Colleges linking training with needs of employers

Colleges linking training with needs of employers

Call them economic matchmakers.

Area colleges this year will be expanding their efforts to connect people with jobs by providing the training and education needed to meet the needs of area employers.

The choices are many:

- A retail course at the new Institute for Service Excellence sponsored by Atlantic Cape Community College at the Hamilton Mall.

- An associate's degree in sign language interpreting at Ocean County College.

- A homeland security track in Richard Stockton College of New Jersey's Master's Degree in Criminal Justice program.

Students will be able to take courses on different campuses, or even online. Rutgers, Fairleigh Dickinson, Montclair and Kean University have all begun partnerships with area community colleges to allow students to get a bachelor's or even master's degree without leaving the county.

"Instead of building another state college, the colleges can offer the programs here," Richard Parrish, Ocean County College's vice president of planning and administration, said of their arrangement with Kean. "It's a good use of the taxpayer's investment."
Cumberland Community College President Kenneth Ender said colleges have to be more aware than ever that today's students come in all ages and are often also juggling work and families.

"We have to be accessible in multiple ways to multiple audiences," he said. "And we have to have partnerships with area businesses. We can't just sustain ourselves on our own."

Cumberland County College will break ground in February on the $6 million Brown University Center in February, paid for in part by a $1 million donation from Vineland businessman Bernard Brown. The center will provide classroom space for bachelor's and master's degree programs.

Health care jobs continue to be in demand. Cumberland County College has received a $1.6 million grant for its Academic Career Ladder in Health Care.

Atlantic Cape Community College is building a Health Careers Institute at its Worthington Center in Atlantic City, due to open in 2008. ACCC is already offering new programs for medical assistants, surgical technicians and certified nurse assistants.
"Right now I beg, borrow and steal space wherever I can," Linda Dolan, associate dean for continuing education at ACCC said. The college is teaching classes at nursing homes and hospitals while the new classrooms are under construction.

Rowan University will kick off its new Professional and Continuing Education program this summer, offering a variety of courses online, at off-campus sites, and on weekends.

"We're looking at alternate ways to deliver courses to give students more options," Rowan spokesman Joe Cardona said.
As enrollments continue to grow, all of the area colleges are also adding some new buildings.

Stockton College plans to have new dormitory space for 250 students ready by fall. Long-range plans include a new student center, parking garage and science building.

Rowan University is building the first building in its South Jersey Technical Park. The $12 million Innovation Center is expected to open in the fall and will house fledgling businesses that can link to the college's engineering and other programs.

Ocean County College will begin a $13 million expansion and renovation of its fine arts center in in March, and is planning a new academic building in the next two years.

"As the county grows, we have to keep planning to grow with it," Parrish said.

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Date Published: Sunday, January 28, 2007 (All day)
Source URL: Press of Atlantic City