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academics Archives - Niagara County Community College

Retired NCCC Professor Gail Tylec

NCCC’s Tylec receives statewide recognition

By News Archive

Professor Gail Tylec has shown dedication to Niagara County Community College (NCCC) since she graduated from the institution in 1980 with her Associate in Arts Degree.  She was hired by the College not long after in 1988 when she began a career spanning 32 years.  Tylec retired this summer from her role as a Professor of Dietetic Studies, for which she was recently recognized by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Inc. (NYS AHPERD).

In July Tylec was selected as the Western Zone’s Higher Education Teacher of the Year by the NYS AHPERD.  She received this award based upon a nomination from a colleague who noted her extraordinary teaching ability and the impact on students and staff alike.  The award highlights Tylec’s commitment to providing a quality and comprehensive physical and health education program that enables students to engage in healthy and physically active lifestyles.  Following this recognition, Tylec will present her innovative ideas through the organizational newsletter and presentations at regional events.


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

Meagan Swartz, 2017 NCCC Physical Therapist Assistant Graduate.

NCCC Physical Therapist Assistant Program Rewarding in Clinics and Community

By News Archive

The Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) paves the way for a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical Therapist Assistants play a vital role in helping patients who need to improve mobility, decrease pain, and increase their quality of life. NCCC PTA graduates help patients build strength after surgery, recover from injuries, manage chronic pain, and even improve pre-natal and post-partum health.

Meagan Swartz 2017 PTA Grad

Meagan Swartz 2017 PTA Grad

Meagan Swartz, a 2017 graduate of the program explains, “As a PTA, we see people in a vulnerable state following an injury, accident, or surgery. We help them physically by taking them through exercises and stretches or by using manual therapy like massages. We also help mentally, and emotionally by lending a listening ear, explaining things to them regarding their recovery, and helping them to understand the process. It makes a world of difference when you actually listen to someone’s concerns and help to clarify things for them in a way that they understand.” She adds, “Seeing your patients’ happiness and excitement when their pain has decreased or their strength has increased is the most rewarding part of the job.”

The desire to help others is crucial to being a PTA. Outside of the physical therapy world, Meagan is leading the charge in an “Adopt-a-Senior” program in both North Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda. Creating an online platform where the community can “adopt” local high school seniors, Meagan has helped to coordinate relationships between local residents who shower seniors with contactless doorstep goodies as the pandemic halted their graduations and end of year celebrations. Meagan’s NCCC professors saw the impact she was making in the community and decided to embrace the same program for NCCC 2020 PTA graduates.

In addition to inspiring alumni, the program boasts experienced faculty with a strong interest in evidence-based practice and instruction. A 2019 American Physical Therapy Association’s Emerging Leader recipient, David Faccini ’94, sits on the NCCC faculty roster. He is one of many experienced instructors who is providing a rewarding academic journey to students. David explains, “NCCC has become one of the premier schools in WNY for Physical Therapy Assistant Education. I contribute this to the dedication, compassion, and professional work ethic of NCCC instructors. I have certainly applied these skills to my every day practice over the years which have helped to shape me into the PTA that I am today.”

Well-trained faculty and dedicated students have created an impressive 100% pass rate for the PTA licensure examination from 2011-2018. In addition, graduate employment rate was 100% of those who sought employment. The U.S. News and World Report states, “Physical Therapist Assistants rank #3 in Best Healthcare Support Jobs and #26 out of 100 Best Jobs” overall. NCCC’s PTA degree can be completed in as little as 20 months and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

The NCCC PTA program is part of the State University of New York Higher Education system which helps to keep tuition rates at a lower cost. Enrolled students can take advantage of the NYS Excelsior Scholarship program as well as a myriad of other scholarship opportunities available by the NCCC Foundation. Please visit

for more information.


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Event Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

Gap Year

NCCC Offers Exploratory “Gap Year” Options

By News Archive

While the pressure to attend a four-year college, trade school, or enter the workforce can weigh heavy on high school seniors, the option for a “gap year” may be an option that facilitates career exploration while moving forward with purpose. Bob McKeown, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management at Niagara County Community College is a strong supporter for prospective students who are on the fence between committing to a full course load and cautiously planning their path.

McKeown explains, “Typically a gap year is a semester or year that students use for experiential learning and exploring educational options. It’s typically taken after high school and before post-secondary school. However, it can be taken at any time throughout your college career. Students use this time to deepen their professional and personal awareness.” And, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter plans later into the year, more students are considering a gap year closer to home.

