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This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the August 21, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Continuing Education: MCCC Readies New Conference Center
Mercer County Community College has been offering
corporate training for decades. It holds classes for groups of employees
both on its campus and at their workplaces. Later this fall the school
unveils another training option for area corporations. Its conference
center, now in the final stages of construction, opens in November.
Lynn Coopersmith, associate dean of corporate and community programs,
says the new conference center includes five computer labs, nine conference-style
management training or meeting or break-out rooms, and a 219-seat
auditorium with laptop ports. The building features a two-story atrium
that can host social events as well as corporate functions. An outdoor
patio can be used for breaks and informal gatherings, and, says Coopersmith,
"we’re thinking of putting up a semi-permanent tent."
Companies and organizations can rent all or part of the conference
center for meetings or training — or for social events. They can
provide their own curriculum and trainers, or they can use MCCC’s
programs or customized training services. The conference center has
a full kitchen.
The thinking behind the decision to invest in the conference center,
says Coopersmith, was an anticipated growth in the need for training.
That and a campus she describes as "bursting at the seams."
"We knew we needed more space," says Coopersmith. During prime
time — the evening hours — the college is filled to capacity.
A number of the college’s computer training classes will move over
the conference center and existing computer labs will be renovated.
The conference center, she says, "will give the whole college
an opportunity to grow."
Enrollment for the fall is "really, really strong," says Coopersmith.
"Given a weakened economy, it seems that people see a need to
upgrade themselves," she says, "or to get into new fields
entirely." Business and management courses in general are "very
strong," she says, and there has been a three-fold increase in
enrollment in the college’s small business management program. "What’s
happening," she says, "is people who were downsized are using
this opportunity to say `I want to start that small business I’ve
been dreaming about.’ The program is just going through the roof."
Other popular courses are those that teach high-end computer skills,
including Oracle, and "some programming," Coopersmith says,
along with web design. "After a real slow time, web design is
picking up," she says. "People shied away when (the Internet
industry) went bust, but there is no doubt the skills are still necessary.
There are not as many dot-coms, but websites are still important."
Courses that prepare adults for careers in medicine are popular this
fall too. Among the classes MCCC offers are those in medical records,
pharmacology, and radiography. The school also has a program in drug
development and clinical research that is open only to college graduates,
and which draws a number of career changers, including nurses, pharmacists,
and doctors who earned their degrees in other countries.
With enrollment skyrocketing, and inquiries about the new conference
center pouring in, Coopersmith says she is very busy. "I’m looking
at the timer now," she says, "it’s ticking away. It’s just
1200 Old Trenton Road, Box B, Trenton 08690. Rose Nini, director.
609-586-9446; fax, 609-890-6338. Www.mccc.edu
In an economic downturn, many downsized workers turn
to an MBA program as a safe place to wait out the storm while picking
up a valuable credential, but others think about careers without cubicles.
Middlesex County Community College offers training for some careers
that don’t typically require 9 to 5 presence in an office park.
One such program is in massage therapy (See story, page 11). A less
glamorous option, but one that allows for the possibility of working
at home, is a career as a medical transcriptionist. Some transcriptionists
start their own businesses, others work solo at home, and still others
work in doctors’ offices, laboratories, hospitals, and HMOs. There
are five required courses in the certificate program. The first begins
on September 17. The fee for this course is $380. The other courses,
which will be scheduled during the spring term, cost about $1,000.
Other certificates offered by Middlesex County College include commercial
writer, international trade, technical writing, and training and development.
Box 3050, Edison 08818-3050. John Bakum, president. 732-548-6000;
Home page: www.middlesexcc.edu
Joe Borgia, director of adult education at Mercer County
Technical Schools, says he began getting calls from downsized workers
last spring. The calls continue. "The calls I’m getting indicate
people are changing careers," he says.
