News Details

GCC & Rowan Partner in Dual Enrollment Agreement

September 29, 2011





DEPTFORD – Gloucester County College (GCC) and Rowan University are forging a new partnership that will increase opportunities for South Jersey residents to earn a four-year college degree close to home.

The two institutions announced an agreement on Sept. 29 at GCC, Deptford, which introduces an innovative dual enrollment program through which students will be accepted at both schools concurrently. That program will provide students who successfully complete their associate degree at GCC the ability to earn a Rowan bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies on the GCC campus or apply to study at the University in Glassboro.

“This new partnership will improve access to higher education for the residents of Gloucester County and South Jersey, opening more doors for more people. Additionally, it will help make obtaining a four-year degree more affordable for some students who are tied to this area and whose goal is to earn a Rowan degree,” said NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney. “We also expect this collaboration to benefit area businesses and the South Jersey economy. Corporations are demanding a more educated workforce, and an educated workforce tends to attract even more companies to a location.”

Under the new agreement, GCC/Rowan will offer students the opportunity to obtain their associate degree at GCC and complete Rowan general education requirements while also taking specialized preparatory classes that will help them target their academic and career path.  Upon completion of their associate degree, students may remain at GCC and be automatically enrolled in the Liberal Studies bachelor’s degree program. Like all Rowan students, GCC graduates, who are looking to focus on specific majors and meet the University’s required GPA and prerequisite standards, may apply to the programs of study. 

In effect, a successful GCC/Rowan partnership will open the doors to more South Jersey residents having seats in four-year programs and earning a bachelor’s degree. The arrangement also will address a capacity issue at Rowan, which this fall welcomed more than 12,000 students, its highest number in history. Likewise, GCC’s fall enrollment hit a record high with more than 6,800 students registered for classes. Construction of the College’s new 28,680 square-foot University Center is slated to open its doors next September, providing additional classroom space for both GCC and bachelor degree instruction.

“The demand for a four-year college degree — by students and by employers — is greater than it ever has been,” said Dr. Ali Houshmand, interim president, Rowan University. “Rowan and GCC both believe we have an obligation to provide more opportunities for South Jersey residents to earn those degrees and become more competitive in an ever-tightening job market. This is one way we believe we can do that. This partnership will provide more access to a four-year degree than we have ever seen in our region. This is a truly innovative approach, and it will impact education and business locally to start and regionally in the short-term future.”

“This concept of uniting a community college and a university to offer a seamless and affordable education from an institution as prestigious as Rowan University is an extraordinary opportunity for students,” added GCC interim President Frederick Keating. “In this economic climate, and with the increasing cost of higher education, the GCC/Rowan dual enrollment partnership will help to reduce the financial strain of earning a four-year degree. It’s also no surprise that this new initiative is being endorsed by the Gloucester County Superintendents’ Roundtable in the K-12 sector.”

GCC and Rowan faculty will teach courses in Liberal Studies. The GCC/Rowan model will be evaluated for expansion to other county colleges.

Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger, “What we are doing here is groundbreaking.  Gloucester County is exporting too many of our students to other schools in other states because we do not have the seats available in this region.  Each year Rowan turns down approximately 3000 students due to capacity forcing them to leave.  This dual enrollment will allow our students to receive their degrees here, and continue on with their careers here.”

“We have an obligation as South Jersey’s primary institution of higher education to create these partnerships and explore expanded options for our students and our community,” Houshmand said. “I am pleased we are starting this initiative with such a fine school as Gloucester County College.”

“The local economic benefits of this partnership will be long term,” said Freeholder Heather Simmons, Liaison to the Department of Economic Development.  “This is a valuable resource that will continue to enhance our region’s reputation with industry and business.  We are committed to creating both educational and career opportunities for our residents and this agreement between GCC and Rowan will help our students achieve both those goals," Freeholder Simmons said.

Gloucester County College is a comprehensive two-year institution of higher learning offering full- and part-time day and evening classes in more than 70 academic programs in business, humanities, allied health, technologies, math and the sciences. An additional 14,000 people are registered in the college’s non-credit Continuing Education Division classes.

An award-winning public institution, Rowan University comprises seven academic colleges (Business, Communication, Education, Engineering, Fine & Performing Arts, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Medicine {opening in 2012}) and the College of Graduate & Continuing Education. Rowan is one of only 56 colleges and universities nationwide that are accredited in education, engineering, business and medicine. This fall, about 1,100 students transferred to Rowan from county colleges and other institutions.

In June, GCC and Rowan signed an agreement that admits students into Rowan’s BSN program who have completed an associate degree in nursing and possess a current license or eligibility to be licensed as a RN in the state of New Jersey.