NCCC offers more than 60 programs and many ways to attend class. While NCCC’s Sanborn campus and Niagara Falls Culinary Institute are home to state-of-the-art classrooms, labs, athletic facilities, and student spaces during regular daytime hours, the College also offers evening class formats and online learning options. There is truly something for everyone.

Topics span a diverse spectrum of liberal arts courses, hands-on technical training, allied health classes, and specialized hospitality and culinary arts experiences at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Students have the option to sample an array of subjects to find their passion without much of a cost to their time or their wallets. “NCCC is literally the ‘Smart Place to Start’ because students can earn credit online, continue to work their job, and save money simultaneously. This is also a good option for students who may be undecided. They can sign up for classes in several different academic majors, take some of the their core courses like English and Math, and then when they know the exact major they are interested in, they can switch into that specific program, complete the remaining required courses, and earn their degree,” says McKeown.

NCCC’s homegrown podcast, “Morning Thunder” recently discussed the idea of a gap year with Academic Center for Excellence host, Madison Ebsary. The riveting discussion focused on the value of earning credits online while exploring your options, saving money, and then transferring those credits to a four-year institution in the future. If you are interested in learning more about exploratory education and taking a gap year at NCCC, you can tune into Morning Thunder at http://niagaracc.suny.edu/morning-thunder/ to hear the full episode.

For those who are ready to begin their gap year, McKeown encourages future students to, “Apply to NCCC in order to get started. There is no application fee or obligation. Go to the NCCC Admissions page at http://www.niagaracc.suny.edu/admissions/ and click on the “Apply Now” tab in the upper right-hand corner.” You are also encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see how much financial aid you would qualify for. NCCC Admissions counselors and Financial Aid representatives are happy to guide you through the application process and talk to you about your options.


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Events Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

Laura Scaletta teaching

New Psychology degree taught by published faculty at NCCC

By News Archive

The newest addition to the catalog of programs at Niagara County Community College is a Psychology, Associate in Science degree.  This degree is offered in both a traditional classroom format and online as well. The online courses give students the opportunity to earn their degree with a flexible schedule and learning environment.

The Psychology curriculum has been curated for students who are interested in the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. The program was designed by a team of outstanding staff and advisors from the Humanities and Social Sciences department who also teach the Psychology courses. Committed to life-long learning, NCCC’s exemplary Psychology faculty members bring decades of research and field experience to the classroom. Professor of Psychology and Program Coordinator, Laura Scaletta, was recently involved with the production of a new textbook, Psychology in Your Life (Third Edition) by Grison and Gazzaniga, published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. She contributed as a principle reviewer for the book and web-based resources.  In addition, Scaletta’s work as a professor at NCCC was featured on the Northeast Psychology Regional document, “Northeast Students Love InQuizitive for Psychology,” a resource that is disseminated to all colleges and universities across the United States.

The Psychology program is currently growing with the expansion of faculty and essential Psychology courses on the horizon. The curriculum currently offers introductory classes in general psychology as well as advanced subjects which investigate abnormal, developmental, social psychology, as well as methods of scientific inquiry. Graduates are prepared to transfer into baccalaureate programs with an aim to become counselors, therapists, psychologists, and researchers.

For more information regarding NCCC’s Psychology program and the College’s 60 other degree and certificate opportunities, please visit http://niagaracc.suny.edu/.


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

Student Showcase

NCCC Student Showcase is virtually remarkable

By News Archive

The Niagara County Community College (NCCC) Student Showcase has become an annual tradition, featuring students working with the help of Faculty mentors to create projects highlighting every division on campus.  In its third year, the Showcase was not able to be held on campus due to COVID-19, but that did not stop organizers from pushing forward in a virtual format.  “Knowing how much time and passion students pour into these projects, it seemed wasteful not to find a way to give the public at least a taste of what the students intended. Once presented with the new format, many students chose to add additional materials to their posters and abstracts so the public would understand the project’s real intention,” says Dr. Matthew Clarcq, Professor and Chairperson of the Student Showcase.

In the past, NCCC employees contributed donations that funded monetary prizes for winners in each category.   With the complexity of trying to assess projects remotely this year, and judges determined that all twenty-four participants deserved an equal cut of the prize money.  This additional income is likely a welcome boost for financially strapped college students, and well-deserved for the extra effort required to complete projects outside of their normal classroom assignments.

