ETI: Night School For Entrepreneurs

Taking the Angst Out of College Transfer

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring & Barbara Fox were prepared for the August 13, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Fast 50 Honors

Six Princeton area companies that made this year’s New

Jersey Technology Fast 50 list will be honored at a breakfast on Thursday,

August 14, at 7:30 a.m. at the Woodbridge Sheraton. The ranking covered

the years from 1998 to 2002. "Rising Star" awards went to

four more companies, and Research Park-based Restricted Stock Systems

was among them.

U.S. Senator Jon Corzine will be the keynote speaker and the

top winner will be announced. For information on the breakfast, call

Chris Cook at 973-683-7335.

Companies to be honored:

Epam Systems, 29 Emmons Drive, Suite C-10, Princeton

08540. 609-452-1701; fax, 609-452-1704. E-mail: info@epam.com Home

page: www.epam.com.

Computer consulting for PCs.

ITXC Corp. (ITXC), 750 College Road East, , Princeton

08540. Tom Evslin, chairman and CEO. 609-750-3333; fax, 609-419-1511.

Home page: www.itxc.com.

Global wholesale telecom carrier — voice over IP.

Medarex Inc. (MEDX), 707 State Road, Princeton

08540. Donald L. Drakeman, president and CEO. 609-430-2880; fax, 609-430-2850.

E-mail: information@medarex.com Home page: www.medarex.com.

Biopharmaceutical developing monoclonal antibody-based

therapeutics for cancer, inflammation, autoimmune, and infectius diseases,

with the UltiMAb Human Antibody Development System, with a multi-product

Phase III manufacturing laboratory in Annandale.

Orchid BioSciences Inc. (ORCH), 4390 Route 1 North,

Princeton 08543. Paul J. Kelly MD, CEO. 609-750-2200; fax, 609-750-6400.

Home page: www.orchid.com,

Services and products for profiling genetic uniqueness

— forensic and paternity DNA testing, pharmacogentics-based personalized

healthcare, and public health genotyping services.

Princeton eCom Corporation, 650 College Road East,

Princeton 08540. Craig Kirsch, CEO. 609-606-3000; fax, 609-606-3297.

Home page: www.princetonecom.com

Remote banking, processing electronic payments for bank

clients, 800-PAY-BILL

SimStar Internet Solutions, 202 Carnegie Center,

Princeton 08540. David Reim, CEO. 609-378-0100; fax, 609-378-0220.

E-mail: info@simstar.com Home page: www.simstar.com

Strategy, development, and servicing of E-business solutions

for the pharmaceutical industry.

Restricted Stock Systems Inc., 412 Wall Street,

Princeton 08540. Greg Besner, CEO. 609-430-7400; fax, 609-430-7500.

E-mail: joe@rssgroup.com Home page: www.rssgroup.com

Software applications that automate restricted stock

equity transactions, licensed to financial services organizations

and public organizations.

Top Of Page
ETI: Night School For Entrepreneurs

Sponsored by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority,

the Entrepreneurial Training Institute has graduated 788 fledgling

entrepreneurs since 1992, and has helped them to obtain a total of

$8,794,385 in start-up financing. Its core curriculum covers practical

topics of business planning, goal setting, and how to make decisions

about financing and marketing. Each session is highly structured and

includes peer networking, lectures, and discussions about homework

as it pertains to the individual’s creation of a business plan. (See

page 8)

A free information session takes place on Tuesday, August 19, at 6

p.m. at the Lawrence branch of the Mercer County Public Library. (Call

609-292-9279 to reserve a seat or to find out more about the program.)

Classes begin in Trenton on Thursday, September 18. Other locations

in the state begin at around the same time, on dates that fall between

Monday, September 15 and Wednesday, September 24.

Students receive feedback from a panel of small business professionals,

accountants, lenders, and lawyers. Those who seek financing present

their business plans to a roundtable of some 40 lenders representing

all types of funding.

Classes are generally in the evening from 6 to 9 p.m. for eight weeks.

Locations in central New Jersey include Trenton and Somerville. There

is also a Newark location, which could work for commuters on their

way home from Manhattan. Other locations are Atlantic City, the site

of the only daytime class, Jersey City, Lakewood, Mt. Laurel, Plainfield,

Vineland, and West Paterson. The cost of the program is $295.

In adddition to the standard ETI program, there are separate programs

for non-profits, for the high tech industry, and for Spanish speaking

students.

Top Of Page
Taking the Angst Out of College Transfer

It’s great if you can pack a steamer truck and head

to Harvard, but most students are being priced out of higher education."

This comment comes from Hollie Gilroy, director of communications

for the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey. Gilroy, a graduate of

Rutgers (Class of 1985) who holds a master’s degree from Seton Hall,

began her education at Middlesex County College.

"I was in a predicament," she recounts. "I was juggling

a job to pay for my education and my upkeep, and really, community

college is the most sensitive institution in higher education in meeting

student needs." So, while holding down a job at the Courier News,

Gilroy spent two years at Middlesex earning an associate degree before

winning a scholarship to Rutgers, which accepted all of the credits

she had accrued. "I was accepted as a full junior," she says.

"I graduated in two years."

Her experience was not unusual, says Gilroy, whose resume includes

a number of years of lobbying experience, some of it for the state’s

community colleges. "Lots of people do it!" she exclaims.

Using the state’s community colleges can be a good move, even for

those who don’t need to count pennies. Yes, at an average of $2,310

a year, the education is an almost unbelievable bargain, coming in

at about 10 percent of the cost of many a four-year school. But there

are other advantages as well.

