Niagara County CC Community Engagement

Niagara County Community College Community Engagement

A snapshot of Community Engagement and Applied Learning at Niagara County Community College

Internships and Cooperative Education

NCCC students secure internships and cooperative education placements in many fields. They are present in the local public schools, for non-profit human services organizations, the local zoo and animal rescue facilities, and local radio stations.

Campus contact:
Alissa J. Shugats-Cummings

Liberty Partnerships Program

This pre-collegiate program allows NCCC to partner with high-need schools in Niagara County. We service at-risk youth in grades 5-12. Liberty regularly provides academic monitoring, tutoring, mentoring, community service opportunities, family engagement, field trips, test prep, and college readiness activities. Liberty's creative component has also taken off! Students have painted a mural for the city of Niagara Falls called the Liberty Silhouettes, where they put images of themselves into their artwork to improve the community. Over spring break, students also participated in the Amazing Shake, a professional skills competition. Local business leaders and politicians acted as judges, who rated students based on handshakes, conversation, interview skills, presentations and etiquette. The top three students gave presentations to the Niagara Falls Office of Community Development on how to improve the city, and the top two had a formal catered dinner with Mayor Paul Dyster! Through activities like these, Liberty is demonstrating that the college is engaged with the greater Niagara community.

Campus contact:
Monica Ridgeway

Mapping Opportunities for Mothers (MOMS)

The Mapping Opportunities for Mothers Program is a partnership between NCCC and the Western New York Women’s Foundation.  MOMs focuses on helping low-income, single mothers from the community enter college, receive an associate’s degree or certificate in a timely manner, and find employment in their field. During this first year of the program, 80 women have enrolled, and 9 community agencies have been part of the community outreach, including: Consumer Counseling, Catholic Charities, Summit Life Outreach, YWCA, Head Start, Family and Children’s Services , Niagara County Department of Social Services, Project Runway and Niagara Falls Community Health Care Worker Program.

Campus contact:
Allison Armusewicz

Work Study Community Service

Students eligible for Work Study funds work in a variety of community agencies, most notably the Community Mission of Niagara Falls, which services the homeless and economically disadvantaged, the Salvation Army, helping to operate intramural recreation and providing tutoring services in the organization’s after-school program.

Campus contact:
Alissa J. Shugats-Cummings

Best Buddies Club

Best Buddies fosters one-to-one friendships between college students and adults with IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) and college students without IDD. This club is part of a bigger organization called Best Buddies International - ( The Best Buddies and Advocates for Students with Disabilities club both work with the NCCC YALT program on campus. YALT is a community-based program offering young adults with developmental disabilities an opportunity to experience life on a college campus while developing functional skills. The program focuses on independence in the community, preparation for employment, continuation of the learning process, and establishing and maintaining friendships. The program is for individuals with developmental disabilities ages 18-23. Participants need to be enrolled in the Home and Community Based Waiver, linked with an agency and have a service coordinator who can assist with the Medicaid process and referrals.

Campus contact:
Melanie Warren

Clothesline Project

Each year, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Niagara County Community College Wellness Center, the NCCC Student Life “Promise for Tomorrow” program (Campus Suicide Prevention), and the Niagara County YWCA host the nationally recognized Clothesline Project.  The exhibit is open to the public and features T-shirts that have been decorated by women and men who have been affected by sexual violence as a victim, survivor, friend or family member.  Each shirt tells the survivor’s story in a unique way, using words and/or artwork to decorate the shirt.  Visitors also have an opportunity to make their own T-shirts.  The T-shirts are color-coded to show the form of abuse the victim experienced.  The Clothesline Project is a unique way to show the staggering, mind-numbing statistics of sexual assault and turn them into a provocative, in-your face educational and healing tool.

Campus contact:
Colleen Mary Johnson

FORCES Project (Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship)

In partnership with the Golden Hill Lighthouse Park, NCCC Recreation Studies, and NY State Parks Recreation and Historical Preservation, a Historical Video Guided Tour of Lighthouse for Handicapped Visitors was created through a service learning project that was completed by the students in the NCCC Recreation Studies Program.  The creation of a series of 3-minute videos will permit handicapped visitors to the Golden Hill Lighthouse a visual guided tour of the residence and lighthouse tower.  Built in 1875, this lighthouse has a storied history that visitors unable to navigate the confined spaces inside the lighthouse will be able to experience.  The video content will be delivered via QR Barcodes that will be located outside the lighthouse accessible using any smartphone capable of scanning a barcode.

Campus contact:
Budd Termin

Junior Achievement

Six professionals from NCCC’s Division of Student Services volunteered their time to provide outreach to area schools through the Junior Achievement Program in Erie and Niagara County.  Junior Achievement (JA) motivates students to develop the skills needed to experience the realities and opportunities of the 21st-century global marketplace. The program curriculum fosters work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills, utilizing experiential learning to inspire kids to dream big and reach their potential.  

