Atlantic Cape Paves Way for Partnerships with Four-Year Schools Offer Path to Further Your Education

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Frankie Williams wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with his future, but he knew the work he picked up in construction wasn’t going anywhere.

“I knew school ultimately was the path I needed to take for a successful future,” the 28-year-old Mays Landing man said.

Williams returned to Atlantic Cape Community College to complete the General Studies degree he had started a few years earlier. In his final semester, he took a class that focused his direction.

“I took Intro to Criminology as an elective, and that course was phenomenal. Instructor (David) Daniels had a lot of wisdom from his experience in the field; it really stuck with me. I knew I wanted to pursue that field in some aspect,” Williams said.

Williams said his experiences at Atlantic Cape and Rutgers were so rewarding, he is considering furthering his education and recently took the LSATs

That led him to investigate his options to continue his education. With work and family obligations keeping him in Atlantic County, Williams was instantly attracted to the Rutgers University site at Atlantic Cape’s Mays Landing Campus.

“To me, the name Rutgers, and it being a prestigious university, was the No. 1 factor why I wanted to go,” he said. The location allowed Williams to continue working full time while pursuing his bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, which he earned cum laude in 2010.

Williams said his experiences at Atlantic Cape and Rutgers were so rewarding, he is considering furthering his education and recently took the LSATs.

Atlantic Cape was a great fit for me. I was not ready for the university environment right out of high school,” he said. “It was close to home and I was able to get a good education.”

That feeling continued when he transferred to Rutgers at Atlantic Cape.

“It was a seamless experience, and required no more than me walking across the street and introducing myself,” Williams said. “The professors there are top-notch. It’s not a make-shift school—they are high quality.”

Start at Atlantic Cape; Go Anywhere

Wendy Gray, Program Officer, Career & Academic Planning Center, helps Atlantic Cape’s students navigate the transfer process. She informs them of the available options, including the statewide transfer agreement allowing students who earn an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science from a New Jersey community college to transfer to a state four-year college or university as a junior, once accepted.

Additionally, colleges from around the state and region staff information tables periodically for students to gather information. Gray will help students fill out applications and works as a liaison to the four-year school to initiate the transfer.

Our courses are comparable to a four-year school, and you can go anywhere with an Atlantic Cape degree

“Our courses are comparable to a four-year school, and you can go anywhere with an Atlantic Cape degree,” Gray said.

Leonor Negron started her freshman year at Rowan University as a Biology major. “I realized it wasn’t for me, and I realized the expense,” she said. “I transferred to Atlantic Cape to save money while I figured out what I wanted to do.”

A psychology course instantly resonated with the 20-year-old Hammonton resident, so she planned out her Atlantic Cape schedule ensuring all of her classes would transfer to Rowan’s Psychology department.

She earned her associate degree in May 2012 and returned to Rowan as a junior, pleased that she is now on the right course.

“I feel like Atlantic Cape helped me get more prepared for Rowan. When I got to Rowan the first time, I felt shocked in a way,” she said. “But Atlantic Cape gave me the confidence to keep trying.”

Plan Ahead

She encourages her peers to take advantage of the transfer partnerships Atlantic Cape offers. “But you definitely should have certain schools in mind. Some people lose credits if they don’t know where they are going.”

Ben Adiletto knew he would begin his college career at Atlantic Cape after recruiters from the college visited his alma mater, Cape May Technical High School. “I always knew I would at least earn a bachelor’s degree, but I couldn’t afford to go out of state,” said the 20-year-old Galloway Township resident.

He completed his associate degree in December 2012, attending classes at Atlantic Cape’s Cape May County and Mays Landing campuses. A Sociology major, Adiletto had his sights set on the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

The transfer process was extremely easy.

When Atlantic Cape hosted a Stockton Instant Decision Day, he jumped at the opportunity to seal his acceptance there. “The transfer process was extremely easy,” he said. “I like things to be handled quickly, so this was definitely for me.”

Of his experience at Atlantic Cape, he feels it gave him a solid foundation for beginning classes at Stockton for the spring 2013 semester. “I had a lot of fun and got just as good of an education as classmates who went to four-year schools. I would recommend it to anyone,” he said.

‘Get Your Feet Wet’

Kimberly Richardson worked in the retail industry for 23 years and had advanced to a management role in a private family business when she lost her job and found herself unemployed for the first time in her life.

Unemployment benefits and encouragement from one of Atlantic Cape’s hospitality professors led her to Atlantic Cape in 2006 to pursue a certificate program in hospitality. Though she eventually found a new job and is a senior administrative assistant at Bally’s Atlantic City, Richardson was on a mission.

It financially makes sense to get your feet wet at Atlantic Cape.

“It’s a personal goal to continue my education,” said the 47-year-old Mays Landing mom.

After graduating with an associate degree in Hospitality in 2009, she took advantage of Atlantic Cape’s partnership with Fairleigh Dickinson University. The university offers several degree programs at the Mays Landing Campus, including Hospitality.

Richardson is steadily racking up credits toward her bachelor’s. “FDU is one of the oldest hospitality programs in the country,” she said.

Her experiences at both Atlantic Cape and FDU have “forced me to get out of my comfort zone,” she said. “But it’s not so big that it’s overwhelming. And absolutely it financially makes sense to get your feet wet at Atlantic Cape.”

Stacey Clapp

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