September 28, 2012

PCCC's Newest Building

Passaic County Community College opened its newest academic building for this fall semester. The  $12 million building on Memorial Drive and Ellison Street will be shared with Passaic County. The first floor and part of the second floor will be leased by the state to house Passaic County’s One-Stop Career Center.

The other part of the second floor and the entire third floor of the three-story structure will be used for classrooms. With an enrollment of about 13,000, PCCC is among the fastest-growing community colleges in New Jersey.

In addition, the college also is planning to build a $1 million pedestrian bridge across Ellison Street in the next six month to connect the new building with its Academic Hall as was done to connect the parking deck to Academic Hall. and the pedestrian bridge that crosses College Boulevard.

September 27, 2012

The Effects of College Remediation

Of tremendous interest and scrutiny in the community college world the past few years has been the need for remediation and the research into its impact on student learning. Half of all college students take at least one remedial course as part of their postsecondary experience.

According to a study, "Development, Discouragement, or Diversion? New Evidence on the Effects of College Remediation" by Judith Scott-Clayton and Olga Rodriguez (August 2012. National Bureau of Economic Research), the primary effect of remediation appears to be diversionary. Students simply take remedial courses instead of college-level courses.

With data from a large urban community college system, this paper looks at  three alternative models of remediation. In addition to credits and degree completion, the researchers examined the initial decision to enroll, grades in subsequent college courses, and post-treatment proficiency test scores.

Sadly, the evidence from this study suggests that remediation does little to develop students’ skills. The diversionary effect of students taking remedial courses instead of college-level courses has the greatest effects for the lowest-risk students.

A PDF version of this paper is available for download at

September 26, 2012

Writing Intensive Courses For Fall 2012

During the Year 4 semesters (Fall 2010 – Fall 2011), 74 sections of WI courses were run. The sections increased from 18 in fall 2010, to 21 in spring 2011, 35 in fall 2011 and 33 in spring 2012. This fall, there are 41 WI sections across the three campuses and online.

Fall 2012 Writing Intensive Courses

1. AE-101-OL1 (0033149) APPRECIATION OF ART Thoubboron
2. AE-101-PE2 (0035437) APPRECIATION OF ART Moore
3. AE-101-W04 (0035439) APPRECIATION OF ART Wallace
4. BS-101-W01 (0033187) BIOLOGY I Sloan
5. BS-102-M01 (0033188) BIOLOGY II Smith
6. BS-203-ME1 (0033215) MICROBIOLOGY Areche
7. BU-203-M01 (0033245) MARKETING Cox
10. CT-101-ME1 (0033499) CRITICAL THINKING Della Fera
11. CT-101-WE1 (0033503) CRITICAL THINKING Hillringhouse
12. EC-101-M03 (0035411) ECONOMICS I Furrer
13. EN-205-M02 (0033758) INTRO LITERATURE Bender
14. EN-205-OL1 (0033762) INTRO LITERATURE Mitnick
15. EN-205-P01 (0033764) INTRO LITERATURE Marranca
16. EN-205-WE2 (0033768) INTRO LITERATURE Tilley
17. ENS-106-M01 (0033789) PUBLIC SPEAKING Tilley
18. ENS-106-MHY1 (0033801) PUBLIC SPEAKING Risher
19. HI-101-ME2 (0034257) WESTERN CIVIL I Kaempfen
20. HI-101-OL2 (0034259) WESTERN CIVIL I Jenkins
21. HI-101-OL3 (0034260) WESTERN CIVIL I Brozyna
22. HI-102-OL2 (0034270) WESTERN CIVIL II Brozyna
23. HI-102-W02 (0034274) WESTERN CIVIL II Drakulich
24. HI-201-OL1 (0034279) U.S. HISTORY I Perdew
25. HS-204 GROUP DYNAMICS Gasparino
26. MA-101-OL2 (0034678) COLLEGE MATH I Patel
27. MA-101-M03 COLLEGE MATH I Oriente
28. MA-101-WE1 COLLEGE MATH I Corpus
29. MA-103-M01 (0034687) BASIC STATISTICS Sankaran
30. MU-106-OL2 (0034742) APPRECIATION OF MUSIC Ayala
31. PH-101-M02 (0034780) INTRO TO PHILOSOPHY Fruncillo
32. PL-101-ME1 (0034791) INTRO POLITICAL SCIENCE Torres
33. PS-101-ME2 (0034813) INTRO PSYCHOLOGY Abdel Dary
34. PS-101-OL3 (0034818) INTRO PSYCHOLOGY Cianci
35. PS-101-P02 (0034820) INTRO PSYCHOLOGY Page
36. PS-101-W01 (0034823) INTRO PSYCHOLOGY Murphy
37. RL-101-OL2 (0034964) COMPARATIVE RELIGION Nesius
39. SO-101-M09 (0035423) INTRO SOCIOLOGY Brown
40. SO-102-OL2 (0035009) INSTITUTIONAL RACISM I White

September 25, 2012

How Big Is That Community College Pipeline?

