President John Kowal Presents Vision to Strengthen the Future of Clinton Community College

Clinton Community College President John Kowal announced to the campus community a path to future financial stability and enrollment growth for the college. After a rigorous review of campus finances, enrollment, and accreditation requirements, CCC leadership has decided to work toward a physical relocation and shared services partnership with SUNY Plattsburgh while fully maintaining CCC’s unique and separate identity.

As a plan for a relocation and shared services partnership is developed in the coming months, ample opportunity for community input will be a key piece in creating a final plan that preserves CCC’s course offerings, identity, and faculty. The relocation is expected to generate significant savings, by reducing costs associated with building operation and maintenance, and via some shared services. These savings will be reinvested in CCC’s academic programs and student services.

This plan will not include program cuts, re-alignment, or any merger. Clinton Community College will remain independent, and maintain its established mission, governance, funding, and structure. As work proceeds, there is no immediate impact to students, faculty, and staff.

“Clinton Community College is much more than just a place with buildings, because its defining core are it’s academic programs, its mission and its purpose. We are committed to ensuring that every step we take is thoughtful, inclusive, and strengthens our institution for future generations,” said President Kowal. “By working closely with our faculty and staff, students, alumni, community members, and our key partners at the county and state level, we will develop a sustainable strategy that enriches the educational experience we offer. Together, we will navigate these changes with a spirit of unity and a focus on securing a vibrant future for our college.”

Clinton Community College Chair of the Board of Trustees David N. Favro said, "President Kowal is setting the stage for our campus to not only survive, but to grow in its importance for the people of our county. CCC has propelled our students to good paying jobs and further education—many to SUNY Plattsburgh—and we will be well positioned to do even more. These coming months are critical, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves along with the community to set a positive direction for the college. This initiative is a strategic move to enhance our mission and provide our students with additional academic and social experiences, enriching their journey at CCC."

Enrollment went from a high of 2,249 students in 2012 to a low of 994 in 2022-23. While enrollment increased 2.1% to 1,015 for Fall 2023, first-year full-time student enrollment went down by 7.1%. In addition, a significant portion of the current enrollment consists of high school students taking advanced courses, rather than full-time matriculated CCC students.

By working toward a relocation and shared services partnership, the intent is to build on areas where CCC and SUNY Plattsburgh already have strong collaboration, strengthening the draw for students. For example, the institutions already have cross-registration for academic programs like environmental science, and housing on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus is available for CCC nursing students.

State University of New York Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “Clinton Community College has SUNY’s full support. President Kowal and his leadership team have taken a thoughtful approach to build on the strong academic programs CCC provides, while setting a strategy to achieve financial sustainability for the years to come. Attracting students and ensuring their success on their journey to a degree are paramount in all decisions the campus will make.”

SUNY Plattsburgh President Alexander Enyedi said, "Clinton Community College has a proud history and a wealth of local graduates and offers two-year degrees and other programming that are vital to our shared North Country community. We have long been a partner in assisting the community college, with dual admissions and a dual degree program our most recent collaborations. We look forward to learning more about their specific needs and working with them, the SUNY system and Clinton County officials on ways we can assist."

The campus has developed a webpage to address frequently asked questions, which it will update as details are finalized.