Chris Gray, Ph.D. 

Founding President, Erie County Community College 

We’re just a few weeks away from the launch of our third Spring semester here at EC3, and the excitement builds a little more each day.  At the time of this writing, we are just eighteen days away from the start of our Early Spring session!   

As I’ve mentioned before, academia has a rhythm of its own; while every semester falls into a sort of set pattern, every semester nonetheless feels unique as well. This semester, we are launching another new program to serve our community. Students in our new Industrial Maintenance Program can earn a certificate either in Industrial Machine Maintenance or in Automated Electrical Systems. This program is suitable for those with no previous experience in this field as well as for those who seek specialization or a skills upgrade. The program will build strong troubleshooting and problem-solving skills while participants gain foundational skills in the fields of electricity, automation, mechanical systems, pneumatics, and hydraulics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 19% job growth in these fields over the next six years; these are high-demand occupations with strong future prospects. Our advisors are available to help get you registered, and they are eager to help roll this program out. 

Even without exciting new programs, preparing for a new semester in college is a blend of excitement and anticipation – not to mention the need for careful planning – both for us and for our students. As the new semester inches closer, students often find themselves organizing their schedules, buying books and course materials, and adjusting their lives for the work ahead. They’ve been here before, and they know what’s coming. 

Some of our students, however, haven’t yet decided to join us. They will, though, and I’m always super excited when students make one small decision that will change their lives. Because time is running short, we want to make the decision to join us as seamless as possible.   

We’ve created Instant Enrollment Days for students in this situation; maybe they aren’t sure about college and have delayed making a decision. Maybe their life circumstances have changed such that they need to retrain. Maybe they are realizing a dream deferred as they reflect on their goals for the new year. Whatever the case, we wanted to create a system whereby students could visit us one day and leave as EC3 students with a slate of classes.   

This semester’s Instant Enrollment Day will take place on Saturday, January 27, from 11:00am to 1:00pm at EC3’s Erie West location. Students will tour campus, fill out an application, and schedule classes, all in the span of a few hours; in addition, tuition this semester is free to Erie County residents. Interested folks should RSVP here at this link. This streamlined process is designed to get students started without delay, and we hope to see you there! 

A few days later, we will be hosting an Open House on Wednesday, January 31, from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, again at EC3’s Erie West location. Our open houses are designed to provide a broad overview of EC3 and include opportunities to experience a general tour of the facility, meet with faculty to discuss current programs, see a live class in session if weather and time permit, speak with our helpful staff to discuss the application process, and meet with an advisor to discuss interests and connected programs. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP here.   

It’s such an exciting time for EC3, for our students, and for Erie County. We’d love to have you join us! Our community, your college.