Business student enjoys flexibility and personalization offered at RCBC
Tuesday, Apr 26, 2022

Nearly 50% of today’s college students are considered first-generation. For Dana Knittel, earning a college degree is a necessity. A first-gen college student, Knittel knows the challenges associated with lacking a college degree. She studies business at Rowan College at Burlington County and hopes to eventually pursue a career as a real estate agent. 

“My experience as a first generation student would be setting the bar for my future children,” Knittel said. “Neither of my parents went to college, and yes, they are still successful, but having a college degree to me is necessary. Even if you have plans that don’t require a degree, and you find out you don’t want to pursue that plan anymore, you have a degree to fall back on just in case. I know my parents are proud of me, and it makes me feel good to know that I am putting in the effort and doing something right that will benefit me in the future.”

Knittel chose RCBC due to its affordability, as she is paying her own tuition. She also feels RCBC makes it easier for her to navigate her schoolwork while being employed and working several days per week. What she soon realized, however, is that the college offered a level of personalization and interest in her as an individual that reached beyond the confines of the classroom. 

“I did not want to be in massive student loan debt when I graduated,” Knittel said. “I also take the majority of my classes online which makes my life easier while being employed.”

When asked about her experiences outside the classroom, Knittel recalled many positive interactions with the college’s advising department, particularly Anthony Domingues. 

“They make picking my classes extremely easy, as well as ensuring I’m on the right track for graduation,” Knittel said. “They help you decide which classes to choose for your major, so you can graduate on time. They also give you plenty of information and resources if you have questions that they can’t particularly answer themselves. It’s very easy to meet on Zoom or Google Meet instead of meeting in person – for those of us with busy schedules.”

The good will of RCBC even extended beyond campus when one of Knittel’s Algebra 2 teachers Eileen Haimerl visited her at her workplace (She works as a customer service associate at Wawa) because she wanted to meet in person. 

“She was one of the nicest teachers I’ve had, and I thought it was very thoughtful for her to consider coming to meet me, or even just saying hi,” Knittel said. “I have also met some people in my current calculus class, and I’ve made friends with them. Being in my first in person class, I did not expect to make that many friends, so I was pleasantly surprised.” 

As for her future plans, Knittel hopes to work as a real estate agent for her cousin and her husband. 

“They are the number one real estate agents in their area (Maryland),” Knittel said. “I definitely want to work for them because they have been featured on television and Fox News business. They own a well-known company, and I think it would be in my best interest to learn from the best. Even if I decide I do not want to do real estate, I will still have my business degree to fall back on.”

When she’s not busy studying, Knittel enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants and shopping. She also enjoys listening to music and going to the beach with her friends. 

To learn more about RCBC’s business programs, visit

To learn more about personalized support for first-generation college students, visit

Photo of Dana