Rowan College at Gloucester County

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For educational institutions with similar names, see Gloucester College and Gloucestershire College.
Rowan College at Gloucester County
Rowan-Gloucester County logo.png
Motto Start Smart... Go Far
Established September 1966 (1966-September)
Type Public, Community College
Endowment US$1,915,171 (RCGC Foundation) as of 30 June 2009
Budget US$39,388,473 as of 30 June 2009
Chairman Gene J. Concordia, Trustee
President Frederick (Fred) Keating
Academic staff 319 (247 adjunct professors; 77%) as of 1 November 2010
Admin. staff 392 (204 part-time), including student workers, as of 1 November 2010
Students 9,782
Undergraduates 6,609 (3,990 full-time) in 2010
Other students 3,173 (continuing education)
Location Sewell, New Jersey, USA
39°46′52″N 75°07′16″W / 39.7810°N 75.1212°W / 39.7810; -75.1212Coordinates: 39°46′52″N 75°07′16″W / 39.7810°N 75.1212°W / 39.7810; -75.1212
Campus Suburban
Abbreviation RCGC
Colors

     Blue

     Buff
Nickname Roadrunners
Mascot The roadrunner
Affiliations Gloucester County, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, National Junior College Athletic Association, American Association of Community Colleges, Garden State Athletic Conference
Website www.rcgc.edu/Pages/Home.aspx
[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC), formerly known as Gloucester County College (GCC), is an accredited, co-educational, two-year, public community college in Sewell, Gloucester County, New Jersey, established in 1966. Its seventh president, Frederick Keating, took office in 2011.

Rowan University and Gloucester County College entered into a premier partnership on January 10, 2014.[7] Under the expanded agreement, GCC will change its name to Rowan College at Gloucester County and offer conditional dual enrollment with Rowan University.[8] While GCC took the Rowan name, the community college will maintain its independence with its own Board of Trustees and administration.[9]

RCGC has articulation and credit transfer agreements with many area and online colleges and universities, and a few dual enrollment agreements. Academic areas include Nursing and Allied Health (an area with selective admissions, unlike most other programs), the Gloucester County Police Academy and related degrees, and continuing education.

As of February 2012, RCGC has about 266 acres (1.1 km2) of grounds, on which are twelve buildings, two of which include the headquarters of other Gloucester County organizations. It has an art gallery, a walking and jogging trail, and community gardens. Student life at the college includes KotoriCon, an anime convention, as well as many other activities.

History[edit]

The voters of Gloucester County had passed a non-binding referendum in 1965, calling for the Board of Chosen Freeholders to start a community college in the county. Gloucester County College was established in 1966, when the New Jersey Department of Education approved its charter.[3][10]

Buildings[edit]

The first classes were taught in the summer of 1967 at Monongahela Middle School and Deptford Township High School.[10] The first building owned by RCGC was the Instructional Center. It was completed in 1970, and the first classes were taught there in the fall of that year. Other past building projects include the College Center (opened in January 1971), the Library (dedicated in October 1988), the Health Sciences building and the Police Academy (begun in 1993), and Scott Hall, which houses the chemistry and biology classrooms and laboratories (began in 2001 and dedicated in September 2002).[3][10][11][12]

Presidents[edit]

Charter President William L. Apetz began his tenure in September 1966.[13] He retired from RCGC in 1980 and went on to be the first president of Sussex County Community College, another County College in New Jersey.[14]

The second president was Gary L. Reddig, who was appointed in July 1980 and resigned on 31 October 1986,[15] giving two reasons. First, he wished to assume the position of director of the County Community College Presidents Association of New Jersey. Second, he alleged that the then chair of the Board of Trustees, Richard J. Ambacher, Jr. (now a professor emeritus of Rowan University),[16] had pressured him to get Ambacher's son a custodial job at the college and his daughter-in-law into the nursing program, which has selective admissions; he also claimed that Ambacher had otherwise interfered in college operations. Ambacher denied the allegations, and stated that he had only asked that the nursing program's admissions standards be altered to avoid bias against non-traditional students. One trustee resigned in sympathy with Reddig. A state investigation resulted in a report and letter recommending that the relationship between the Board of Trustees and the school be changed (including requiring the college president's approval for hiring done by the board), that trustee quorum requirements be increased, and that trustee training and selection be improved. The investigation did not find Reddig's allegations correct.[15][17][18][19][20] One member of the Board of Chosen Freeholders asked for Ambacher's term as a trustee not to be renewed; Ambacher responded that this was a political maneuver in the context of an upcoming election.[17] Ambacher did not seek another term as trustee after his existing term ended in November 1987, stating that this was due to health reasons (diabetes exacerbated by stress).[18] There was considerable dismay at RCGC over these events, especially with accreditation renewal coming in spring 1987.[21]

