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RCBC students win National Distance Learning Week Scholarship Essay Contest

Rowan College at Burlington County’s National Distance Learning Week Scholarship Essay Contest winners Catherine Jewett and Lavyona Andrews are congratulated by (left to right) RCBC Dean of Learning Resources Dr. Martin Hoffman, RCBC Acting President Michael Cioce, RCBC Bookstore Manager Jamie Young, and RCBC Distance Education Adjunct Instructor and Library Technical Paraprofessional Mary Bavi.

Lavyona Andrews, of Willingboro, and Catherine Jewett, of Mount Laurel, took first and second place, respectively, in Rowan College at Burlington County’s National Distance Learning Week Scholarship Essay Contest, sponsored by the RCBC Distance Education Office, the RCBC Foundation, and the College Bookstore, which is managed by Follett.

Andrews won a scholarship for a free spring 2018 online class. She is taking two online classes this term and will be applying her scholarship toward her sociology class.

“This free class will help me complete my prerequisite courses, so I can soon apply to the Rowan College at Burlington County nursing program,” Andrews said. “My academics, both present and future, mean a lot to me. I am the first in my immediate family to take steps toward achieving a higher education.”

Despite being awarded a scholarship to attend college after high school, she had to delay her dreams of getting a college degree due to family circumstances. Now that she is able to attend college, she finds that RCBC’s online classes help her successfully manage her classwork and three jobs. She wants to eventually pursue her master’s in nursing.

Jewett won a free textbook from the College Bookstore. With plans of achieving a degree in education, she used her prize to obtain her educational psychology book. A returning adult learner, Jewett was at first nervous to take an online class, but now has come to appreciate the flexibility it provides.

“It makes me feel more in control of my workload,” she said. “After a few days of hard work, I can have all of my assignments completed through the end of the month, freeing up time to dedicate to my other four classes, my full-time job, my internship, or myself.”

After RCBC, Jewett plans to transfer to Rowan University and pursue a career in education.

“Rowan College at Burlington County has consistently continued to grow its distance education enrollment,” said RCBC Acting President Michael Cioce. “Our award-winning online classes provide convenience without sacrificing quality and allow students to design a schedule that fits their needs and lifestyles.”

This year, the college was named the “top online college in the state” for two-year schools by affordablecollegesonline.org. RCBC’s Distance Education Office, which was established in 1978, currently offers more than 100 courses, 14 associate degrees and six certificates fully online.

“This fall, about 700 more students took an online course compared to fall 2016,” said RCBC Dean of Learning Resources Dr. Martin Hoffman. “On average, 44 percent of students are taking at least one online class during the year.”

The applications for the college’s National Distance Learning Week Scholarship Essay Contest more than doubled this year. A team of eight judges, including faculty and administrators from different divisions, reviewed the essays and selected the student winners. 

For more information on RCBC’s online offerings, please visit rcbc.edu/distance-education.

Pictured: (center) Rowan College at Burlington County’s National Distance Learning Week Scholarship Essay Contest winners Catherine Jewett and Lavyona Andrews are congratulated by (left to right) RCBC Dean of Learning Resources Dr. Martin Hoffman, RCBC Acting President Michael Cioce, RCBC Bookstore Manager Jamie Young, and RCBC Distance Education Adjunct Instructor and Library Technical Paraprofessional Mary Bavi.