Many a paper pusher dreams of making a living by doing something with
his hands — or maybe of supervising others who are working with
their hands. For those interested in building a career in the building
trades, Mercer County Technical Schools offer courses in carpentry,
plumbing, the electrical trades, welding, HVAC systems, and much more.
The school also offers instruction in computer skills, including computer-aided
design, health careers, cooking, and radio and television production.
Many courses are held in the evening. Details on schedules and fees
is available at 609-586-5146 or online at www.mctec.net.
1085 Old Trenton Road, Trenton 08690. Joseph Borgia, director of adult
education. 609-586-5146; fax, 609-586-1709. Home page: www.mctec.net
Princeton 08540. Jim Kahl, CEO. 609-514-9650; fax, 609-514-9675. Home
International headquarters of 500 language centers, and publishing
and translation operations in 55 countries
Avenue, Trenton 08618. Nancy M. Murray EdD, RN, chairperson. 609-394-4050;
fax, 609-394-4354. Home page: www.capitalhealth.org
Hightstown 08520. Kate Napolitano, assistant principal. 609-443-7804;
Lawrenceville 08648. Linda Burke, director. 609-406-1505; fax,
Medical and business careers, formerly Star Technical Institute.
C-20, Box 701, Princeton 08542-0701. Anne Brener, administrative coordinator.
609-683-1101; fax, 609-688-1181. Home page: www.princetonol.com/groups/
Community-based continuing education program.
Drive, Suite 506, Skillman 08558. Deborah Metzger, founder/director.
609-924-7294; fax, 609-443-1687. Www.princetonyoga.com
Various types of yoga, meditation, Pilates, Tai Chi, Qigong, drumming
and healing circles, belly dance, holistic living workshops, therapeutic
bodywork, massage, chiropractic care and acupuncture, aromatherapy,
energy healing, stress management, professional training, corporate
Pennington 08534. Richard A. Weidel Jr., manager of career development.
609-737-1525; fax, 609-737-2052.
Education, 20 Library Place, Erdman Hall, Princeton 08540. Joyce
Tucker, dean. 609-497-7990; fax, 609-497-0709. Home page: www.ptsem.edu
Non-credit seminars, conferences, retreats — theologically based.
Education, Route 28 and Lamington Road, Box 3300, Somerville 08876-1265.
Janet Luton Perantoni, dean. 908-218-8894; fax, 908-526-3576. Home
Customized training, professional development programs for workforce
191 College Avenue, c/o Division of Summer Session, New Brunswick
08901. Marvin Schlaffer, director. 732-932-7233; fax, 732-932-4745.
Not-for-credit courses given by members and current or retired Rutgers
faculty for those over 50 at the Highland Park Reformed Church. Topics
range from famous courtroom trials to writing an autobiography to
African studies. In addition, there are many arts and cultural programs,
including some that feature performances at the George Street Playhouse
and the State Theater.
RU-ALL is open to those with or without a college degree. Participants
may choose up to two courses for a $100 fee, $50 for first-time registrants.
Classes begin Monday, September 9.
Lane, East Brunswick 08816. Charles Bendel, CEO. 732-238-1600; fax,
732-238-7659. Home page: www.cfpa.com
Short courses at the New Brunswick and Princeton Hyatt in applied
industrial technology for working scientists and engineers.
& South Mill Road, Box 505, Princeton Junction 08550-0248. Marci Rubin,
director. 609-716-5030; fax, 609-716-5035.
Continuing education classes for adults, including computer classes,
ESL and GED.
Colleges & Universities
7718, Ewing 08628-0718. R. Barbara Gitenstein, president. 609-771-1855;
fax, 609-771-3067. Home page: www.tcnj.edu
Public college with seven schools — art, media and music; culture
and society; science, business, education, nursing, and engineering.
Most of the certificate programs at the College of New Jersey are
in the fields of education or counseling, as are most of the graduate
programs. Certificate programs include alcohol and chemical dependency
counseling, substance awareness coordinator, teaching English as a
second language, reading specialist certification, and learning disabilities
teacher/consultant special education certification.
