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The Bergen Community College Newsletter 2015, 2016 & 2017 NCMPR Medallion Winner

CONNECT. NJ’s most social community college. 20,000+ followers. Join the conversation. | Fall 2018 • Volume 6, Issue 1

College, Without Cost W

hen Gov. Phil Murphy announced the Free Community College Innovation Challenge in July, he encouraged the state’s 19 community colleges to submit applications for the Community College Opportunity Grant, a program that would provide a tuition-free college experience to students with household incomes of less than $45,000. On Sept. 27, Bergen officials, alongside 12 state community college peers, learned the institution earned a spot in the $20 million pilot program, creating new opportunities for thousands of Bergen County students. Bergen Board of Trustees Chair Carol Otis echoed that sentiment. “While I am extremely proud for Bergen Community College and its selection among the grantees, I am most excited for our students and the new opportunities that now await them,” Chair Otis said. “This program will open the door to a college education for many who may not otherwise thought it to be possible.” President Dr. Michael D. Redmond thanked Gov. Murphy, who spoke at Bergen’s commencement ceremony in May (pictured). “With this program, Gov. Murphy has sent a clear message that community colleges remain integral to the education and workforce development priorities in our

state,” President Redmond said. “His leadership in supporting community colleges will help usher in a new era of opportunities for New Jersey students and working families.” All 19 colleges, including Bergen, will also receive $250,000 each to support awareness and outreach programs. In total, the spring 2019 pilot program invests $25 million in community colleges, seeking to ease the burden of paying for college on working class families. A “last

dollar” initiative, the program will cover all remaining tuition and fees for students taking six or more credits after any other federal or state grants are applied to their tuition bills. Bergen students who have already completed a financial aid application for the fall 2018 semester will automatically receive consideration for the program. Students who have not yet filed for financial aid for the 2018-19 academic year will have until Feb. 15, 2019 to apply. n

A New Opportunity at Bergen Community College:

Tuition Free Education! For more information: • Call (201) 879-FREE (3733) • Email • Visit

Register Now! Classes Begin Jan.14

Campus Calendar Into the Woods November 30, December 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre Main Campus Bergen Sinfonia Orchestra December 15, 7:30 p.m. Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre Main Campus Sacred January 17, 7 p.m. Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre Main Campus Cyrano De Bergerac February 22, 23, 28, March 1 and 2 Ender Hall Lab Theatre Main Campus Assunta Spina and The Immigrant February 28, 7 p.m. Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre Main Campus

A Schedule for All Seasons Winter: Jan. 2 – Jan. 14 Spring 1: Jan. 14 – May 7 Flex 1: Jan. 14 – March 8 Spring 2: Feb. 5 – May 7 Flex 2: March 18 – May 7 Register at


Students’ Earnings Rank First Among Peers


ccording to the federal government, Bergen students earn the highest salaries among past enrollees at the state’s 19 two-year institutions and even out-earn peers from some four-year institutions. The data, reported through the recently updated “College Scorecard” maintained by the U.S. Department of Education, ranks colleges by students’ median earnings 10 years after enrollment. Stevens Institute of Technology students led the overall rankings of New Jersey public, private, two- and four-year institutions with attendees earning $89,200. “Students enroll at Bergen Community College to advance their education, expand their knowledge and participate in highlevel discourse. They come to Bergen because they know they will have an opportunity to learn,” Bergen President Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., said. “But they also come to Bergen to earn. Increasingly, stu-

dents understand the value proposition of a college degree and the improved lifetime earnings outlook that one provides. It’s satisfying to know that the College has prepared students for success in both areas, as evidenced by these rankings.” The data, taken from the tax returns of students who received federal financial aid while enrolled, places Bergen’s average annual cost at $6,909. The average cost of the four-year colleges ranked ahead of Bergen with students earning up to $43,400 is $20,837. In the “2016-17 College Salary Report” by PayScale, Bergen graduates ranked No. 11 in the U.S. for mid-career salaries among community college alumni. That research indicated students from Bergen’s health professions and science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs – all fields with strong earning potential – drove the College’s high ranking. n

Arrow Points Up for Bergen Grads


ver a students’ lifetime, a Bergen degree may lead to increased earnings of $400,000 or more over a high school diploma, helping many rise from poverty. The College recently received recognition for offering these types of opportunities, earning commendation from SR Education Group as one of the nation’s top schools for online programs offering low-income students greater opportunity for upward economic mobility. To compile its rankings, the Washington state-based researcher reviewed data from approximately 1,000 U.S. universities and colleges offering 10 or more online degree programs. The firm then compiled economic mobility scores based on the number of students moving from the bottom fifth of income distribution to the top fifth, early career salary and Pell Grant rates. Only 92 colleges – including Bergen – scored high enough to make the list, led by the University of Texas at El Paso. Bergen ranks as one of only two New Jersey institu-

