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RVCC in the National Spotlight

RVCC Makes “Top Ten” College List
  RVCC is rated among the Top Ten colleges and universities in the country, according to a 2010 book by authors Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus. The book, Higher Education? (Times Books), highlights RVCC in a chapter on “Schools We Like—Our Top Ten List.” The book and RVCC’s success have been featured by the Today Show, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Review of Books, Readers Digest and Fox News.

According to the authors, “In our view, it [RVCC] provides a better introduction to college work than many four-year schools.”

Middle States Recognition
    “Raritan Valley has earned its reputation for excellence among New Jersey’s community colleges, throughout the Northeast region and among peer institutions across the nation,” concluded the site team evaluating the College for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. In March 2012, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirmed the College’s accreditation for 10 years and commended the College for the “quality of its self study report.” The 10-year accreditation has been granted in full, without need for any additional follow-up actions—such as progress reports or monitoring.

National Honors for Community Service
    For six years in a row, the College’s Service Learning Program has received national recognition from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Higher Education. The honors include:

2012: Only community college in the country to be named an Honor Roll Finalist for the Presidential Award

2011: One of four community colleges nationally and the only community college in New Jersey to be named to the 2010 President’s Honor Roll

2006-2010: Named to the Honor Roll earning the Presidential Award, Distinction for General Community Service, Hurricane Relief, Disaster Sheltering and Special Achievement for Disadvantaged Populations. RVCC is the only community college in New Jersey to receive these distinctions.

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.

RVCC Grad Speaks at White House
    RVCC graduate Casey Maliszewski spoke at the White House’s first-ever Community College Summit in October 2010. The summit, hosted by Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the vice president and a longtime community college teacher, was designed to raise awareness of the critical role played by community colleges in providing pathways to completing credentials and degrees for the development of a globally competitive workforce.

While at RVCC Maliszewski excelled academically and served as international president of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Maliszewski continued her studies at Mt. Holyoke College and Columbia University, and was a national finalist for the Fulbright Fellowship.

RVCC Graduate Receives Fulbright Scholarship
    Carly Aulicky, who graduated summa cum laude from RVCC in May 2009, was accepted into a master’s of research program at the University of Glasgow, attending as a Fulbright Scholar. Aulicky received her bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in May 2011, graduating summa cum laude with the second highest GPA in her major.

RVCC Graduates Awarded Prestigious National Scholarships
    RVCC students have been recognized for their outstanding academic accomplishments and service to the community with a number of prestigious national scholarships.

2011: Maria Palar was one of 60 community college graduates across the country to receive the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The scholarship is valued at up to $30,000 per year for up to three years. Palar, a resident of Somerset, is continuing her education at Sarah Lawrence College.

2010: Rudolph Powser and Tamer Shabani were among only 20 students in the United States— and the only students from New Jersey—to be awarded the Guistwhite Scholarship by the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Powser continued his studies at Cornell University and Shabani transferred to Stanford University.

RVCC Honor Society Chapter Gains International Attention
    RVCC’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society has received a number of impressive international awards including:

2011: Distinguished Chapter Award designating RVCC’s Alpha Epsilon Pi Chapter as one of the top 25 chapters out of more than 1,000 Phi Theta Kappa chapters around the world.

2010: RVCC President Dr. Casey Crabill received the prestigious Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction, one of 16 individuals nationwide who were recognized for providing extensive support and a variety of resources for their college’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter.

2009: RVCC’s chapter received the prestigious Hallmark Award of Distinction and student Nicole Singer was elected Phi Theta Kappa international vice president.

2007: RVCC student Casey Maliszewski was named international president of Phi Theta Kappa.

RVCC Only NJ College to Receive Workforce Training Grant
    RVCC is the only college to New Jersey to be awarded a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to work in partnership with local businesses to train workers in new career paths. The $4.6 million grant—the largest in the College’s history—is part of nearly $500 million in grants awarded to 32 U.S. grantees for targeted training and workforce development to assist dislocated workers who are changing careers. The three-year grant is expected to help train more than 750 students in programs that meet industry needs, so that employers are guaranteed highly qualified employees and students are offered career pathways that will lead to viable employment. The grant represents a true community partnership, and many local business and community partners worked with the College in identifying workforce development needs.

National Honors for Free Enterprise Students
    A new RVCC student group, SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise), earned national “Rookie of the Year” honors at the 2012 SIFE USA National Exposition. By contributing their talents to projects that improve the lives of people worldwide, SIFE members demonstrate that individuals with a knowledge and passion for business can be a powerful force for change. During the 2011-12 academic year, the SIFE-RVCC team organized seven community projects including participating in Campbell’s Can Hunger Challenge. The challenge not only raised awareness of hunger but also provided urgent relief to the community.

RVCC Leader in Environmental Sustainability
    RVCC has been a forefront in environmental sustainability. Among its noteworthy achievements:

June 2009: The first community college in the nation to sign an environmental stewardship agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The agreement pledges the College’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and generally contribute to a better environment.

June 2011: The first higher education institution in the state to be certified by New Jersey Water Supply Authority as part of the River-Friendly Business Program. The certification was awarded for the College’s efforts to improve local water resource quality through water quality management, water conservation, protection of the wildlife habitat, and education and outreach.

September 2011: The first college in New Jersey to earn the STARS Bronze Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The rating was based on the College’s successes in education; operations; and planning, administration and engagement.

RVCC Selected for National Achieving the Dream Project
    In recognition of the College’s strong commitment to student success and completion, RVCC was one of 30 community colleges nationwide selected for the Achieving the Dream 2011 cohort. Achieving the Dream is a national movement to improve student success; close achievement gaps; and increase retention, persistence and completion rates.

RVCC Part of National Movement to Define Success
    In 2011 RVCC was selected as one of 40 community colleges nationwide to pilot a new Voluntary Framework of Accountability that is designed to redefine what “success” means for two-year institutions nationwide. The VFA is being developed by the American Association of Community Colleges in collaboration with the Association of Community College Trustees and the College Board with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lumina Foundation for Education.

RVCC Recognized for Diversity Intiatives
    In 2012 RVCC received the first Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. RVCC was one of 47 schools receiving the honor and was only college in New Jersey recognized for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected RVCC based on its exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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