Atlantic Cape Community College is a leader on student success and retention efforts, and the college broke ground Sept. 29—50 years after the original college groundbreaking—on a new facility that will boost these endeavors.
The $10.3 million Student Success and Career Planning Center at the Mays Landing Campus will support the college’s growing Student Success Initiatives. The two-story, 20,000-square-foot building will house student activities on the first floor and the Student Success and Career Planning Center on the second floor.
The first floor will house traditional student center activities and centralize student clubs, the student newspaper and student recreation. On the second floor, the center will offer guidance and resources to assist students in making informed decisions about career choices, including career counseling and access to computers for job searches, and support other success initiatives.
“This is our commitment to the future,” said Dr. Peter L. Mora, president. “This will increase retention and graduation rates. We are putting our resources right with the students.”
The project is funded through the state Building Our Future General Obligation Bond funds and Atlantic County and is expected to open in spring 2018.
“I think the investment Atlantic Cape is making demonstrates how important we consider this aspect of learning to be,” said Gregg Edwards, deputy secretary for New Jersey Higher Education, who attended the event.
College officials highlighted the need for the facility. “We are dedicated to academic achievement and student engagement. It is amazing, the depth of our programs and student clubs,” said Dr. Mitchell Levy, vice president of student affairs and dean of the Cape May County Campus. “Research shows if they have a career goal, students are more likely to stay in school and finish.”
Current and former students attending the groundbreaking ceremony praised the student-centered emphasis of the new facility.
“In a community college, most students are not directly connected with the college, but services like student government, clubs and a life center make students gravitate toward campus,” said Andrew Michedlishvili, president of the Student Government Association. “The Student Success and Career Planning Center will give them a place to connect with other highly motivated students.”
While Alma Albarran Martinez, a 2016 graduate and alumni representative to the Atlantic Cape Board of Trustees, won’t directly benefit from the center, she is excited for the opportunities it will provide new students.
“This is a physical representation that we want to give students the opportunity to move forward. In 15 months, I hope students will use all of these resources to their benefit,” she said.
Atlantic Cape’s Student Success Initiatives promote both academic achievement and career development to provide all students assistance where they need it most and include:
- Accelerated Learning Program—Allows qualified students to accelerate their remedial English progress.
- Accelerated Math—Offers students who need Developmental Math the opportunity to take two remedial courses in one semester through block scheduling.
- Career Development—By assisting students in making informed career decisions, they find increased empowerment and motivation, in addition to ownership of their educational goals.
- Early Alert—Provides faculty a forum to refer students exhibiting behaviors not conducive to academic success as soon as they are observed, allowing for immediate intervention.
- Honors Program—Offers high-achieving students the opportunity to participate in engaging and creative learning environments that extend beyond those of the regular classroom.
- K-12 Partnerships—A two-pronged approach that allows college-ready high school students to earn college credit or early intervention for students needing developmental work.
- Math Boot Camp—Offers reinforcement in concentrated areas for students who test near the cutoff for college-level math.
- Prior Learning Assessment—Allows students the opportunity to seek credit for life and professional experience and previously earned credentials.
Atlantic Cape earned the elite Leader College status from Achieving the Dream for its efforts.