Richard H. Jones was the third president, serving from 4 October 1987 until his retirement on 1 February 1998.[22] He had been a vice-president at RCGC, then acting president after Reddig's departure.[23]

The fourth president was Gail O. Mellow, who was selected prior to Jones' retirement and worked with him from 1 November 1997 until his retirement.[22][24] She served as president until she left to become president of LaGuardia Community College on 1 August 2000.[25]

The fifth president was William F. Anderson, who had previously served as vice president, then as interim president. He resigned in July 2007, but stayed with RCGC as the food science program administrator.[26][27]

Russell A. Davis was the sixth president from September 2008 until his resignation on 13 April 2011. He had earlier been vice president of student services, then acting president after Anderson's resignation.[26][28] On 29 April 2011 Davis was charged with eleven counts of forgery of a signature to obtain loans from his pension/retirement account (similar to the loans allowed from a 401(k)); the prosecutor's office has not accused Davis of theft of college property.[29][30]

The current president is Frederick Keating, who had been serving as interim president.[31] He was previously RCGC's vice president of student services and, before that, superintendent at the Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT).[32]

Problematic periods[edit]

There has been tension between faculty and administration on two occasions: a strike was threatened in 1989 over pay;[33] further tension in 2002 was settled largely by Lalaji S. Deshbandhu, the late president of the RCGC Faculty Association.[34]

The first years of the late-2000s recession were also difficult. In 2008 the workweek was cut to four days during the summer, more buildings were closed during breaks, and there was increased scrutiny of purchases.[35] RCGC (including RCGC Foundation) investment revenue went from $636,391 per year in 2007 to $202,805 per year in 2009.[6]

RCGC's nursing program had difficulties in 1997–98, with lower pass rates (78% in 1998, and below 80% in 1997) on state examinations for nursing qualifications.[36][37] These led to it being put on probation by the state. Changes made that elevated the pass rate to 93% for May–September 1999, taking the school from the bottom 20% of two-year nursing programs to the top 25%.[36][37]

Organization and administration[edit]

The college's governing body is the Board of Trustees.[38] Eight trustees are appointed by the Gloucester County Administrator and Board of Chosen Freeholders; two are appointed by the Governor of New Jersey; the eleventh trustee is the county Superintendent of Schools, a voting ex officio member; and the college president is a non-voting ex officio member.[38][39]

RCGC's annual budget in 2009 was $39,388,473. The college is financially dependent primarily on money from Gloucester County and the State of New Jersey (about 49.1% of revenue in 2009), followed by funds from student tuition and fees (about 35.2% of revenue in 2009).[6]

The RCGC Foundation holds the college's endowment ($1,915,171 as of 30 June 2009).[6] Most income from the endowment is used to provide scholarships.[40][41]

Building during daylight
RCGC's Health Sciences Building

The academic divisions of RCGC are:[42]

  • Division of Allied Health and Nursing
  • Division of Business Studies
  • Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (also includes Exercise Science)
  • Division of Liberal Arts
  • Division of Public Safety and Security (Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement)
  • Division of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Other Areas (including continuing education, some certificate programs, the Police Academy, and the Fire Academy)

Articulation and credit transfer agreements exist with 27 area or online four-year colleges and universities.[3][43][44] These include Rowan University,[45] Farleigh Dickinson University,[46] Wilmington University,[47] Temple University,[48] Penn State University,[27] the University of Maryland University College (UMUC),[49] Thomas Edison State College,[50] Drexel University, and Rutgers University.[44] RCGC offers dual enrollment with Rowan,[51] Farleigh Dickinson,[52] Wilmington,[53] and UMUC (generally only for some programs and majors).[49] Stephen M. Sweeney, President of the New Jersey Senate, has called for other community colleges in South Jersey to follow RCGC in having dual enrollment agreements with Rowan.[54]

Academics[edit]

Admissions[edit]

Most of RCGC's programs are open to anyone with a high school diploma or GED; some opportunities to take for-credit courses are available to high school students and others.[3] (RCGC has links with the Gloucester County Institute of Technology (GCIT) and, to a lesser degree, with other high schools in the county.)[3][43] There are, however, selective admissions for Nursing, Allied Health, and Automotive Technology.[3][55]

Enrollment and demographics[edit]

