New Strategic Plan and Programs Highlight Fall 2013 at Bergen Community College
By Mel Fabrikant Saturday, August 31, 2013, 02:31 PM EDT
PARAMUS, N.J. – More than 5,000 new students will begin classes Tuesday, September 3 at Bergen Community College. While some new and continuing students opted to enroll in one of six summer sessions offered by the school at three locations and online, most will arrive next week to find new resources and programs finalized over the summer waiting for them.
“The first day of school marks the beginning – or continuation – of a Bergen Community College student’s path to a degree, certificate or entry into a career,” Bergen’s president, Dr. B. Kaye Walter said. “The fall also signals the beginning of implementing the College’s 2013-18 strategic plan, which the Board of Trustees approved in June. The plan creates a framework for the future, helping to ensure student success and outlining the goal of creating new resources for students, the community and Bergen faculty and staff.”
The plan outlines four strategic themes for Bergen during the next five years: student success and excellence; faculty and staff success and excellence; commitment to Bergen County; and institution building. Each theme contains a number of goals that will result in action items for College officials to develop and execute in response. Among them: increase course completion, retention, transfer and graduation rates; enhance and expand programs to serve education and workforce development needs of Bergen County; and increase professional development opportunities for employees. Led by a workgroup of Bergen faculty, staff, students and administrators, the plan took shape based on input from internal and external stakeholders.
Additionally this summer:
* College, county and state officials broke ground on the Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center August 20. The $26 million facility, funded in large part by the $750 million Building our Future Bond Act approved by voters in the November 2012 elections, will house the College’s health professions programs such as dental hygiene and nursing. A fall 2015 opening is planned.
* Two high-flying programs made final preparations for liftoff: aviation administration and aircraft operations. Beginning this fall, students can enroll in the associate in science programs that utilize the College’s Emil Buehler Trust Aviation Center, which includes a flight simulator. Courses include introduction to aeronautics and aviation safety.
* Student engineering interns – hired as part of a $3.8 million federal grant secured by the College – worked with members of division of science, math and technology faculty to develop a five-foot tall wind turbine capable of generating 225 watts of electricity (at 20 mile per hour winds). The project remains one of many science, technology, engineering and math-related efforts by the College to increase enrollment in the fields and prepare students for careers in the growing employment sector.
* The College continued to prove its standing as the state’s “most social” community college, amassing nearly 12,000 followers on Facebook. Joined by recent acquisitions to its social profile – including Twitter and Instagram – the College’s pages have consistently received high marks from students for responsiveness and engagement. In a recent study of students, 96 percent of those who named Facebook as their favorite social media application follow Bergen’s page.
* In a pilot program, two dozen high school students preparing for entry into the College participated in the “summer intensive,” a daily, five-week course that featured discussions on goal-setting, using Bergen’s technology and acclimating to the pressures of college study. As part of the program, students toured the campus, met with faculty and registered for fall classes before a send-off musical performance led by the students.
* In an effort to provide enhanced accommodations for students enrolled in online courses, a virtual office of student affairs launched. Accessible through Bergen.edu/sao, a counselor/adviser provides the guidance traditionally offered only in-person.
* Additional school districts signed on as part of Bergen’s “College-High School Partnership” program, which now enrolls more than 550 students from 20 local high schools in 92 classes. Students enroll in the college-level classes at their high school; upon successful completion, they earn credits through Bergen.
Fall 2013 classes at Bergen’s locations in Lyndhurst (Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands) and Hackensack (the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center) begin September 25 and October 30. For more information, visit Bergen.edu/fall2013.
Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu ) based in Paramus is a public two-year coeducational college, enrolling nearly 17,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip J. Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields.