Up and coming filmmaker Tom Copsetta enjoys being behind the camera, telling his stories through pictures and audio. Focused on a career in radio, television and film (RTF), the Washington Township High School senior has been busy racking up college credits towards an associate degree at Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC).
Copsetta, who participates in the College’s High School Option Program (HSOP), is on track to graduate next spring with both a high school diploma and an associate degree. At the urging of his guidance counselor to share his RCGC experience and motivate peers to get a head start on college, Copsetta decided to create a video. His HSOP “Graduating College before High School” video can be viewed on the high school’s website.
“Tom is a very focused and determined young man. He has had the maturity and foresight to realize the numerous benefits of taking classes through the HSOP program,” said Washington Township High School Counselor Linda Salkowski. “Tom is eager and more than happy to spread the word and encourage other students to also take advantage of this opportunity that has served him so well. Upon high school graduation in 2018, Tom will realize his dream to enter Rowan University as a junior radio, television, and film major. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
“Saving time, saving money, there’s really no excuse not to do it,” noted the aspiring filmmaker with more than 30 college credits in the bank. “You will save two years of college, thousands of dollars and it is a really good program. It’s also a great confidence booster. My parents are very proud of me and I’m saving them money.”
Designed to provide high school students with the opportunity to take college courses at a 65 percent discount off of tuition and per-credit fees, the credits can be applied to an RCGC associate degree program or easily transferred to other colleges and universities. The number of classes is not limited and can be taken during the College’s fall, winter, spring and summer terms. As an added bonus, RCGC credits may also satisfy high school graduation requirements.
“Through HSOP, students have the ability to receive personalized academic advisement, complete any required remediation, explore career pathways and satisfy general education electives necessary to earn a college degree,” said Megan Ruttler, RCGC’s director of the Center for College and Career Readiness. “This program provides students and families with exposure to navigating higher education processes as well as the tremendous discount. By focusing on tomorrow, you can save thousands today.”
With a personal interest in short films and video with music, Copsetta plans to follow his passion and pursue a bachelor’s degree in radio, television and film at Rowan University. And although he will receive his associate degree in May, his time at RCGC will not be done. The honor student’s strategy to continue to save money while earning a bachelor’s degree also includes RCGC’s “3+1” option.
“RCGC’s High School Option and 3+1 programs are really a good way to save money,” said Copsetta. “The big thing is not to procrastinate. I take online classes, even during the summer.”
Unique in New Jersey, RCGC’s “3+1” program provides yet another viable alternative for students seeking to earn a four-year degree at a reduced price. Currently, RCGC offers six “3+1” majors — one of which is RTF — where students complete three years of coursework at the College and take their senior year at Rowan University. Junior-year courses, with a community college price tag, are taught by advanced-degree faculty and offer substantial savings. For the student starting college as a freshman, the savings can amount to more than $25,000. For high school students taking advantage of the HSOP’s 65 percent discount, even more. The latest in a series of partnership programs with Rowan University implemented to help save students money, the Rowan “3+1” option was featured in Money Magazine in January as one of the top college affordability initiatives in the country.
From a parent’s perspective, encouraging her son to take college courses while still in high school has proven to be a big confidence builder. “This is a great program for the traditional high school student. I have seen Tom grow so much and become more goal oriented,” said Candy Copsetta. “The HSOP experience provides high school students with a taste of college at an early age. It has allowed Tom to visualize his future and to make his own choices about what classes and instructors to take. My son will graduate with a bachelor’s degree by the time he is 19 years old. It is feasible and possible with this program. It opens up a whole world of possibilities.”
To learn more about the College’s HSOP program, visit RCGC.edu or watch https://youtu.be/q_ZjGd30HMQ. To view Tom Copsetta’s HSOP video, visit wtps.org.
RCGC Awarded $1.2 Million State Grant for Talent Development Center
The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced an $8.4 million investment to create four new talent development centers. Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) was selected to house the Financial Services Talent Development Center. Pictured left to right are: RCGC President Frederick Keating, RCGC Workforce and Professional Development Institute Dean Brigette Satchell and New Jersey Labor Commissioner Aaron Fichtner, Ph.D.
A $1.2 million grant awarded to Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) by the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development will serve to expand the state’s talent development centers to include a Financial Services Talent Development Center.