The college awarded 819 associate degrees and 15 academic certificates in 2009–2010. Of the 1561 first-time, full-time students starting in 2007, 350 had graduated with associate degrees and 351 transferred (for example, to a four-year college or university) by 2010. The total percentage of 44.9% was the third highest among the nineteen New Jersey County Colleges (NJCCs); the median was 35.3%.[1] Among all students in 2010, the percentage enrolled in remedial courses was 28.9% (seventh among the nineteen NJCCs; the median is 28.1%); among first-time, full-time students, the percentage was 63.3% (tenth among the nineteen NJCCs; the median is 63.3%).[1] Enrollment in for-credit courses was 6,609 in 2010; of these, 1,557 (about 23.6%) were first-time, full-time students, and altogether 60% were full-time.[1] 33.5% of RCGC's students in 2010 were between 18 and 21 (48.5% of full-time students and 10.6% of part-time students). In 2010, about 17% of RCGC's students came from outside Gloucester County; 99.5% were from New Jersey.[1][56] In 2011, 170 of RCGC's students were veterans;[57] On G.I. Jobs magazine’s 2012 list of Military Friendly Schools, and on two lists from previous years, RCGC was ranked in the top 15% of universities, colleges, and trade schools nationwide for enrolling veterans as students.[58]

Adjunct professors make up about 77.4% of the faculty. About 61.8% of course sections are taught by adjuncts or staff members rather than full-time faculty. RCGC ranks ninth out of the nineteen NJCCs in the proportion of course sections not taught by full-time faculty; the median is 60%.[1]

Tuition/fees and financial aid[edit]

Tuition and fees* at RCGC are lowest for Gloucester County residents, intermediate for other New Jersey residents, and highest for others. In this, the college follows the way other county colleges in New Jersey favor their counties or pairs of counties. The total of tuition plus fees for in-state but out-of-county full-time students at RCGC in 2011–2012 was less than the in-county rates charged by all but three other county colleges in New Jersey. The same was true of part-time (twelve credits per year) rates, compared with those of all but two other county colleges in New Jersey.[59]

Over 40% of students entering RCGC in 2010 received some form of financial aid.[60] The most common source was a federally funded Pell Grant, received by about 34% of students. Approximately 1% received financial aid from the RCGC Foundation in 2010.[40][41] [1]

Accreditation and programs[edit]

Gloucester County College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Higher Education.[61] Some programs at RCGC are also accredited by other agencies. These include:[1]

RCGC also includes the Gloucester County Police Academy,[66] and associate degrees in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice are available.[67] The Dean of the Police Academy is Fred H. Madden, who is also a New Jersey State Senator. (Such dual office-holding has been questioned by Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey.)[68]

Nursing and Allied health professions[67][69] includes respiratory therapy, partially through cooperation with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey[70]). Nursing and Allied Health are areas in which RCGC operates selective admissions.

In its 2010 survey, Community College Week ranked RCGC 9th nationwide in the number of associate degrees awarded to education majors and 35th nationwide in the number of associate degrees awarded in parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies.[71]

As well as face-to-face education, distance learning and hybrid (blended) distance and face-to-face learning are available for some courses[3][5][72] using the WebCT system.[73]

Photograph during daylight
RCGC's Scott Hall (the Virginia N. Scott Center for Science and Technology), location of the biology and chemistry laboratories[10]

In fall 2010 the top ten programs by numbers enrolled were:[74]

  1. Associate of Arts in Arts & Sciences (general; meant for transfer)
  2. Associate of Science in Business administration
  3. Associate of Arts in Education
  4. Associate of Arts & Sciences in Criminal justice
  5. Associate of Arts in Psychology
  6. Associate of Applied Science in Law enforcement
  7. Associate of Science in Arts & Sciences (general; meant for transfer)
  8. Associate of Science in Biology
  9. Associate of Science in Nursing (selective admissions)
  10. Associate of Science in Exercise science

Academic calendar[edit]

RCGC uses a modified semester system. It has fall and spring semesters together with shorter winter and summer terms; the latter are further broken up into overlapping sessions of variable lengths (five weeks at the most for the winter term).[3][75] A higher proportion of the winter and summer courses are blended/hybrid or distance education.[76] As well as weekdays (including late afternoon and evening), courses are offered on Saturdays and Sundays.[77]

Continuing education[edit]

Registration for continuing education courses totaled 35,773 in 2009, counting each course separately.[78] A survey conducted by South Jersey Biz named RCGC "Best of Biz 2011" in the professional development category for its computerized office administration, network management, accounting, web development, and information technology programs.[79]

RCGC offers subsidized ($25 or less registration fee and no class fee) courses to local residents in areas such as English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, and GED test preparation.[80][81] It offers free classes in basic computer skills to employees of local businesses,[80][82] in health information technology for a limited number of students,[83] and in logistics.[80][84] As with for-credit courses, GCC has traditional in-person, hybrid/blended, and purely online continuing education courses.[85][86]

Campus[edit]

RCGC is close to Route 47 (1.1 miles or 1.8 kilometers away by car) and Route 55 (1.4 miles or 2.3 kilometers away by car).[87] It is 4.7 miles (7.6 km) from Woodbury (Gloucester County's county seat),[88][89] 5.0 miles (8.0 km) from Washington Township (Gloucester County's largest municipality),[90][91] 11.9 miles (19.2 km) from Camden, New Jersey,[92] and 15.9 miles (25.6 km) from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[87] It has a bus stop that is on New Jersey Transit bus routes 408 and 463.[93]

