Beginning Fall 2016
50% off Bergen Community College rates (Englewood, New Jersey – August 26, 2016) The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC is establishing a pilot program with local college Bergen Community College as the only performing arts school in the region to offer college credits to high school students ages 16 and up. The dual enrollment program includes advanced jazz, chorus, acting, and participation in the summer musical as well as guided independent studies in arts focused pursuits such as costume and set design for up to three credits for each course, and six for the musical.
“As the only performing arts school that offers a college credit-based program, we have created the opportunity for a great number of local students to pursue artistic studies and to be rewarded for that pursuit,” Dominic Roncace, bergenPAC CEO, explained, “It gives them the freedom to explore the arts while simultaneously working towards a college degree before they even enroll in college, which is incredibly unique.”
While there are a number of high schools that offer college credits, none of them are arts focused, which limits the potential for students to engage in such interests. “Dual enrollment represents one of the many programs Bergen has developed to help streamline the path to a college degree,” Bergen Community College President B. Kaye Walter, Ph.D., said. “Joining approximately two million of their peers nationwide, more than 1,300 Bergen County high school students enrolled in the College’s program last year. Our newest partner, the acclaimed Bergen Performing Arts Center, will add a new dimension to our dual enrollment offerings and provide a unique opportunity for high school students.”
The dual enrollment program offered at bergenPAC aids in students’ personal exploration of their interests and encourages them to participate in studies that have been overlooked in both high school and college settings. The Performing Arts School has received recognition for its excellence in education and the opportunity for students to participate for college credit will offer them an incredible and applicable experience.
“We understand and appreciate the importance of artistic pursuits, which is why we plan to expand the program to include many more classes in all mediums for years to come. As one of the only outlets for high school aged students in the region who wish to pursue a study of the arts, the award of college credit is definitely enticing.” explained Becky Hinkle, Managing Director of The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC.
In this inaugural collaboration, the school is offering a concentrated number of courses to kick-start the program; however, with the level of enthusiasm shown by students, teachers, and administrators alike, the program plans to expand. Students register and participate as usual at bergenPAC and pay additional tuition to Bergen Community College at 50% off the regular college tuition rate, which is just $69.25 per credit, in order to participate in the program. With the intent of filling the vacuum of arts education within high schools and colleges alike, bergenPAC, in collaboration with Bergen Community College, is working towards bridging the gap between arts education and application.
Founded in 2003, the 1,367-seat Bergen Performing Arts Center, or bergenPAC, is the area’s cultural mecca. Housed in a historic Art Deco-style theater boasting one of the finest acoustic halls in the United States, bergenPAC attracts a stellar roster of world-class entertainment. The jewel in our crown is The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC – the innovative, educational performing arts initiative that, through programs, classes, outreach, school shows, and main theater presented shows, reach more than 30,000 students and community youth annually. The Performing Arts School provides community youth, age 2 months to 21 years, with unique, “hands-on” training in music, dance and theater by industry professionals. It is through the ongoing generosity of sponsors, donors, members, and patrons that the not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation bergenPAC and The Performing Arts School are able to thrive and enrich our community.
About Bergen Community College
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls 15,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip 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. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.