RCGC’s new Financial Services Talent Development Center will provide innovative career pathways and apprenticeships in accounting, banking, insurance and financial technology. The state’s $8.4 million investment to create four additional talent development centers on New Jersey’s college and university campuses was announced recently, and will join the three existing centers. Each of the talent development centers is aligned with the needs of the state’s seven key industries.
Through this state initiative, RCGC will establish academic curriculum and career pathways focused on training unemployed and incumbent workers for financial occupations and professional growth by providing basic-skills training, career awareness events and internship/apprenticeship opportunities dedicated to bridging the gap between education and employment. The College will develop high-quality, employer-driven partnerships comprised of businesses, vocational/high schools, colleges, universities and workforce development boards. More than 15 business associates, 10 county workforce development boards and seven educational partners will work together to educate and train unemployed and underemployed individuals, assisting them in earning industry-valued credentials that lead to job opportunities and career advancement.
“RCGC has always been committed to educating and strengthening New Jersey’s workforce and expanding economic opportunity. It is a great honor to have been selected by the Department of Labor & Workforce Development to oversee the state’s new Financial Services Talent Development Center,” stated College President Frederick Keating. “During the last few years, RCGC has established a strong presence within South Jersey’s financial sector, working with businesses and four-year universities to develop training and apprenticeship programs. This is an opportunity to expand our success and help meet the needs of New Jersey’s workers and employers.”
Launched by the Labor & Workforce Development in 2016, the talent development centers serve as “centers for excellence,” aligning the workforce with the needs of employers. Funding for these centers is provided by the Workforce Development Partnership program and the supplemental Workforce Fund for Basic Skills. Each of the $1.2 million contracts run for one year with an option to renew.
RCGC’s Financial Services Talent Development Center —like the new Rowan Work & Learn Consortium — supports the state’s “65 by 25” campaign, increasing the percentage of those within the state’s workforce who have a post-secondary degree by 2025.
For more information about RCGC’s Financial Services Talent Development Center, contact Brigette Satchell at 856-681-6226 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
Operation Stand Down Welcomes Veteran Students to RCGC Campus
A meet and greet hosted by the Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC) Veterans Affairs Office welcomed student veterans to the campus recently, offering fellowship and information about college and local support services.
“Operation Stand Down” brought together some of the College’s 150 veterans providing guest speakers and a variety of informational materials from RCGC and outside organizations, as students mingled and enjoyed a complimentary breakfast and lunch. RCGC’s first inaugural Operation Stand Down was designed to show gratitude and hospitality to the men and women of the armed forces, empowering the students with knowledge about available academic and veteran assistance. Guest speakers included Veterans Outreach Program Specialist Edward McEvoy, Pricilla Arias of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care “Vets 4 Warriors” and Dr. Lois Lawson-Briddell with RCGC’s Center for Counseling and Wellness Services.
John Cancel, a Marine veteran and student worker in RCGC’s Veterans Affairs Office, is committed to helping other college vets make full use of their military benefits. A South Carolina transplant, he is enjoying the different perspective of the South Jersey area and his first experience in higher education.
“My mission working in the Veterans Affairs Office is to prepare students for college life and instruct them on how to use veteran benefits to the best of their ability,” stated the Criminal Justice major.
Marine Corps veteran Dan Volpe, president of the College’s Student Veterans Organization (SVO), was also at the event disseminating information about the organization to RCGC current, prospective and alumni students who have served in the military. There are currently 15 members in SVO and Volpe plans to connect the group with other student clubs on campus.
“Veterans want to serve. It is the reason they joined the military. Let’s get the different clubs together to help each other out,” said the West Deptford psychology major who plans to pursue a career in investigative journalism. “You served your country — you can still serve. People in our own backyard need assistance. We can help to make a change in the world.”
Joy Gladness, a Navy veteran Enginemen 3rd Class from Sicklerville, returned to her alma mater for the Operation Stand Down event. A Rowan University junior majoring in psychology, Gladness often shares her former human resources and federal government experiences to aid homeless, jobless and in-debt veterans.
“I am always willing to assist other veterans and consult with them on the side about the information I have learned over the years,” noted Gladness.
RCGC is proud to be recognized as a Military Friendly School for the seventh consecutive year. For more information about RCGC military education and veteran services, visit RCGC.edu/Veterans or call 856-464-5239.
Categories: Public 2-Year Schools