RVCC recognized as diversity leader for fourth year

RVCC recognized as diversity leader for fourth year

Reposted from NJ.com

BRANCHBURG — Raritan Valley Community College was recognized in 2012 for excellence in diversity initiatives for the first time, but not the last.

2017 marked the college’s fourth year of being honored with the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, a diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The award is a national honor which recognizes the nation’s college and universities that demonstrates commitment to diversity and inclusion. Some 80 schools were chosen as recipients, with RVCC being the only New Jersey college to be honored.

Richeleen Dashield, dean of Multicultural Affairs, said it’s an honor to be recognized as a national leader in diversity efforts.

“We’re excited because it’s our fourth year we received the award, and I think for us in particular it really recommits us back to providing access in terms of education opportunities,” she said.

She pointed to outreach initiatives the colleges completes with middle and high school students in Somerset and Hunterdon counties, including the Paul Robeson Institute for Leadership and Sanofi Corporate Mentor Program, dedicated to helping first-generation and underrepresented students.

20 school districts with the biggest demographic changes

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In 1998, if you picked two random students out of the student body, the chances of the pair being the same racial and ethnic category were 42 percent. Today, they’d be 31 percent.

The college is also proud of its number of diverse student clubs and organization, comprised of Black Student Allicance, Orgullo Latino, Filipino PEACE, Muslim Student Association and others, she said.

In the future, the college is looking to embark on a revaluation of mission values and strategic plans, looking at past practices and policies, she said.

“For us, the HEED award encourages us to do more of what we’ve already done,” Dashield noted, focusing on an increased initiative on mentorshop programs for first-generation and underrepresented students with pharmacy companies.

Academically, the 49-year old college has partnerships encouraging high school students to take college classes to prepare them for their future transition, Dashield said.

The campus is trying extremely hard to increase services and teaching for its students and provide them with quality, affordable education, she said.

The school has also been responsive to increasing diversity on campus, a key to being a pioneer in inclusiveness.

“The enrollment reflects that 41 percent of our students are students of color and it has increased substantially over the years,” she said.

RVCC, a two-year public community college, offers associate degree programs to students, who then pursue bachelor degrees at universities including Rutgers, TCNJ, Montclair State University, Cornell and University of Pennsylvania.

“They really have expanded across the country to competitive local schools. Students have just been exceptional in the terms of opportunities they’ve had,” she said.

Dashield, who’s worked at RVCC for seven years and spent 27 years working in higher education, said the community college has been one of her favorite places to work.

“Raritan students are the most exceptional because they’re so open to engaging and exploring possibilities you provide them with and they get excited to apply them in the classroom,” she said.

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RVCC to Hold October House for Prospective Students and Families

Raritan Valley Community College’s Open House event will take place October 15.

From Raritan Valley Community College:

Members of the community are invited to attend an Open House at Raritan Valley Community College on Saturday, October 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event, designed for prospective students and their families, will be held in the Conference Center at the College’s Branchburg campus.

Those who attend will have the opportunity to hear about the College first-hand from current students and alumni; tour the campus; learn about support services for students; and meet with members of the RVCC faculty. Participants also may learn about degree programs that are designed to help students transfer to top colleges and universities, as well as training programs that prepare students for a new career in a year or less.

Workshops on such topics as the College’s First-Year Experience program, transfer opportunities after RVCC, and Concurrent Enrollment for high school juniors and seniors will be offered. A presentation for parents also will be presented in Spanish.

During the Open House, special information sessions focusing on the College’s Cosmetology and new Skin Care Specialist programs (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Conference Center, Room 101) and the Advanced Manufacturing program (10-11 a.m., West Building, Room 120) also will be held.

Click here to register for the Open House. To register for the Cosmetology information session, email Marcia Bird at marcia.bird@raritanval.edu. To register for the Advanced Manufacturing information session, email Conrad Mercurius at conrad.mercurius@raritanval.edu. For additional information, contact the Admissions Office at 908-526-1200 or admissions@raritanval.edu.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium. RVCC 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.