Graduate degree programs include audiology, speech pathology, educational
leadership, educational technology, health education, special education,
and school counseling.
North Brunswick 08902. Robert H. Bocchino, president. 732-435-4880;
fax, 732-435-4856. Home page: www.nj.devry.edu
Associate’s degrees in computer information systems, telecommunications,
business administration, and associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in
electronics engineering technology and telecommunications.
Road, Box B, Trenton 08690. Robert R. Rose, president. 609-586-4800;
fax, 609-587-4666. Home page: www.mccc.edu
Two-year college with 11,000 credit students in 63 associate degree
majors and 33 credit certificate programs, also continuing education
division with year-round courses and corporate training. Also James
Kerney Campus at North Broad and Academy Streets, Trenton.
Branch 07764-1898. Rebecca Stafford, president. 732-571-3400; fax,
Monmouth University is seeing more graduate students than ever, according
to Don R. Swanson, chair of the communications department. The demographic
is changing, though. "Our students are getting younger," he
says, conjecturing that the bachelor’s degree has become routine and
that workers are seeking a master’s degree to gain a leg up in a fiercely
competitive job market. At the same time, the school is seeing fewer
middle-aged students. A reason, says Swanson, could be increased demands
on the job. He is now getting calls from students saying "I can’t
make class tonight. My boss needs me to work on a project until 10
Also a consultant, Swanson says a number of his clients, particularly
in the financial services industry, have downsized by as much as 30
percent during the past two years. Those who need to switch to another
career find a number of options at Monmouth. In addition to a full
complement of master’s degrees, the school offers certificates that
can be completed in as few as 12 credits. These certificates offer
students who are not ready to commit to a master’s degree a way to
advance or switch careers quickly.
Certificates include public relations, human resources communication,
criminal justice administration, professional counseling, and substance
Teaching appeals to many downsizing victims looking for an opportunity
to make a difference (and maybe thinking of those long summer vacations,
too). Monmouth recently started offering a teacher preparation program.
In a telephone survey of graduates of its 1999-2000 inaugural teacher
preparation program, the school discovered that 92 percent of respondents
had found jobs in education.
University with 66 undergraduate departments, 4,554 undergraduate,
and 1,853 graduate students in 6 million square feet on 500 acres.
318 Nassau Hall c/o Office of Community & State Affairs, Princeton
08544. Blanche Scioli, program assistant. 609-258-5226; fax, 609-258-1294.
Home page: web.princeton.edu/sites/pucsa/conted.htm.
Princeton’s Program in Continuing Education admits qualified area
residents as well as university employees and their dependents to
undergraduate and graduate courses. The program, founded in 1973,
does not grant degrees and principally serves students who are preparing
for a career change or entrance into professional or graduate school;
pursuing advanced training in their fields; resuming education after
a break; or seeking personal enrichment.
Qualified continuing education students may enroll in most Princeton
courses, along with Princeton undergraduates and graduate students.
Some limited enrollment courses may not be available.
Students are completely integrated into regular courses and participate
fully in classes, precepts, laboratories, workshops, and studios.
They meet with faculty members, enjoy full library privileges, and
have their grades recorded on a regular Princeton transcript that
can be presented for transfer credit.
Tuition is $3,400 a course for area residents, $565 for university
employees and for full-time K-12 New Jersey teachers, and $1,700 for
retired employees and their spouses or same-sex domestic partners.
The application deadline for the spring term is December 2.
In addition to this for-credit program, Princeton offers a Community
Auditing Program (CAP). Through this program, area residents may audit
lectures on a non-credit basis for $75 per course. Participants are
not able to attend seminars, precepts, or labs, or to participate
in class discussions. The decision to accept auditors is made by the
In-person registration for the spring semester takes place on December
10 from 8 a.m. to noon at Alexander Hall.