Campus contact:
Julia Pitman

Niagara Falls Culinary Institute - Community Connections

Hospitality students at NCCC’s Niagara Falls Culinary Institute volunteer their time to do food demonstrations in support of many community organizations. The students have long held a booth at the Aquarium of Niagara Falls fundraisers and in support of the restoration of the Tattler House project, have performed demonstrations for St. Mary’s Hospital’s Women’s Health Day, the Niagara Falls Medical Center’s Women’s Night out, the American Culinary Federation’s Chef & Child Day and the annual gingerbread house competition, and the Buffalo home & Garden Show. The students have also done healthy cooking demonstrations in conjunction with the Independent Health Foundation and a local Medically Oriented Gym, as well as donated equipment to Carolyn’s House and judged high school cooking competitions at Orleans Niagara BOCES.  The Niagara Falls Culinary Institute also offers various classes and camps that focus on culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, wine and beverage, hospitality, and event planning to any interested group or local community member. 

Campus contact:
Agnieszka Zak-Moskal
716 210-2550

Peer Mentoring Program

Through a partnership with the Office of Accessibility Services, students in a Psychology of Teaching and Learning class designed and implemented a peer-mentoring program for students receiving accessibility services. The students served as mentors and assisted their mentees in various ways (linking them with campus resources, helping them find and join student clubs, assisting them with time management skills and organization, etc.).  We are hoping to expand the program to serve more students and the local community in the 2014-2015 academic year.

Campus contact:
Christina Taylor

QR Barcode Project

In partnership with Niagara Falls State Park Niagara Gorge Region, NCCC Recreation Studies, and NY State Parks Recreation and Historical Preservation the following project was integrated into NCCC’s Fall 2013 Foundations of Recreation Class: GPS coordinates and descriptions of 30 locations in the Niagara Falls Gorge were converted into QR barcodes and customized Google Maps to be placed at the locations for visitors in the Niagara Falls Gorge. The QR Barcodes will be used to transfer educational information about the diverse biology, geology and historical significance within the landscape. Using today’s smart phones visitors simply scan the QR barcode at the location creating a dynamic educational experience. This is “Phase 2” of the project that previously installed 68 locations in the general landscape of the Niagara Falls State Park.    

Campus contact:
Budd Termin

Resume Evaluation Peer Program (REPP)

Students who are accepted as REPPs work as Career Services first point-of-contact for students coming in to complete resumes, search for jobs, and begin the career planning process. REPPs are taught to assume a leadership role when working with students and to help students create meaningful connections with others on campus.

Campus contact:
Alissa J. Shugats-Cummings

Student Life Fundraisers

Student Life sponsors community fundraisers such as a “Capture the Flag” tournament, a “Relay for Life” race, and the “Bald for Bucks” event to raise money for the American Cancer Society and “Hoops for Hearts” to benefit the American Heart Association.

Campus contact:
Dave Yaksich

Video Film Festival

The NCCC Digital Media Department hosted a Video Film Festival during spring 2014.  The festival was open to community members of all ages and all levels of expertise. The public was encouraged to participate and come to the event as a way to support local art.

Campus contact:
Kyle LoConti

Veterans Association

The NCCC Veterans Association conducts an annual Veterans Day Ceremony for Niagara County in addition to sponsoring a series of community based projects each year including:

  • S.E.R.V. (Supporting, Empowering, Respecting Veterans and Their Families) Niagara: Food and Clothing Drive for Disabled and Homeless Veterans of Niagara County
  • Wounded Warrior Project: Fund-raiser for the Wounded Warrior Project and Iraq-Afghanistan Memorial (Walk for Warriors of WNY Project)
  • Holiday Care Packages for our Troops: Every year, the Veterans Association collects items for care packages for our troops deployed during the holidays. In 2012, 44 boxes were mailed overseas to our troops.
  • Christmas Cards to our Troops: The Veterans Association sends cards to soldiers overseas every holiday season.  NCCC students, faculty and staff are all encouraged to participate by writing a note, or just their name in Christmas cards.  For the past five years NCCC has sent the greatest number of cards as a college in New York State and is among the top five in the nation.
  • Coups for Troops: Military families overseas can use expired coupons that are up to 6 months expired at base stores. The Veterans Association helps to collect these coupons for overseas military families.
  • Gold & Blue Star Military Family Tribute Walk: Sponsored by the Buffalo Sabres Foundation and the WNY IAM (Iraq-Afghanistan Memorial) to benefit building of the Iraq-Afghanistan monument honoring WNY’s fallen heroes.

Campus contact:
Joe Colosi

Advocates for Students with Disabilities Club

Club members are committed to providing a positive peer-support network on campus for students with and without disabilities while promoting sensitivity, advocacy, awareness, diversity, disability rights, self-empowerment, personal growth and leadership. Some of the activities that the Advocates for Students with Disabilities Club has been involved with are:

Stop the R-Word Campaign-Spread the Word to End the Word: This campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people.  Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions. Individuals pledge to use respectful, people-first language.

Summit Educational Services Autism Awareness Walk: The Autism Walk brings together roughly 3,500 walkers to raise awareness about autism in Western New York. This year, the Advocates for Students with Disabilities Club raised $215 for the Summit Educational Resources.

Fundraising for Special Olympics and the Variety Kids Telethon

Campus contact:
Melanie Warren

Niagara County Community College

3111 Saunders Settlement Road
Sanborn, NY 14132
(716) 614-6222