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President McCoy Set to Retire from Jefferson Community College in June

Dr. Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College since 2007, will officially retire from the College on June 30, 2017.   Dr. McCoy announced her intention to retire nearly twelve months ago in a timeframe that would allow the College’s Board of Trustees sufficient time to complete a national search for her replacement.  Dr. Ty A. Stone, of Dayton, Ohio, will assume the helm as Jefferson’s sixth president on July 1, 2017.

Dr. McCoy came to Jefferson in January 2007 as the College’s fifth - and first female – president. Prior to joining Jefferson, McCoy served as vice president for learner support services at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland.   She holds a bachelor’s degree from Framingham State College, a master’s in business administration from the University of Massachusetts and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Baltimore. 

Dr. McCoy is known for her strategic vision and planning skills, her ability to build effective teams, and her indelible commitment to Jefferson Community College and to the community it serves.  She is a true believer in the mission of community colleges and her prime motivation is student success. Shortly after her arrival, Dr. McCoy spearheaded the development of new strategic and facilities master plans for the College which would set the stage for the next 10 years and numerous milestones in Jefferson’s history. During Dr. McCoy’s tenure, Jefferson has experienced enrollment growth of nearly 21% and successfully implemented several strategic initiatives to help students achieve their academic goals.  

In 2009, Dr. McCoy was instrumental in securing a $2 million U.S. Department of Labor Grant in collaboration with the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization that funded a new weekend format option for Jefferson students to earn an associate’s degree in nursing.  In 2010, the Jefferson Higher Education Center came to fruition bringing opportunities for community members to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees on Jefferson’s campus through partnerships with four-year institutions. Jefferson’s first ever on-campus student housing opened for the Fall 2014 semester allowing 294 students to live and learn on campus in a brand new facility. In March 2016, the College officially opened the Deans Collaborative Learning Center, a state of the art facility designed to bring student support services, library and study space together in one synergistic learning space.  During the summer of 2016, the former library building was renovated to expand the College’s nursing and paramedic programs and reopened as the Gregor Building. Most recently, a new Health & Wellness Center opened on campus and houses the Jefferson Community School $500,000 grant initiative.

Perhaps the greatest testimony to Dr. McCoy’s leadership during her tenure is the College’s reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in July 2015. The reaccreditation process is rigorous and not only did the College meet each of 14 standards of excellence, but the College received nineteen commendations from the visiting accreditation evaluation team.  Among the accolades, the evaluation team commended the College’s leadership team, with Dr. McCoy at the helm, for fostering a positive and collegial environment throughout campus, the quality and implementation of the Facilities Master Plan and efforts to advance the community by developing academic degree programs and workforce training programs of local interest.

Within SUNY, Dr. McCoy is a member of and previous secretary for the New York Community College Association of Presidents (NYCCAP) and a member of the recently formed SUNY Community College Regional Councils.  As a testament to her widely recognized leadership abilities, Dr. McCoy was selected to chair the North Country Regional Community College Council. 

In the community, Dr. McCoy has lent considerable time to several organizations as a board member for WPBS, the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Northern New York, Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, Samaritan Keep Home and Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County.  Additionally, she is a member of and secretary for the Jefferson County Workforce Development Board. Dr. McCoy is a Watertown Rotarian, former North Country Heart Walk Chair, and a frequent keynote speaker and guest judge at numerous community events.

Dr. McCoy is a role model for women and fosters the development of female campus and community leaders.  Under her leadership, the College became an institutional partner member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and with Dr. McCoy’s support, a student chapter was initiated at Jefferson.  In addition, Dr. McCoy is a member of the Upstate Women’s Leadership Council created by Senator Patty Ritchie.

In 2016, Dr. McCoy received the prestigious Athena® Award from the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce.  Most recently, Dr. McCoy was recognized by the 10th Mountain Division with the Fort Drum Woman of the Mountain Award on May 10, 2017.

“Jefferson Community College and the North Country community have been fortunate that for the last ten years we have had a strong and dynamic leader in Dr. Carole McCoy. Under her leadership, the College has added innovative academic programs and student support services, improved graduation and retention rates, and built new facilities that support student success,” said Terry N. Fralick, chair of the Jefferson Community College Board of Trustees.  “With Carole as its steward, we are grateful and proud of the outstanding reputation Jefferson holds within SUNY and as the ‘jewel of the North Country’.  We wish her only the best in retirement.” 

“Leaving Jefferson is bittersweet, although I am excited about retiring and what the future may hold,” said Dr. McCoy. “I will most miss all of the great moments when we celebrate the success of our students – such as commencement, nurse pinning, and all of the student awards for excellence. They are visible reminders of why Jefferson is so important to our community and why I have loved my time here so much.”

President McCoy will be honored at a dinner on June 1, 2017 at the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton, New York. Tickets cost $50 per person and are available for purchase online at or by calling the Jefferson Community College Foundation at 315-786-2458 by May 25, 2017.