Community college teachers tend to be focused on teaching, rather

than research projects, Gilroy points out. And she found that the

community college learning culture favored hands-on education. This

approach, she says, put her ahead of her classmates when she transferred

to Rutgers. She had already become good at applying what she learned

in her communications classes, both at the Courier News and at the

community college newspaper.

There is no question that a motivated student can cut college expenses

in half by starting out at a community college — and can do so

without putting a four-year degree in jeopardy. Yet a stigma against

the schools persists.

Nancy Hazelgrove, director of the New Jersey Statewide Transfer

Initiative, thinks she knows why. "When they opened their doors

in the ’60s," she explains, "community colleges had an open

door policy. Some people had a bias. They thought, well, if anybody

can get in…" Another problem has been that it was difficult

for students with a four-year degree in their plans to turn community

college into a stepping stone. There was little articulation between

the two-year schools and the schools to which their students wanted

to transfer. Any number of would-be transfers found themselves with

a sack full of credits that did not count toward a four-year degree.

While the nebulous anti-community college bias dies hard, the practical

problem of a smooth transfer is all but solved. NJ Transfer, the short

name for the state initiative of which Hazelgrove is director, is

closing in on a computerized system that makes it easy for community

college students to take the classes that will get them into the four-year

school of their choice.

Online at www.njtransfer.org, the state is using software called ARTSYS

to let community college students easily plan a class schedule that

leads them to a seamless transition to a four-year school. After a

pilot test by Rutgers, the majority of the state’s colleges are hooked

into the system, and most are finished with the time-consuming task

of evaluating courses at some or all 19 of the state’s community colleges.

Hazelgrove explains that some four-year colleges receive 80 percent

or more of their transfers from just a few two-year schools, and therefore

have just evaluated courses at those schools. Other four-year institutions,

Princeton University among them, accept so few community college graduates

that they have not hooked into the NJ Transfer system.

Among New Jersey four-year schools that are participating are Rider,

Rutgers, the College of New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson, DeVry, and

the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

NJ Transfer’s website takes students by the hand and leads them, step-by-step,

through a process of determining exactly what course at a four-year

school is the exact equivalent of a course at their community college.

Students look at their course catalogs and type a course number, perhaps

Eng101, into NJ Transfer, and instantly see which four-year schools

will accept credits for that course, and under what terms.

Results for English 101 at MCCC show that the course is not transferable

to Georgian Court College, is transferable to Fairleigh Dickinson

or Rider if the student earns a C, and is transferable to Montclair

State if the student earns a C-. At Fairleigh Dickinson, Madison,

the MCCC course is equivalent to Freshman Writing Workshop 1, and

at Fairleigh Dickinson, Teaneck, it is equivalent to English Composition

1.

This search reveals that the course has not yet been evaluated by

a number of colleges, but that they are working on it. Hazelgrove

says that NJ Transfer has not yet begun a marketing campaign because

it wanted to wait until most of the evaluation were complete. That

day is approaching, she says, and marketing will most likely begin

this year.

Hazelgrove, who has served as director of admissions at a number of

colleges, including Georgian Court, has headed up NJ Transfer since

it was created early in 2001. She emphasizes that the initiative’s

website is a tool — but not a guarantee. The fact that a student’s

classes are accepted by a particular institution does not mean that

he himself will be accepted there. That said, Hazelgrove says that

most New Jersey colleges are very receptive to transfers from community

colleges. Some colleges have articulation agreements that do guarantee

admissions to community college students with an average of at least

2.0 who have taken courses that conform to their curricula. Transfer

students generally become full juniors at their new schools.

Some colleges, however, have a few majors that are so popular that

it is hard to transfer into them. Others, and Hazelgrove uses the

College of New Jersey as an example, put such a high premium on student

retention that they may have few slots in any major for a junior year

transfer.

In a comprehensive guide to transferring on its website (www.mccc.com),

MCCC advises its students whose aim is a four-year degree to start

planning for a transfer from day one. NJ Transfer, which is modeled

on a program used by the University of Maryland for some 15 years,

makes this planning a whole lot easier than it ever has been.

Both Gilroy and Hazelgrove say that community college as a first higher

ed experience may be an idea whose time has come.

"The whole college paradigm has shifted," observes Gilroy.

The traditional college experience, built around dorm life, is giving

way as more and more students choose to commute from home or from

an off-campus apartment. At the same time, says Hazelgrove, quoting

a study by the American College Testing Program (ACT), the drop-out

rate between freshman and sophomore year at four-year colleges is

soaring — to about 25 percent. Meanwhile, graduation rates are

plummeting. Only 44.6 percent of freshman at public colleges progress

through all four years and graduate. The figure for private colleges

is 57 percent.

Hazelgrove believes that the distractions of life at a four-year school

contributes to the drop out rate. At community colleges, she points

out, students typically live at home, and often use their spare time

to hold down a job.

Another factor could be pressure from guidance counselors, parents,

and peers to gain acceptance to the most elite school possible. While

many students thrive on the pressure, others are pushed onto a path

they do not want, or are unprepared to travel. Two years in a community

college could be a good way to sort out options and test aptitudes.

Those who become confident that higher education is for them, and

who go on to transfer, will save a substantial sum of money.

"Community college is what America’s all about," says Gilroy,

a professional who recently had no trouble landing a good new job

in a horrible economy. "It takes the snobbery out of education,

letting people learn when they are ready. It’s a thing you find nowhere

else but in America."

Corrections or additions?


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