As local colleges enter into preparations for the fall semester, they do so with the expectation that they will be receiving a high number of area high school graduates.
According to representatives of both Jamestown Business College and Jamestown Community College, it is anticipated more than half of the incoming freshman students will be from Chautauqua County school districts.
"While our freshman enrollment continues to grow, the majority of our students still come from Chautauqua County," said Brenda Salemme, director of admissions at JBC, who provided a comprehensive listing of where members of JBC's next freshman class are coming from.
The data provided by Salemme shows 73 percent of the students coming from Chautauqua County schools-with the highest percentage of students having just graduated from Cassadaga Valley, Bemus Point, Fredonia, Jamestown and Southwestern school districts. She said the overall percentage is consistent with what the college has seen in previous years and many of JBC's new students mention being recommended to the college by a current student.
"With the addition of our bachelor degree program in 2007, more and more high school seniors are finding that JBC is a great fit for their future goals. Students choose JBC for our quality education, personal attention and professional development training," she said.
Due to a still ongoing enrollment process, this information for the upcoming academic year is not yet available from JCC. However, Nelson Garifi, director of marketing and communications, said last year's enrollment at JCC showed similar trends.
Garifi said 85.2 percent of last year's enrolled freshman students came from within JCC's service area, which includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. Of that percentage, 55.6 percent came from Chautauqua County and 22.9 percent were from Cattaraugus County.
Additionally, he said 31.5 percent of all 2012 Chautauqua County high school graduates came to JCC.
"This percentage has remained fairly consistent in recent years and is an enviable service area market share among the other 29 community colleges within SUNY," he said. "Because of JCC's 63-year history of maintaining academic rigor and providing diverse paths for transfer to bachelor's degree programs, students and their families feel confident beginning their higher education experiences at JCC."
He also pointed out an increase in the percentage of student enrollments from other New York state counties, Pennsylvania and international students.
"Strategically, this is important as the number of students graduating from high schools within our service area is declining," he said. "We anticipate that these numbers will increase again this fall. Studying alongside students from other countries, in particular, has the added benefit of broadening global perspectives for local students. All students from outside our service area who attend JCC have a greater economic impact on the local economy as well."