Lamington Road, Box 3300, Somerville 08876-1265. Jerry Ryan, president.
908-526-1200; fax, 908-725-2831. Www.raritanval.edu
Community college serving Somerset and Hunterdon counties, with 13,000
full- and part-time students and a 1,000-seat theater.
08648. J. Barton Luedeke, president. 609-896-5000; fax, 609-895-5681.
John H. Carpenter, dean, college of continuing studies. 609-896-5033;
fax, 609-896-5261. Home page: www.rider.edu
University with 5,456 students, 58 undergraduate and 17 graduate programs
in business administration, liberal arts, education, sciences, and
2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville 08648. Mark Sandberg, dean.
609-896-5152; fax, 609-896-5304.
MBA program, AACSB accredited, and undergraduate business with 11
and New Brunswick, 111 Washington Street, Newark 07102-1895. Howard
Tuckman, dean. 973-353-1234; fax, 973-353-1345. Home page: business.rutgers.edu
Graduate business program offering an MBA with these concentrations:
pharmaceutical management, arts management, supply chain management,
entrepreneurship, and E-commerce. Also an executive MBA and MBAs in
pharmaceutical management and professional accounting, plus master
of accounting degrees in governmental accounting, taxation, financial
accounting, master of quantitative finance. Also a PhD in management.
Dual and joint degree programs include JD/MBA, MS/MBA in biomedical
sciences, masters of public health with and MBA, and MD/MBA. Various
offsite locations including Hopewell and Plainsboro. Three-quarters
of the 1,516 graduate students attend part time.
08102-1656. Michael Sapanic, director of marketing. 856-225-6452;
fax, 856-225-6231. Www.camden-sbc.rutgers.edu/cme
and Public Policy, 33 Livingston Avenue, Suite 300, New Brunswick
08901-1981. James W. Hughes PhD, dean. 732-932-5475; fax, 732-932-1771.
Queens Building, 83 Somerset Street, New Brunswick 08903. Francis
L. Lawrence, president. 732-932-1766; fax, . Home page: www.rutgers.edu
State university with 9,971 employees (7,872 in New Brunswick), 50,349
students on three campuses
Trenton 08608-1176. George A. Pruitt, president. 609-984-1100; fax,
Thomas Edison has a new enrollment policy this fall. Echo Fling, director
of communications, says students may now enroll in any month of the
Thomas Edison students can not only earn an associate’s, bachelor’s
or master’s degree through study in their own homes, but they can
also receive credit toward a degree in a number of ways, including
taking tests, having portfolios and life experiences evaluated, and
presenting evidence of the completion of classes at other institutions
or at work.
Fling says some students are surprised to find that they need to take
only three or four classes to earn a degree. The website walks prospective
students through a formula to determine the cost of obtaining a degree
in this manner.
One of the most popular study options, says Fling, is the e-Pack class,
through which students are E-mailed lessons and tests, which they
complete at their own pace.
The school offers master’s degrees in management and in professional
studies. Among its bachelor’s degrees are in nursing, human services,
health sciences, business administration, and applied science and
While study is virtual, there is a live, three-dimensional graduation.
Anyone who has spent a decade or two — or more — taking classes
here and there, attending seminars at work, and racking up life experience
through in-depth involvement in volunteer work or hobbies may find
that the dream of seeing themselves in cap and gown might be a whole
lot closer than they ever thought possible.
101 Walnut Lane, Princeton 08540-3899. Robert L. Annis, dean. 609-921-7100;
fax, 609-921-6952. Www.westminster.rider.edu
Professional college of music, home of the Westminster Choir, a part
of Rider University.
Princeton 08540. Thomas W. Gillespie, president. 609-921-8300; fax,
609-924-2973. Home page: www.ptsem.edu
08544. Shirley M. Tilghman, president. 609-258-3000; fax, 609-258-1294.
Home page: www.princeton.edu
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