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Keizs touts York progress to Community Board 12

York College’s campus has grown over the years not only in the number of students, but also in the range of opportunities it provides to learners across the borough.

The CUNY school is set to continue that growth with new initiatives and programs, according to its president, Marcia Keizs. Keizs presented that vision of York’s future to Community Board 12 during its monthly meeting Feb. 17.

Since she was named president five years ago, Keizs said she has worked hard to give her students the best educational experience at an affordable price.

“The academic program is part of the enterprise,” she said of the school.

The number of incoming freshman has increased from 781 in 2005 to 1,045 this year and the number of full-time faculty has grown from 165 to 203 during the same span, the president said. York has also renewed several of its accredited programs, such as nursing, teaching and occupational therapy.

“Accreditation of our academic programs has been strong,” she said.

Keizs touted the school’s aviation management degree program, which will graduate its first class this semester. She noted that many businesses in southeast Queens are based around John F. Kennedy International Airport and the curriculum in the program gives students the tools to succeed in the aviation career field.

The school’s partnership with the Food and Drug Administration, which has an office on York’s campus, has also been advantageous to the school, according to the president. Over the years, the agency has provided the school with science advisers, offered internships and even hired students for full-time positions.

“It has really benefited both institutions quite well,” she said.

Despite the successes, Keizs said there is still room for York to grow and presented the board with the school’s upcoming projects.

York, which covers 50 acres, is in the planning phase for a new academic village and conference center on the downtown Jamaica campus. A new student union center will be included in the project along with space for CUNY’s newest science program.

“CUNY has designated York as the center for the CUNY Center for Pharmacy,” the president said.

Keizs said she did not know when the pharmacy program would start since the city is still working on the logistics of the center.

The president addressed concerns about future funding to public colleges and said the community has helped through the years and their contributions have paid off.

“Even when we get strong support in the state, there are times when you need to get your own funds,” she said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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