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RVCC’s Commitment to the Community

At the heart of RVCC’s mission is its commitment to serve the people and businesses of Somerset and Hunterdon counties. That commitment goes far beyond what’s happening in the classroom. Here are some highlights:

Service Learning
  Service Learning provides opportunities for students to serve their communities as part of their classroom instruction. Annually, more than 1,000 RVCC students provide service to over 250 local community organizations within 85 different courses. Each year, students donate the economic equivalent of over $1 million in service to numerous organizations and their clients. In a five-year period, students have contributed the economic equivalent of well over $5 million to the community. Among the organizations and agencies benefitting from the program are the American Red Cross of Central Jersey, Food Bank Network of Somerset County, Habitat for Humanity, Rolling Hills Girl Scout Council, Somerset County Board of Social Services, Somerset County Office on Aging and Somerset Community Action.

Services to Small Business
    In 2012, the Small Business Development Center provided counseling services to 425 clients. In addition, 1000 individuals attended workshops and seminars sponsored by the SBDC. The Center, which is housed at RVCC@Bridgewater, is funded by the federal SBA and state NJEDA grants and the College. Of the Center’s $217,000 budget for FY13, $70,000 comes from the College.

Holocaust Institute Programs
    The College’s Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies offers educational programming throughout the year for middle and high school students and teachers. During the 2010-2011 academic year, more than 800 students from 15 school districts benefitted from these programs that included firsthand accounts from Holocaust survivors.

Robeson Center Programs
    The Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice offers lectures, panel discussions and special events for the community. Programming includes the annual Robeson Awards Reception honoring outstanding middle and high school students and special programs centered around Black History Month. During the 2010-2011 academic year, over 1000 individuals took advantage of these programs.

Lecture Series
    As an academic institution, the College is the center for intellectual discussions led by experts in their field. The community is welcome to attend these stimulating programs that include guest lecturers, science series and artists’ talks.

Academy for Health and Medical Science
    Established in 2008, the Academy for Health and Medical Science is a partnership between RVCC and the Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School. The Academy offers challenging educational opportunities for high school students to earn both their high school diploma and an associate degree in science. So far, 66 students have graduated from the program and have gone on to such prestigious schools as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cornell, NJIT and Rutgers School of Pharmacy.

Scholarships for Students
    The RVCC Foundation partners with hundreds of corporations, local businesses, foundations and individual donors every year to raise funds above and beyond public and tuition sources. The Foundation directs these funds to assist the College in providing affordable, accessible and quality educational and cultural experiences to the community. Since 2000, the RVCC Foundation has raised over $7.5 million to support scholarships for RVCC students, as well as the Planetarium; the Theatre at RVCC; the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies; the Paul Robeson Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Social Justice; and other programs and services. This year alone, the Foundation will award $250,000 in scholarships for students demonstrating academic excellence and/or financial need.

Theatre & Planetarium Programs for Children of All Ages
    Every year the Theatre and Planetarium provide educational and entertaining programming for children from kindergarten through high school. Some 40,000 children a year benefit from the excellent programming at modest prices. The Planetarium has expanded its programs to offer special shows for families of children on the Autism spectrum and for the training of Seeing Eye dogs.

Support for Community Charities
    RVCC has raised more than $257,000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS) through its sponsorship of Relay For Life for the past seven years. RVCC was the first community college in New Jersey to sponsor the event. The May 2012 event involved more than 230 students, faculty and staff participating in 33 teams. Throughout the school year, student clubs and organizations raise funds for local charities. For the 2011-2012 academic year students raised $5000 for such causes as Handfuls of Hope, American Heart Association, Somerset Food Pantry, and Project Smile. Various clubs provided leaf raking service for the elderly, craft projects for hospitalized children, road clean up along Readington Road, campus clean up, collections for Toys for Tots, assistance to North Branch Reformed Church in preparing meals for children, a talent show for Bridgeway Nursing Home and entertainment for the children housed on campus after Hurricane Irene.

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