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RCBC brings Classroom to Career to Joint Base Campus

Pictured: 2017 Valedictorian Franklin Birch

Striving to better serve military members, veterans, their spouses and Department of Defense civilians, Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) announced major changes to its Joint Base Campus that will make it easier for adult learners to complete degrees in growing careers.

“There is no doubt we can better serve military families and help them transition from honorable service to rewarding careers in growing fields that align with military experience to help veterans go from combat to classroom to career,” RCBC President Paul Drayton said. “After listening very closely to military leaders and the Joint Base community, we have created a new model that makes it possible to earn a degree within two years at the Joint Base Campus that provides a path to a bachelor’s degree or career.”

Registration is now open for the fall, which features the first complete degree offerings on the base in Cybersecurity, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Liberal Arts and Business Administration. These programs are available to anyone who lives on or near the base regardless of military status. More information on the new Joint Base Campus is available at rcbc.edu/joint-base.

“Education is essential to all members of the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst team,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Frederick D. Thaden, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst commander. “We are pleased that Rowan College at Burlington County is enhancing its programs to provide education opportunities to not only our Service members, but also for the families and civilian workers who support our operations at JBMDL.”

The programs will feature seven-week courses that will make it possible to complete in two years. All will be offered at night with two degrees Psychology and Liberal Arts that will also be available during the day for the convenience of military families and members of the community who live near the base in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

“Burlington County is very supportive of military members and I’m thrilled to see that Rowan College at Burlington County is making the Joint Base Campus a priority,” said Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio. “This also keeps college classrooms in the western portion of the county in a way that is very strategic and very responsible to taxpayers and students.”

RCBC is the top-ranked community college in New Jersey and one of the fastest-growing colleges in the region. The re-engineering of the Joint Base Campus, which also includes an upgraded computer lab with modern technology, mirrors a similar initiative that brought the Classroom to Career initiative to the Willingboro Campus that will serve adult learners looking for a better career.

The college, annually deemed a military-friendly institution by leading military publications, has spearheaded a number of initiatives through the Workforce Development Institute that have helped transition military members into the civilian workforce, such as Solar Ready Vets and Bridging the Gap.

RCBC’s valedictorian Franklin Birch, a 62-year-old retired sergeant major in the Army, earned an associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree from Excelsior College during his military service before completing two associate degrees this year at RCBC.

“Lifelong learning is essential to a rewarding life,” Birch said. “The military is very supportive and encouraging of service members who continue their education and there is no better opportunity than the ones provided by Rowan College at Burlington County. I’m so happy to see that the great educational opportunities they provide in Mount Laurel are expanding to military members, their families and surrounding communities at the Joint Base.”