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.
top winner will be announced. For information on the breakfast, call
Chris Cook at 973-683-7335.
Companies to be honored:
08540. 609-452-1701; fax, 609-452-1704. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer consulting for PCs.
08540. Tom Evslin, chairman and CEO. 609-750-3333; fax, 609-419-1511.
Global wholesale telecom carrier — voice over IP.
08540. Donald L. Drakeman, president and CEO. 609-430-2880; fax, 609-430-2850.
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.
Princeton 08543. Paul J. Kelly MD, CEO. 609-750-2200; fax, 609-750-6400.
Services and products for profiling genetic uniqueness
— forensic and paternity DNA testing, pharmacogentics-based personalized
healthcare, and public health genotyping services.
Princeton 08540. Craig Kirsch, CEO. 609-606-3000; fax, 609-606-3297.
Remote banking, processing electronic payments for bank
Princeton 08540. David Reim, CEO. 609-378-0100; fax, 609-378-0220.
Strategy, development, and servicing of E-business solutions
for the pharmaceutical industry.
Princeton 08540. Greg Besner, CEO. 609-430-7400; fax, 609-430-7500.
Software applications that automate restricted stock
equity transactions, licensed to financial services organizations
and public organizations.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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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