Last week, CNN Money’s national college rankings came out and Cumberland County College was rated the #1 community college in New Jersey and tied for #2 in the tri-state region that includes New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. We are at the top of the right list!
It’s not surprising at all. Our county has a history of investing in education, be it K-12 or support for our local community college. Our Freeholders and community members understand that the ticket into the middle class, and to elevating one’s status beyond the middle class, is education. On our campus, we understand that very well and put students first. My predecessors understood that and I, too, am keeping students first.
The College recently launched a new branding campaign to educate our community that college is more within reach now than ever before. A couple of weeks ago, we launched the Carver Early College High School program with Bridgeton Public Schools. The same program will run next year at Vineland High School and at CCTEC. This program will allow high school students to complete the first two years of their undergraduate degree concurrently as they are earning their high school diploma. After four years of high school, the most motivated students will have earned their associate degrees. We also have dual enrollment and dual credit programs that allow students to finish some college credits in high school. English 101 and Sociology 101 are the same, no matter where one goes to college.
The Lampitt Transfer Law in New Jersey ensures full transfer of community college credits into New Jersey four-year universities based on NJ Transfer guidelines. A student who transfers out of state is also eligible to transfer their community college credits and students are advised to check with the school where they aspire to attend out of state.
As we enter our strategic planning process this fall, we are looking to the community—to you our residents—to better understand the community’s needs and our aspirations for who we want to become. Whether it is establishing college as an expectation rather than an aspiration for our youth, supporting our businesses with workforce training, or keeping the arts, humanities and culture part of our local identity, as a community college, our primary mission is to advance the community.
Cumberland County College does not exist in a vacuum. We understand that our success is inextricably linked to the success of our community non-profit partners, our faith-based community, our cities and towns, and other public entities such as the Center for Workforce and Economic Development and the Cumberland County Improvement Authority.
Our time is now, Cumberland, and collaboration is the key. Onward and upward!
Previously published on thedailyjournal.com on July 26, 2017.