Fewer than half as many students enrolled in Schenectady County Community College’s much-touted casino management program this fall compared to last year, marking a major slide in interest in the program after a big build-up before Rivers Casino opened in Schenectady.
This time last year, the program had 49 students; this year there are just 17 students enrolled, according to the college.
“We will be working on that to see how to get interest back up,” said Penny Haynes, vice president of academic and student affairs. “It seemed to be more of a draw in the beginning than it is right now.”
Haynes said the college has plans to meet this fall with representatives from Rivers and discuss ways the college can help train casino staff and the casino can help students in the college’s program score work experience while completing their degree.
Interest in the program grew for the first three years after starting in fall 2013 before starting to fall off last year and again this fall. In 2013, 18 people applied to the program and 12 registered; by 2015, 47 people had applied and 25 registered.
“When all the publicity came, the program went crazy,” Haynes said.
The program was established in 2013, around the time the state approved legislation that paved the way for a slew of new casinos. The school created six new courses, including introduction to the gaming industry, gaming operations and gaming laws and regulations.
The program’s overall enrollment hovered around 60 students in spring 2016 as students eagerly eyed jobs…
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