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PR # 134 January 22, 2009


Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) in North Branch has received Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. RVCC is one of nine community colleges nationwide?and the only community college in New Jersey?to receive this honor.

RVCC earned this prestigious designation for its Service Learning Program and many other community engagement programs and services. The selection was based on institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.

Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification. In total, 119 U.S. colleges and universities have been awarded the 2008 Carnegie designation.

?We hope that by acknowledging the commitment and accomplishment of these engaged institutions, the Foundation will encourage other colleges and universities to move in this direction. Doing so brings benefits to the community and to the institution,? said Carnegie President Anthony S. Bryk.

RVCC?s efforts in community engagement are exemplified by its award-winning Service Learning Program. Service learning at Raritan Valley Community College involves students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility and commitment to the community. More than 800 students participated in service learning projects with over 250 community organizations in Somerset and Hunterdon counties during the 2007-2008 academic year. In addition, 65 full-time and part-time faculty offer service learning either as an option or requirement within all academic disciplines. Each year, students contribute over 30,000 hours of service donating the economic equivalent of $600,000 to the community.

Students serve at many different kinds of organizations?social service and governmental agencies and non-profit businesses. Many of them include preschool through college educational systems, after-school programs, nursing homes, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, animal shelters, museums, court houses, probation departments, youth correctional facilities, consumer affairs offices, houses of worship, YMCA programs and homeless shelters.

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center with the primary mission ?to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher.? The improvement of teaching and learning is central to all of the Foundation?s work. For additional information, visit www.carnegiefoundation.org .

RVCC, located on Route 28 and Lamington Road in North Branch, NJ, and serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for 40 years, offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates. In addition, customized training programs and non-credit courses are available for those seeking personal and professional development.

The College is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community?s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu .

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