Mid-Term Musings at County College


By Kenneth L. Ender, Ph.D. President

It’s the mid-term season at Cumberland County College. This is a short-hand term that we use to signify the half-way point of a semester.

The leaves are changing, we are waiting for the first frost on the pumpkins, and college students are assessing their progress in courses. Typically, students are either finding their semester to be well under control, or they’re discovering - often to their horror - that college is, indeed, a challenge.

The students who have things under control are continuing to plan for their bright futures. And the students who squandered time away during the past seven weeks must scramble to catch up, so they can make the most of the semester’s remaining weeks. In either case, there are many heart-to-heart conversations occurring on campus between the students and their professors. It’s all a part of the growth involved in the college experience.

On the subject of growth, this fall we have enrolled a record 3, 124 students for our programs and certificates. And more than 120 additional students on our campus are taking junior- and senior-level college courses from various universities we have partnered with, most notably Farleigh Dickinson University. This spring, the first CCC-FDU graduate will participate in the commencement ceremony.

And at the 2004 commencement, we will also honor the second “university” graduate from our partnership with Franklin University. This college in Ohio accepts 80 CCC credits, and then students can fulfill the rest of their Franklin bachelor’s degree requirements on the Internet.

Many of you have asked: “When is the college going to begin offering four-year degrees?” The answer is now. These university partnerships enable Cumberland to be true to the community college mission and movement, while providing our students with access to baccalaureate degrees.

CCC is providing more and more opportunities for residents to earn their bachelor’s degrees without leaving Cumberland County. We see this program growing, and anticipate partnerships with at least three other New Jersey universities, including Rowan University. Down the road, we intent to build a “University Center” on campus that will accommodate these partnerships with four-year colleges. It will provide students with an outstanding facility, where they will be able earn their bachelor’s degrees from an array of colleges and universities.

We are excited about the growth at the college because it is intertwined with the community’s growth. When more students get an opportunity to begin and complete their entire college experience at CCC, more students will stay right here, at home. And they will provide essential services and leadership that will strengthen our community.

There is no doubt: Cumberland really is the “opportunity college” we so often brag about.