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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


Mercer County Community College: Continuing Education,

1200 Old Trenton Road, Box B, Trenton 08690. Rose Nini, director.

609-586-9446; fax, 609-890-6338.

Middlesex College

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.

Middlesex County College , 2600 Woodbridge Avenue,

Box 3050, Edison 08818-3050. John Bakum, president. 732-548-6000;

Home page:

Mercer Vo-Tech

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

Mercer County Technical Adult Evening Schools,

1085 Old Trenton Road, Trenton 08690. Joseph Borgia, director of adult

education. 609-586-5146; fax, 609-586-1709. Home page:

More Options

Berlitz International (BTZ), 400 Alexander Park,

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

Capital Health System School of Nursing , 446 Bellevue

Avenue, Trenton 08618. Nancy M. Murray EdD, RN, chairperson. 609-394-4050;

fax, 609-394-4354. Home page:

East Windsor Community Education, 25 Leshin Lane,

Hightstown 08520. Kate Napolitano, assistant principal. 609-443-7804;

fax, 609-443-7855.

Harrison Career Institute , 2 Carnegie Road,

Lawrenceville 08648. Linda Burke, director. 609-406-1505; fax,


Medical and business careers, formerly Star Technical Institute.

Princeton Adult School, 601 Ewing Street, Suite

C-20, Box 701, Princeton 08542-0701. Anne Brener, administrative coordinator.

609-683-1101; fax, 609-688-1181. Home page:

Community-based continuing education program.

Princeton Center for Yoga & Health LLC, 50 Vreeland

Drive, Suite 506, Skillman 08558. Deborah Metzger, founder/director.

609-924-7294; fax, 609-443-1687.

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


Princeton School of Real Estate, 2490 Route 31,

Pennington 08534. Richard A. Weidel Jr., manager of career development.

609-737-1525; fax, 609-737-2052.

Princeton Theological Seminary Center for Continuing

Education, 20 Library Place, Erdman Hall, Princeton 08540. Joyce

Tucker, dean. 609-497-7990; fax, 609-497-0709. Home page:

Non-credit seminars, conferences, retreats — theologically based.

Raritan Valley Community College: Corporate and Continuing

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


Rutgers University Academy for Lifelong Learning ,

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.

The Center for Professional Advancement, 144 Tices

Lane, East Brunswick 08816. Charles Bendel, CEO. 732-238-1600; fax,

732-238-7659. Home page:

Short courses at the New Brunswick and Princeton Hyatt in applied

industrial technology for working scientists and engineers.

West Windsor-Plainsboro Community Education, Village

& 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

College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Box

7718, Ewing 08628-0718. R. Barbara Gitenstein, president. 609-771-1855;

fax, 609-771-3067. Home page:

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.

DeVry College of Technology, 630 Route 1 North,

North Brunswick 08902. Robert H. Bocchino, president. 732-435-4880;

fax, 732-435-4856. Home page:

Associate’s degrees in computer information systems, telecommunications,

business administration, and associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in

electronics engineering technology and telecommunications.

Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton

Road, Box B, Trenton 08690. Robert R. Rose, president. 609-586-4800;

fax, 609-587-4666. Home page:

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.

Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Avenue, West Long

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.

Princeton University Program in Continuing Education,

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:

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.

Raritan Valley Community College, Route 28 and

Lamington Road, Box 3300, Somerville 08876-1265. Jerry Ryan, president.

908-526-1200; fax, 908-725-2831.

Community college serving Somerset and Hunterdon counties, with 13,000

full- and part-time students and a 1,000-seat theater.

Rider University , 2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville

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:

University with 5,456 students, 58 undergraduate and 17 graduate programs

in business administration, liberal arts, education, sciences, and


Rider University, College of Business Administration,

2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville 08648. Mark Sandberg, dean.

609-896-5152; fax, 609-896-5304.

MBA program, AACSB accredited, and undergraduate business with 11


Rutgers Graduate School of Management — Newark

and New Brunswick, 111 Washington Street, Newark 07102-1895. Howard

Tuckman, dean. 973-353-1234; fax, 973-353-1345. Home page:

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.

Rutgers School of Business, 227 Penn Street, Camden

08102-1656. Michael Sapanic, director of marketing. 856-225-6452;

fax, 856-225-6231.

Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning

and Public Policy, 33 Livingston Avenue, Suite 300, New Brunswick

08901-1981. James W. Hughes PhD, dean. 732-932-5475; fax, 732-932-1771.

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Old

Queens Building, 83 Somerset Street, New Brunswick 08903. Francis

L. Lawrence, president. 732-932-1766; fax, . Home page:

State university with 9,971 employees (7,872 in New Brunswick), 50,349

students on three campuses

Thomas Edison State College, 101 West State Street,

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.

Westminster Choir College of Rider University,

101 Walnut Lane, Princeton 08540-3899. Robert L. Annis, dean. 609-921-7100;

fax, 609-921-6952.

Professional college of music, home of the Westminster Choir, a part

of Rider University.

Princeton Theological Seminary , 64 Mercer Street,

Princeton 08540. Thomas W. Gillespie, president. 609-921-8300; fax,

609-924-2973. Home page:

Princeton University , 1 Nassau Hall, Princeton

08544. Shirley M. Tilghman, president. 609-258-3000; fax, 609-258-1294.

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