One additional prize will be awarded in the “People’s Choice” category, with the winner receiving $250.  The public is invited to view submissions for the Student Showcase and vote on their favorite entry through Friday, May 1, 2020 by visiting: http://niagaracc.suny.edu/showcase/


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

student on computer

NCCC extends remote learning into the summer

By News Archive

In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Niagara County Community College (NCCC) will continue to deliver all courses through virtual modes of distance learning for the remainder of spring 2020 semester and for the first session of summer courses as well.  The first of NCCC’s summer sessions runs from May 26-July 7th and the full term summer session runs from May 26th through August 18th with both sessions being online.  The modality of a later 6 week module starting on July 8th is still undecided. The extension of remote instruction will include final exams/evaluations, which will be taken online or through a remote learning method determined by instructors.

This decision to keep students off-campus is in line with what most other colleges are planning in response to future uncertainty caused by COVID-19.  “NCCC’s highest priority is the health and well-being of our community, and we are following guidance from SUNY and our local Health Department officials in all decisions,” says NCCC President William Murabito.  For more information on summer course offerings at NCCC, visit: http://niagaracc.suny.edu/.


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu

computer with notebook

NCCC Announces Fall Dean’s List

By News Archive

A total of 738 students were recently recognized for their outstanding academic achievements for the fall 2019 semester at Niagara County Community College.  Both full- and part-time students were honored for their scholastic successes by being named to either the Dean’s List or the Part-Time Honors list.

To be named to the College’s Dean’s List, a student must be enrolled full-time with 12 or more credit hours and have achieved a semester grade point average of 3.5 or better. Students are ineligible if they have incomplete course work, a grade of S, U, W or a grade below C.

To be eligible for the Part-Time Honors list, a student must be enrolled in six to 11 hours of course work and have a semester GPA of 3.5 or better. Students are ineligible if they have incomplete course work, a grade of S, U, W or a grade below C.

NCCC Massage Therapy student provides chair massage

One Hundred Percent of NCCC Massage Therapy Students Pass State Exam

By News Archive

Niagara County Community College (NCCC) has a great reputation for preparing its students in the Allied Health fields, and the Massage Therapy Program is just another example of that success.  A one-hundred percent pass rate on the New York State Massage Therapy Examination was achieved by recent graduates of NCCC’s program this past August.

Due to the rising awareness of massage therapy benefits, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects an increase in job outlook for massage therapists to increase by 22% between 2018-2028.  The average salary range in Niagara and Erie Counties is $43,473 – $56,146 per year.  Jobs are available in a wide variety of settings, including spas, clinics, physician’s offices, hotels, and fitness centers.  The NCCC Massage Therapy Program provides clinical experience through the massage clinic, as well as a variety of table and chair massage techniques that prepare students for placements after graduation.

For more information on Massage Therapy and other programs at NCCC, visit niagaracc.suny.edu

Chef Scott Steiner

Local Chef from Culinary Institute Wins National Educator of the Year

By News Archive

Chef Scott Steiner, Assistant Professor and Culinary Arts Program Coordinator at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute (NFCI) was awarded the American Culinary Federation (ACF) National Chef Educator of the Year Award at the ACF Conference in Orlando.  Chef Steiner competed against three other chefs from different regions across the country in a live-action demonstration at the annual conference.  The American Culinary Federation is the largest professional chefs’ organization in North America.

Steiner, of Lockport, NY, advanced to the national challenge after winning the ACF Northeast Regional Chef Educator of the Year Award in March held at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute.  The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is a division of Niagara County Community College.

Chef Steiner has been a faculty member at NFCI since the building opened in August 2012, and was instrumental in getting the culinary arts program accredited by the ACF.  Chef Steiner has mentored many students during his career, helping them to receive substantial scholarships, and ultimately putting them on a successful path to become professional chefs themselves.

Chef Steiner began his culinary journey as a student at Emerson Vocational High School in Buffalo and continued his education at SUNY College at Buffalo receiving a B.S. in Career and Technical Education and an M.S. in Multidisciplinary Studies.  As an educator, he is always looking for ways to update the curriculum and keeping courses relevant and current.  Most recently, Chef Steiner has been assisting in the transition of Savor Restaurant, the fine dining establishment at NFCI, to a full academic operation opening in October 2019.