In a recent meeting of the Bergen Community College Board of Trustees, notable highlights included a surge in school enrollment, a strong push for online courses, and the special recognition of a student who garnered a prestigious national award.
BCC President Dr. Eric M. Friedman detailed an over 4% increase in the school’s enrollment, tallying at more than 12,700 students. Freedan revealed the college’s bolstered emphasis on online courses, boasting 34 unique online courses with over 1,604 students opting for this flexible route. The demographic data provided insights into the online student body, with 34% being above the age of 24, and a whopping 47% enrolled in the college’s fully online programs spanning fields like business, psychology, criminal justice, IT, and General Studies.
However, the meeting’s showstopper was the special acknowledgment of a student named Marie Eng. Eng was acknowledged as the only student from New Jersey to receive the 2023 PTK New Century Workforce Pathway Scholar award. Eng’s academic pursuits include degrees in dental hygiene and veterinary technology, with a foundation grounded in a Bachelor’s in Music. She has also graced the stages of notable venues such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
President Friedman’s announcements continued, laying emphasis on building relationships with other institutions. He talked about partnership events with colleges like Ramapo College and Montclair State University. These events are designed to foster collaboration and give Bergen students a glimpse of what these institutions offer. Furthermore, the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month was brought into focus, with Freedan highlighting a presentation by Marvel comic book writer Edgard Miranda-Rodriges.
Later in the meeting, Professor Bran Chapman’s address raised the resignation of a tenured female faculty member from a STEM discipline, who had dedicated a decade to the institution. He raised concerns over the aging faculty and the urgent need to introspect the working conditions that might have led to such a decision.
Concluding the meeting, Chinia Diorio, the Vice President of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, shared the growth story of the Chiara Learning Center. The center recorded a remarkable 3,250 registrations for 2023, marking significant growth from 2019.