The Roger Tory Peterson Institute has officially become a part of the Jamestown Community College campus.
JCC's board of trustees approved a resolution Tuesday, adding RTPI's 27 acres to the college's Jamestown campus.
The resolution authorizes the acceptance of a gift of real property, which includes the 27-acre property as well as the 28,000-square-foot RTPI facility, adjacent to the college campus on Curtis Street. The incorporation of RTPI onto the college campus will allow for greater use by JCC's credit science students, including those in the recently approved associate degree program in environmental science.
"JCC has worked closely with RTPI since the institute was created," said Greg DeCinque, retiring JCC president. "As we share a commitment to education and a passion for the natural world around us, it is most appropriate to realize an even greater synergy by strengthening our partnership. Our intent is to capitalize on the strengths of both institutions, and open the door to as yet undefined new program directions."
While RTPI will now be located on JCC property, it will continue to operate on the premises as an independent nonprofit organization, with its own board of directors, through a 30-year, no-fee lease agreement. Originally, the institute's offices were located within JCC's Hamilton Collegiate Center, until it moved to its current location on Curtis Street in 1993.
In collaboration, JCC and RTPI also envision enhanced noncredit offerings for students of all ages, as well as the continued development of professional opportunities for teachers.
The board also approved a resolution for a new degree program that aims to prepare students for the reality of globalization, and the interconnectedness of nations and economies. The resolution will support the registration of a new Associate of Arts degree in global studies, which is to be offered on both JCC's Jamestown and Cattaraugus County campuses.
According to Dr. Marilyn Zagora, vice president and dean of academic affairs, the proposed degree represents a collaborative effort between the college's humanities and social sciences faculty - with leadership from Laura Anderson, Theresa Baginski, Greg Rabb and Martha Zenns.
"The global studies degree prepares students to operate in an increasingly interconnected world by promoting critical perspectives on the social, cultural, environmental, political and economic issues and processes associated with globalization," Zagora said.
The proposed program is linked to one of the priorities of JCC's 2009-14 strategic plan, which focuses on developing global perspectives. The proposed degree is appropriate for students seeking a two-year degree in global studies as a ladder to a baccalaureate degree in global studies or a related area of social sciences or humanities concerning international matters, as well as to other citizens interested in continued study in global, international, or cultural studies.
The degree proposal will now be sent to the State University of New York and, subsequently, the New York State Education Department for review. Registration with initial availability of the degree is anticipated at some point in 2014.