to summarize the year.”

The college’s retention team has seen success, with the rate going from 52.4 percent in 2015-16 to 54.4 percent in 2016-17.

According to information provided by the college, there was a 4.5 percent decline in full-time- equivalent student enrollment in 2016-17. However the college did see a growth in the number of part-time students and the total number of students has remained relatively flat when compared with the numbers for 2015-16.

The college launched a new front page to its website in August.

The page features eight different topics, including: living on campus; student life; affordability; transfers; academics; facilities; athletics and global students.

The new front is more mobile-friendly and works with both smartphones and tablets.

“Our inquiries have gone up 600 percent and our applications have gone up 24 percent,” Swanger said. “It was the right move. Hopefully we will see [an increase] in inquiry and application to enrollments for next year.”

The school year saw the completion of a number of projects.

The 9/11 Memorial was installed in August, allowing the college to host a Sept. 11 memorial service with local, state and federal officials. The memorial features the communications tower from the North Tower of the World Trade Center along with photographs taken by former FMCC student Louis Pabon.

A new sculpture garden was also installed to the south of the visitor parking lot. It will house a collection of artwork and will feature a fountain on site as well as new sidewalks.

The new Raider Trader college store was completed in January. The store was moved from the college’s Student Union basement to a new addition off the front of the building.

The Student Union building was updated as well with three new meeting rooms in the former basement college store and a remodeling of the first-floor bathrooms.

Campus safety officers began wearing body cameras around campus this year.

The college launched a program with Global Foundries employees looking to complete a degree in Electrical Technology during the spring 2017 semester.

The FM Foundation has obtained $75,000 toward its goal of $250,000 to refurbish the FM Theater.

“Thanks to everyone on campus who makes this happen,” Swanger said.

Kerry Minor can be reached at kminor@leaderherald.com.