|RVCC: History, Mission,
Diversity Statement & Core Values
Founded on November 16, 1965, as Somerset County College by resolution of the Somerset County Board of Freeholders, the College was officially established April 5, 1966, by the appointment of a nine-member Board of Trustees. Somerset County College opened its doors to 229 students on September 12, 1968 at its temporary home: Green Brook High School. In May of 1970, the first commencement was held for 75 graduates.
In July of 1968, the College found a permanent home with the purchase of a 240-acre site in North Branch. With the first phase of construction underway, an interim facility - the current Arts Building - was built to house all College operations. In September 1973, students finally moved into new, permanent facilities that included the current Hunterdon Hall and Somerset Hall buildings. The second phase of construction was completed in1975, adding to the complex a new College Center - including the cafeteria, bookstore, Student Enrollment Center, Student Activities area - and a Physical Education building featuring a full gymnasium, fitness center and swimming pool. The campus continued to grow with the opening in 1985 of a new library and 1,000-seat Theatre.
The College's major redefining moment came in November 1986, when freeholders from Hunterdon and Somerset approved co-sponsorship of the College. The first bi-county college in the state was officially named "Raritan Valley Community College" in July 1987.
With the merger and new name, the College continued to expand.March 1990 marked the official opening of the 100-seat Planetarium. As part of the College's 25th anniversary celebration in 1993, the library was named to honor founding trustee Evelyn S.Field, and the Theatre was named for founding trustee Edward Nash. In June 1993, a Child Care Center opened to serve the children of RVCC students, faculty, staff and administrators. The Center for Advanced Teaching and Technology, which opened in 1994, brought multimedia resources into the classroom via fiber optics, enabling RVCC to become the first community college in the state to offer the new classroom technology. Four years later, the state-of-the-art Conference Center opened, serving as a conduit to bring the corporate and academic communities together. In January1999 the college opened a satelite location in Franklin Township, Somerset County. Franklin Center offers both credit and professional development courses.
Recent additions to the College complex include the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Resource Center and the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice. In September 2002, the Christine Todd Whitman Science Center opened. The state-of-the-art facility houses the biology, biotechnology, chemistry, physics and engineering laboratories, as well as a lecture hall that provides interactive centers for teaching using technology. An Academic Support Center opened in September 2005, enabling students who need extra help in such areas as math, writing or science to find everything they need in one centralized location at the College. The 44,500 square-foot West Building, the largest classroom building on campus, opened for classes in the Fall 2007. The facility, which houses the Computer Science Department's faculty offices and most of the department's classes, contains 18 classrooms and a multimedia laboratory.
Raritan Valley Community College is an educational community that works to develop critical thinking, foster intellectual curiosity, promote leadership, encourage social responsibility, support personal growth, and sustain engaged citizenship within a diverse population of students and community members.
Raritan Valley Community College values all aspects of diversity including but not limited to race, sexual orientation, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, socioeconomic status, and political and philosophical perspectives. We rely on diversity to enrich the intellectual environment for students and employees. We support educational access and opportunity by recruiting and retaining a diverse college community. We foster diversity by developing and maintaining curricular and social programs that infuse the contributions of all people, and by preparing students to excel in a global society. Our commitment to diversity is reflected in the College’s Mission Statement and Strategic Goals, all of which support excellence in teaching, learning and professional development in a welcoming and respectful climate.
• RVCC is an open admission institution with high standards and excellent support services.
• RVCC serves as an important center for our community.
• RVCC participates as a reliable partner with the region’s K-12 schools to support active learning and college readiness.
• RVCC must provide support for student success, but students are responsible for their own achievements.
• The College values the diversity of our communities as a resource that strengthens the institution.
• The College is accountable for the prudent use of all its resources and seeks transparency in all its operations.
• The College measures its success against national models and standards.
• The College commits to environmentally sustainable practices.
• Educational programs must be affordable.
• A healthy college community depends on integrity and respect.
• The best college decisions are made on a learning-centered foundation.
• Learning is a lifelong endeavor.