CCC reviews impressive year


By President Dr. Thomas Isekenegbe

Year-end reviews appear in the media throughout the world in January. At Cumberland County College, we’re reflecting in August, since the college’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, and fall semester begins in September.

It’s a great time to marvel at the accomplishments of the college’s students and employees. Reviewing the past year also reaffirms to me that the college and community are working together to improve the quality of life in our community.

Enrollment for the 2009 fall semester – 4,014 students – rose 5 percent over the 2008 fall semester enrollment. And the enrollment for the 2010 fall semester, which will begin Sept. 7, appears to be very impressive.

CCC is growing with the community. In addition to Cumberland’s certificate and associate degree programs, students can pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees by taking courses offered by partner colleges at the on-campus Shirlee and Bernard Brown University Center. A record 501 students enrolled for courses at the university center during the 2010 spring semester; 74 percent of these students are CCC graduates.

The highest enrollments are in the Biomedical Science/Healthcare areas including Nursing, Radiography, the new Practical Nurse program and others. During the past year, hundreds of students learned valuable lessons in caring for people in the Paul Navone Healthcare Education Center.

Nearly 20,000 people attended an array of events in the Frank Guaracini Jr. Fine and Performing Arts Center. Highlights included sold out performances of “The Christmas Carol,” the Down Jersey series and the CCC Arts and Humanities’ productions of “Bye, Bye Birdie” and “Guys and Dolls.”

In 2009-2010, more than 650 area businesses, community organizations, professional and civic organizations, as well as CCC departments and clubs, held events at the George Luciano Sr. Conference Center. Single and multi-day events were held including training seminars, banquets, meetings and conferences.

More than 1,000 residents participated in programs offered by CCC’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education. The division introduced seven new short-term career certification programs including Pharmacy Technician and Massage Therapist. And 320 children took 120 Summer Academy for Kids courses.

It’s encouraging that so many CCC students were active in sports, clubs and leadership seminars last year. More than 1,660 students participated in 120 student life programs, and 360 students were active in student clubs and organizations. Students who are engaged in activities are more likely to be successful.

And the largest class in CCC’s 44-year history – 627 students – turned their tassels at the May 21 commencement. This was my first commencement as CCC president, and it was inspiring because these enthusiastic graduates will dramatically improve their lives and provide valuable professional services in our community and throughout America.