President’s Message to the Community

Tuesday, August 27, 2019
mike outside headshot

In 2018-2019, Raritan Valley Community College celebrated its remarkable 50-year legacy of being the College of opportunity for students of all ages and backgrounds. RVCC transforms the lives of all students—whether it’s a high school graduate seeking an affordable, high quality first two years of college, or a student planning to enter the workforce directly after graduation, or an adult retraining for a new career.

The College’s 50th Anniversary was officially recognized at the Golden Harvest Gala, held at The Palace at Somerset Park. Hosted by the RVCC Foundation, the event raised over $320,000 to support educational and community programs. Close to 500 community members gathered together to celebrate RVCC’s record of academic excellence, innovation, and unparalleled student success.

Much of that success is because of the College’s ongoing partnerships with area companies and organizations, which enhance students’ educational experience. RVCC students are gaining valuable, hands-on medical experience in a state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Lab, completely renovated thanks to a generous $125,000 donation from Sanofi. In addition, this past year marked the second cohort of RVCC students participating in the Sanofi Corporate Mentor Program, funded by a $48,750 contribution from Sanofi NA Corporate Social Responsibility.

RVCC’s Authentic Engineering Experience continued its track record of innovation and success in 2018-2019, with student teams gaining valuable experience developing projects for such “customers” as LabCorp, Hunterdon Transformer, and Bohler Engineering, as well as Duke Farms. Authentic Engineering exposes students to methods and techniques used in industry and offers them hands-on product development and teamwork experience.

The College’s Workforce programs continue to offer great opportunities for students and the community. In January, RVCC became the first community college in New Jersey to offer a registered apprenticeship program in manufacturing with the NIMS Certified Machinist Apprenticeship, approved by the US Department of Labor.

Recently, RVCC received two grants that will expand apprenticeship opportunities for high school students and adults in advanced manufacturing: the $167,645 Pre-apprenticeship in Career Education (PACE) Grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor; and the $140,000 Expanding Community College Apprenticeships (ECCA) program grant, led by the American Association of Community Colleges with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The hiring successes also have continued for our Workforce students. In 2018, 100 percent of RVCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Certified Production Technician graduates were hired by employer partners; 100 percent of the College’s Commercial Energy Management (CEM-Tech) students are employed in their field; and 95 percent of Environmental Control Technology (HVAC) graduates have jobs in their field.

Our faculty members help provide these opportunities for our students, and their own talents have not gone unnoticed. This past year our faculty members have garnered a host of national and regional accolades and have produced a number of artistic works—from receiving a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award, to writing books featuring poetry and information about immigration, to rebranding a company’s packaging and visual identity, to creating films and dance pieces featured at festivals, to being honored for arts education.

With all of these successes, I am confident that over the next 50 years RVCC will continue to be our community’s college, meeting the diverse needs of our students and the community.