Rediscover Cumberland County College

As we prepare to celebrate Cumberland County College’s 50th anniversary this year, we are excited to re-acquaint the community with the only higher education institution in the county. Nationally, community colleges have changed drastically. Once considered the 13th grade and colleges attended primarily by students who did not excel academically and adult students, community colleges across the country have redefined themselves as vibrant academic institutions that are at the heart of the economic vitality of the communities they serve. Cumberland County College is no exception to that! Our entering students include valedictorians and the top tier of our local high school graduates.

Cumberland County College represents a great choice for financially savvy students and their families. A student who completes his or her first two years of college at Cumberland pays a total cost of $8,800 for those first two years. Now consider the alternative. The first two years alone at one of New Jersey’s fine public universities cost $25,600—not to mention the additional two years needed to complete an undergraduate degree. A student who starts at one of the private institutions in state, pays an average of $64,600 just for the first two years. To be solidly middle-class in the current economy, our students need a Master’s degree.

A student or family that spends over $100,000 on their basic college degree has little or nothing left to pay for an advanced degree. There is a reason why college debt—estimated to be over $1 trillion—now surpasses mortgage debt. Don’t let yourself or your child get saddled with debt right out of the gate. As a parent, I’d prefer to help my children invest in their first home.

It’s not just value that Cumberland County College offers. Our beautiful campus rivals all of the community college campuses in the state. We are often told that our campus mirrors some of the most elite, private colleges in the country. Come take a tour, enjoy a picnic at one of our courtyards, play Frisbee on our turf, enjoy a show by a well-known artist in our performing arts center, check out our conference center, or build something using our 3-D printers or extensive clay and pottery facilities.

Our facilities and our extraordinary faculty and staff create an optimal environment for learning. We also partner with local universities like Wilmington, Montclair, and Farleigh Dickinson to offer complete bachelor and Master’s degrees on campus and online for students who wish to complete their degrees without ever leaving Cumberland. Our graduates have also gone on to Rutgers, Stockton and prestigious universities like Harvard, Columbia, and other elite schools.

Higher education is the first most important and most significant investment in a young person’s life. As you consider your college options, I encourage you to make a financially savvy decision and to start at Cumberland County College. We have been propelling students to success for 50 years. We’d love to count you as one of our success stories as we enter our next half century.

Rekindling the Fire: Engaging our Community in New Ways

As Cumberland County College closes the books on 50 years of service to the community, we are pausing to reflect on the characteristics and successes that earned us the ranking of #1 community college in New Jersey and placement among the top 2% of community colleges in the country, according to the Washington Monthly Magazine. We work hard to maintain and exceed our high rankings, but we take the most pride in our students’ and alumni achievements—many of whom live right here among us while others are impacting the world beyond Cumberland.

We are also looking at the journey ahead by beginning to envision what the next 50 years might look like. As we do this, we’ll rekindle the fire with the community. Beginning this summer, we’ll be re-engaging our community partners and the people of the Cumberland. We’ll be meeting students where they are, bringing this community college into the community. We’ll be using all traditional and modern techniques, approaches, and media to make sure that no one is left out. We’ll embrace the diverse cultures that make us a microcosm of where our country is heading. We will live our mission of pride, service, and excellence by maximizing our impact on the community.

We will engage the people, non-profits, and business leaders of Cumberland County in examining key socio-economic indicators, workforce and economic development goals to determine where and how the College might be most impactful. Together, we will bring the economically marginalized more into the center as we strengthen our middle class, keep college costs low and expand transfer options for our students. We will align our academic programs with the current and projected labor demands of our regional workforce. We will embrace technology and avail ourselves of the natural assets this county offers to advance our people and institutions. We have high hopes for the next 50 years.

Broad community support has brought us to where we are today. Imagine what we can achieve if we were on fire. Imagine a new Cumberland!

The Start of a Great Adventure

Today is the first day of what promises to be a great adventure with Cumberland County College! Despite all the work that moving entails, I have been looking forward to this day with great excitement and I am glad that the anticipation is over.

Cumberland County College is a great gem—a best kept secret that won’t be for long. With its beautiful serene campus that mirrors some of the great private liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, I share the staff’s pride that our community college students get to study in an environment that is both conducive to learning and aesthetically pleasing. The beauty of Cumberland County itself, outside of the college, is equally captivating. Prior to exploring my new hometown, I was told that our county put the “Garden” in the “Garden State,” as is New Jersey’s motto.

The county offers a great mix of rural with quasi-city living, ample open space, clean air, and rich historical sites tied to the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, The Gilded Age, the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, and the Post War eras, not to mention the accompanying legends and lore told by locals. The wildlife, rivers, and the Delaware Bay that run through the county offer great picturesque scenes fit for postcards.

The people—Cumberland County’s best assets—are welcoming and warm. Much like the rest of the country, Cumberland County is becoming more diverse and with a growing Latino population. Our college is even a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution. My new colleagues are enthusiastic, fun, and future-ready. As Cumberland County College celebrates 50 years of extraordinary achievements, the College, its Board, its benefactors, and the broader community are energized to start writing the next chapter.

Needless to say, I am in love with Cumberland. Let’s get started!