BY KELLY DZIALO
County College of Morris ranks as one of the highest graduation and transfer rates among New Jersey community colleges as students move on to four-year institutions.
Students have access to and are encouraged to utilize the resources CCM offers through Transfer Services.
“The goal of the office is to assist students with the transfer process, with the transition of going out to a four-year college or university and to make it as seamless as possible,” said Kaitlin Najjar, a Transfer Services counselor.
Transfer Services offers a variety of resources to CCM students from one-on-one appointments with a counselor to instant decision days with colleges.
“I want transfer to Saint Elizabeth because I know CCM has set up schools you can transfer to,” said Tyler Cobb, a nursing major at CCM. “I can work towards my degree [at CCM] and it’s cheaper.”
Cobb, like many students, is vaguely aware of the articulation agreements CCM has with various colleges such as College of Saint Elizabeth, Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers, West Virginia University and William Paterson University, among others. CCM and the four-year institutions have program-to-program agreements that establish course equivalencies and ease the transfer process.
“The value of education is placed really high at CCM and I think the students catch on to that feeling pretty quickly,” said Najjar. “A lot of four-year institutions see the value of CCM students and want to make those articulation agreements with us. We have so many opportunities for students to transfer easily, successfully and with scholarships too.”
Beyond articulation agreements, transfer services also establishes instant decision days with four-year institutions. Representatives come to CCM’s campus to meet with graduating students or alumni to immediately accept or deny admittance as well as waive the application fee, essay and first transcript.
Aware of Transfer Services and starting the process of transferring, Cheyenne Malone, a nursing major at CCM, is eager to utilize instant decision day to pursue becoming a nurse practitioner through William Paterson’s program.
“My boyfriend recently went through it and said CCM [staff] were helpful,” Malone said. “I am looking forward to instant decision day.”
Najjar said students may not be aware of the abundance of resources and help transfer services can offer.
“We don’t think it’s ever too early to come see us,” Najjar said. “The earlier [students] come, the better off. This way we can catch anything or make suggestions early on for that seamless transition we’re looking for and that better transferability of time, credits, money and value.”
Approximately 71 percent of the CCM class of 2015 transferred to an institution in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. Najjar attributes this to the high expectations in academics and success CCM places on students. As many CCM students move on to four-year institutions, they are encouraged to take advantage of the guidance Transfer Services can offer.
Overall, CCM students are set up for succesful in-state and out-of-state transfers to four-year colleges or universities. Transfer Services offers abundance of resources for students going through the process.
Najjar said she attributes successful transfers to one main thing.
“Research,” Najjar said. “Do your research and don’t wait until the last minute.”