Although it may not be their only mission, community colleges have always been an important way to start students on a path to a four-year degree. New data from the National Student Clearinghouse shows how big the two-year institutions are in starting towards a bachelor's degree.

With information from more than 3,000 colleges, the study finds that 45 percent of all students who finished a four-year degree in 2010-11 had previously enrolled at a two-year college. Of those students, 24 percent had been enrolled at the two-year institution for just one term, 16 percent for two terms, and 19 percent for three or four terms. But a full 12 percent were enrolled for at least 10 terms, suggesting that even students who spend a significant length of time at a community college might eventually go on to a four-year college.

 We hear a lot about completion rates being low and students being too slow in completing 2 or 4 year degrees. This study shows that more than half of the community college students earn their bachelor's degrees within three years. In that cohort that completed a four-year-degree but started at a community college, 16 percent earned their bachelor's degree within one year of enrolling at the four-year institution, and 36 percent had earned a degree within three years of enrolling.

Here in New Jersey, there were 52,003 students who in 2010-11 completed degrees at 4-Year Institutions, and 19,750 of them were previously enrolled at 2-Year institutions

September 24, 2012

PCCC Writing Center Opens With New Director

The PCCC Writing Center on the Paterson Campus opens for the fall semester today with a new Director.

Loren Kleinman comes to PCCC after serving as the Assistant Director of Academic Support Centers (2006-2011) at Berkeley College and as an Instructional Designer at Berkeley College Online (2011-2012).

She has a B.A. in English Literature from Drew University and an M.A. in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Sussex (UK). Her poetry has appeared in literary journals such as Nimrod, Journal of New Jersey Poets, Resurgence (UK), HerCircleEzine and Aesthetica Annual and she is the recipient of the Spire Press Poetry Prize and a 2000 and 2003 Pushcart Prize Nominee. She is currently working on her second collection of poetry, I Want No Paradise, which explores trauma narratives.

Loren also founded LK Editorial, a full-service editorial firm serving small businesses and authors in startup phases.

Loren will be managing the Writing Center Staff of consultants on the main campus and at the Wanaque and Passaic campuses. She will also be continuing the programs started during the Writing Initiative. That includes supporting the instructors and students in Writing Intensive courses, offering worksops for students and professional development for faculty.

Please come into the Writing Center, located within the library, and welcome Loren to the PCCC community!

September 21, 2012

Sharing Documents in the Cloud

There are several services online that allow students and teachers to collaborate and share files easily online. Using Google Apps for Education is growing in popularity. Here in NJ, Princeton is one of the latest colleges and universities this fall using Google Apps. Google says that seven of the eight Ivy League universities and 72 of this year’s top 100 U.S. Universities (as determined by 2013 U.S. News and World Report’s ranking) are using them.

Students and teachers can collaborate in and out of the classroom using files shared in the cloud. And anyone can take advantage of having files available from any location of device. No more moving files via flashdrives or by email and matching old and new copies.

Using Google Apps across campus involves getting your IT department involved and that may not be easy at your school. There are other services that you can set up on your own. For example, one easy and free service is You install a small program on any computers you use (home, work etc.) and you will have your files when you need it them and they will automatically sync so that the newest version is available to you on all the devices. You can also access the files on any device without installing the app at the Dropbox site.

This is a great way to collaborate on a document with others because you can share files with other dropbox users. It's also a service I recommend to friends because it is an easy way to have your files backed up with the cloud copy. If your laptop crashed, all the dropbox folders would still be safe on their servers. You can sign up for the service for free.

But Google Apps does offer more than just file storage in the cloud. Faculty can offer "office hours" and small group presentations using "Hangouts." Students can create e-portfolios in a Google Site; And with document sharing, you can give real-time feedback in a Google document and have students work on group projects virtually.