Inside Bergen • The Bergen Community College Newsletter |

tions to earn the recognition (Thomas Edison State College). Over the last five years, the percentage of students taking an online or hybrid course has risen 19.3 percent; the number of students taking classes exclusively online has climbed to 694. The College currently offers 11 associate degree programs entirely online, plus more than 100 individual course offerings. Popular options include psychology, mathematics, philosophy/religion and sociology. For more information about distance learning, visit n

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1. Gian-Paul Gonzalez, whose rallying cry of “all-in” inspired the Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants, served as the keynote speaker for Latino Heritage Month.

4. Rocker Carl Restivo, the fall distinguished artist, dished with students on the music industry during Professor Dr. Andy Krikun’s class.

7. Four-legged friends from Greyhound Friends of New Jersey helped students, faculty and staff understand the importance of adoption.

2. Professors emeriti including Marshall Katzman, Lois Sullivan and Virginia Laughlin gathered for an annual meeting in late September.

5. President Dr. Michael D. Redmond welcomed high school students at the Oct. 4 Gay/Straight Alliance Summit organized by Bergen County Freeholder Tracy S. Zur.

8. Culinary students returned home this semester after completing internships in Italy this summer with the support of the Bergen Community College Foundation.

3. Teaming with IBM and other industry partners, students participated in a hackathon to test their coding skills.

6. Faculty and staff came together to celebrate the new semester at the annual “Kick-off.”

9. Members of the retired employee association broke bread at Maggiano’s for this semester’s meeting. 10. The College unveiled a new “peace pole” for reflection this semester.

Inside Bergen • The Bergen Community College Newsletter |

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Recognizing Good Health

F Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County recognized the College as an honoree at its “A New Bridge to Literacy Gala” Oct. 12 … Personal Counselor Dr. Stafford Barton was appointed to the Young Adult Homelessness Task Force for Bergen County. … Student leaders participated in the NJ Ballot Bowl Kickoff at Hackensack High School to promote voter registration and community engagement … Bergen PRIDE presented an award to Garden State Equality for their efforts in securing marriage equality in New Jersey Oct. 16.

or its commitment to supporting economic development, preparing students for the workforce and impacting the region’s quality of life, Bergen earned a “New Good Neighbor Award” from the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. The honor recognized the Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center and 13 other recent construction projects at New Jersey businesses, colleges and nonprofits that benefit the state. Bergen represents the only community college to earn the award this year. The $25.5 million Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center opened in 2016 as the College’s project through the voter-approved “Building Our Future Bond Act” referendum that delivered funds to New Jersey colleges for strategic infrastructure. A 63,000 square-foot state-of-the-art building, the facility features simulation laboratories and SMART classrooms to enhance the learning experience, preparing students with the advanced skills needed to succeed in today’s evolving healthcare labor market. With six hospitals and more than 70,000 jobs, healthcare represents Bergen County’s top workforce cluster. n

Back on Campus

Curtain Up on Ciccone Season



ore than 14,000 students helped kick off the fall semester Sept. 5, beginning an academic year that will culminate with the institution’s 50th commencement ceremony in May 2019. President Dr. Michael D. Redmond greeted students at the main campus on the first day of classes and also sent the College community a video message offering words of encouragement for 2018-19. “Not only is Bergen the largest community college in the state, in my mind, it’s the finest,” he said in the 30-second vignette. “We’re glad you’re here and we’re going to do everything this semester to help make you a success. Welcome to the fall semester.” n

he Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre’s “Curtain Up” season began with a bang: “Sopranos” star Dominic Chianese. The actor, known for his role as “Uncle Junior,” opened the season with music and stories about his New York roots and Italian heritage Oct. 6. Future shows include Bergen Sinfonia’s annual holiday concert Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Irish rockers Larry Kirwan and Black 47 Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. Meanwhile, debuting this year, the Cinema Ciccone program series of five award-winning documentaries will give audience members where audience members the opportunity to participate in post-screening discussions with directors and producers. The series began Oct. 16 with a screening of “Love Wins,” which chronicles the story of two women who married in New Jersey after 45 years together. Additional films will explore topics such as spirituality and jazz. The College’s theatre troupe, Bergenstages, will also return this year to delight audiences with classics “Into the Woods,” “Cyrano DeBergerac” and “Noises Off.” For more information, or to purchase your seats, call (201) 447-7428 or visit n

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Inside Bergen: Volume 6, Issue 1  

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