The number of high school graduates applying directly to Jamestown Business College has increased 15 percent from last year.
"We're very excited about that," said Brenda Salemme, JBC director of admissions. "Fifteen percent is a big jump and we've also got a lot more activities going on this year. We're trying to get our students excited about being here."
Mrs. Salemme was busy Thursday morning greeting every student at the door on their first day of classes - saying hello, pointing students to the correct classrooms and explaining last minute questions about scheduling.
George Matthews, 2011 graduate of the Westfield Academy and Central School District, meets with Brenda Salemme, Jamestown Business College director of admissions, on his first day of college Thursday morning.
"Students like to see us on their first day," Salemme said. "It adds a level of comfort and guidance and they feel that relief of 'I'm here, and someone's going to point me in the right direction."
Salemme said the most popular degrees currently offered at JBC are associate's and bachelor's degrees in business administration and marketing and management.
"More students like that program because it's very versatile," she said. "You can take it into owning your own business, you can take it into management and also marketing and advertising so really you can learn to run a business or learn to be a good supervisor. It's a good kick off into many different areas, and we have more and more students starting here saying 'I'm coming here to earn my associate's but I will be advancing it to a bachelor's degree.' That has grown and grown at this college."
Also new to the college this year is a program called Leadership Launch - a program sponsored by state Sen. Cathy Young in which high school guidance counselors, principals and teachers recommend students to take part in five-week leadership program at the college that involves a book highly involved in the development of professional leadership skills and also various classes and seminars that students will attend.
"Basically, we're sharing our expertise in leadership development with high school students," said David Conklin, JBC president. "It's going to provide a benefit to them no matter what they do in life."
Conklin added that the college is holding fast to older development programs as well, which he believes are part of what make the college and students successful.
"This is the 10-year anniversary of our EDGE (Etiquette, Dress, Goals and Ethics) program, which is our associate-level professional development program," Conklin said. "I believe it has increased our enrollment and the success of our graduates, and now that is followed up by our LEAD (Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability and Diversity) program which elevates that development in our bachelor's degree students."
Commenting on the 15 percent increase in students coming directly from high school, Conklin said "This increase shows that the value of a business education and what JBC does in both academic and professional training is increasing in popularity with high school students. That is exciting to see."