First students to complete Rowan University’s and RCBC’s 3 +1 program are recognized

First students to complete Rowan University’s and RCBC’s 3 +1 program are recognized

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Rowan University and Rowan College at Burlington County recently celebrated the first class of graduates from their joint 3+1 program at a reception held on RCBC’s Mount Laurel campus.

Nineteen students who entered the 3+1 program during its inaugural semester in January 2017, were recognized for completing the program in a ceremony attended by administrators and faculty from both Rowan and RCBC, as well as students’ family and friends.

“We are proud of our first cohort for being a part of something we feel is historical, not just in the state of New Jersey, but perhaps for the entire country,” said Horacio Sosa, vice-president for Rowan Global Learning & Partnerships.

Sosa called the inaugural graduating cohort the culmination of a “dream come true” for an idea that was conceived long ago, but introduced just a few years ago by Rowan University President Ali Houshmand. Sosa congratulated students on their decision to be part of what basically started as an experiment but has proven to be very successful.

Since RCBC became the first community college in the region to offer junior-year courses in January 2017, there are more than 1,000 students committed to the 3+1 program currently offered in biology, nursing, psychology, liberal studies, computing and informatics, and law and justice studies.

Through the program, students attend classes on the RCBC campus after completing their associate's degree while working toward a bachelor’s degree from Rowan University. They take their junior-year courses with RCBC professors, and their senior-year courses online or on the RCBC campus with Rowan University faculty.

“It is estimated that the groundbreaking college affordability program will collectively save students at RCBC over $3.3 million by this May,” said Rowan College at Burlington College President Michael Cioce.

Christina Miller, a law and justice studies major from Mount Holly, said after graduating with her associate’s degree from then BCC in 2010, she went back to work and realized how much she missed the education experience.

“Luckily for me, this 3+1 program popped up when I started looking at brand new things. RCBC had this great new program that happened to appear exactly when I needed it,” said Miller. "I never thought earning a bachelor’s degree would be possible for me. I had children, I went to work, and I thought that was it.”

The 19 students who entered the program in its inaugural semester, in addition to those who will complete the program in May, will graduate in Rowan’s Commencement ceremony in the spring.