Buildings and usage[edit]

RCGC's campus of about 266 acres (1.1 km2) has twelve buildings as of February 2012;[94] all are accessible by wheelchair.[95][96] A 30,000 sq ft (3,000 m2) University Center building is under construction.[1] It is planned to use it from the fall of 2012 for RCGC classes in the daytime and dual enrollment undergraduate and graduate classes at night.[3][97] Other buildings include Scott Hall, the Eugene J. McCaffrey, Sr. College Center,[11] the Library, and the Early Childhood Education Center,[95][96] which offers daycare services for children aged 212–5 to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and Gloucester County residents.[13][98] The entire campus is non-smoking except for specifically designated areas.[38][99]

Some other Gloucester County organizations are headquartered at RCGC. The Gloucester County Community Service Corps (a branch of the Senior Corps) and the Volunteer Center of Gloucester County are in the Instructional Center building,[100] In the College Center building there is the Center for People in Transition, a Displaced Homemaker program from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' Division on Women[101] that serves former homemakers who have lost that role through bereavement, divorce, or other separation from a money-providing spouse. The center concentrates on women, and it is not clear whether a former househusband would be eligible. A number of its services, such as some of its workshops, are not restricted to displaced homemakers. When funding is available, the center also provides services to military spouses whose partners are overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan.[102]

Inside the College Center building is the Dr. Ross Beitzel Art Gallery, with a permanent collection valued at over $250,000. It is on display both in the gallery and throughout the campus and is the longest-running art exhibit among community colleges in New Jersey.[13][103][104] Art exhibitions are sometimes held there.[105]

Daylight photograph of wooden bridge over water in a forest
RCGC trail

Grounds[edit]

The grounds are part of the Gloucester County Educational Campus (GCEC), which also includes GCIT's campus.[106] RCGC's campus includes a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) walking and jogging trail (available for use by visitors as well as students, faculty, and staff) that goes through part of the forested area of the campus; it has 76 trail markers, for which GPS coordinates are available.[107][108]

The grounds are also used for the Community Gardens project, which started in 1973 and allows county residents to rent small plots of RCGC land to raise vegetables, flowers, and other plants. The rental money goes to the RCGC Foundation to help provide scholarships.[40]

Off-campus sites[edit]

Two portions of RCGC are located off of the main campus. The first is the automotive technology program, most of which is located on the neighboring Gloucester Institute of Technology campus as part of the cooperation between RCGC and GCIT, with the additional involvement of the Ford Motor Company; it includes both classroom courses (some taken at RCGC's main campus) and paid internships.[109][110] The second is the Gloucester County Fire Academy, located in Clarksboro, New Jersey.[111][112]

Student life[edit]

Services for RCGC students include free short-term psychological counseling; on the counseling staff is a licensed clinical psychologist. The Student Assistance Center also provides workshops on topics such as stress management.[113]

Student organizations[edit]

The Student Government Association, together with its advisor, distributes funding to other student organizations.[38] RCGC has an active local chapter (Alpha Psi Pi) of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.[114] Also active are the Student Veterans Organization,[57][58] the Vanguard Fine Arts Club,[115] and many other student clubs.[116]

People in costumes watching someone breakdancing in front of a building
People at KotoriCon in front of the College Center

KotoriCon[edit]

Main article: KotoriCon

One of the active student clubs at RCGC is the Japanese Anime Guild (JAG). They have held an annual anime convention called KotoriCon since January 2010.[117][118][119] In addition to anime, KotoriCon includes video game tournaments,[118][120] panels (with voice actors, for instance),[118] cosplay events and competitions,[120] Japanese swordplay and other martial arts demonstrations,[118][121] Jedi events,[120][122] music video contests,[121] a charity auction, comedians,[119] origami displays, concerts,[122][123] and Japanese dance contests.[117] The JAG Club sponsored a concert by Shonen Knife on 23 October 2011 as a prelude to KotoriCon.[124]

Sport[edit]

The college's sports teams, known as the Roadrunners, have earned two NATYCAA (National Association of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators) Cups for the best overall non-scholarship two-year college in the nation,[1][125] and eighteen national championships in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III.[126][71] The Roadrunners compete in NJCAA Region XIX and are members of the Garden State Athletic Conference.[127]

National championships were won by these teams:[126]

  • Men's Basketball – 1994
  • Baseball – 1992, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2010
  • Wrestling – 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007
  • Women's Cross Country – 2006, 2012
  • Men's Cross Country – 1995
  • Men's Tennis – 2010, 2011
  • Softball – 2011
  • Women's Tennis - 2012

Notable Alumni[edit]

Notes[edit]

*^ Together with the costs of books, supplies, and transportation, this is the cost of attendance or "sticker price".

References[edit]

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