Raritan Valley Community College is the state’s first institution of higher education to be recognized as a New Jersey Sustainable Business by the New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC).
Launched by the NJSBDC in 2014, the New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry is an internet site where businesses that have implemented sustainable business practices can register their achievements and be recognized.
For over a decade, RVCC has worked to create a more sustainable campus across a range of criteria. Examples of the College’s sustainability-related achievements include reducing energy usage by installing LED lighting and occupancy sensors; running a cogeneration plant and upgrading HVAC equipment; reducing water usage by collecting storm water for watering plants and for use in toilets in two buildings; and installing four level-2 electric car charging stations, which are free to use and open to the public. In 2009, RVCC became the first community college in the country to sign an environmental stewardship agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the College’s newly adopted Strategic Plan formalizes its commitment to sustainability by including environmental stewardship in one of the four key focus areas.
Board Approves Three-Year Strategic Plan
After a yearlong process involving input from community members, business leaders, local educators, government officials, the Raritan Valley Community College community, and others, the RVCC Board of Trustees has approved a three-year strategic plan that focuses on four key areas: increasing student success rates; implementing a strategic enrollment management plan; increasing strategic external partnerships; and increasing equity, sustainability, collaboration, and civic engagement.
“RVCC has a long history of providing affordable access to top-notch higher education to the residents of Somerset and Hunterdon County, whether they are first-time college students planning to transfer to four-year colleges, students pursuing career or technical training for employment immediately after graduation or career advancement, or individuals interested in personal enrichment. As the College has grown, so has the need to expand our mission to address the changing needs of our students and the community,” said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough. “The new strategic plan offers a renewed commitment to accessibility, as well as a fresh focus on student achievement and success.”
The 2018-2021 strategic plan was the result of a year of research, study, and analysis by the College community including the Board of Trustees, as well as feedback from a number of constituencies. These included K-12 partners and home-schooled representatives; government officials; non-profit agencies and other service providers; business and community leaders and general community members. In addition, 285 members of the RVCC community including faculty, administrators and staff, Board members, and students were provided with roundtable opportunities to offer their commentary on the draft strategic plan. The strategic planning process enabled the College to identify its major challenges and opportunities and to develop strategies to better serve its students and the community at large.
The 2018-2021 strategic plan focuses on four broad “pillars” that will direct the College’s resources for the next three years:
Pillar #1: Increase student success rates
Increasing student success rates benefits the College, as well as current and future students, when RVCC ensures that our students finish what they started. Students and the public want to know that their investment in RVCC will lead to tangible results. Combining our longstanding commitment to open-access education with a fresh focus on student achievement will improve student success rates.
Pillar #2: Implement a strategic enrollment management plan
Community colleges nationally are experiencing declining enrollments due to demographic, social, and cultural shifts as well as an improving economy that provides alternatives to college attendance. Faced with the prospect of declining enrollment, RVCC will implement a data-informed, strategic, enrollment management plan based on the cornerstones of recruitment and retention.
Pillar #3: Increase strategic external partnerships
RVCC has developed many partnerships with local school districts, four-year institutions, businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other entities. The College acknowledges the value of these existing partnerships, as well as the imperative to pursue new partnerships that add strategic value for students and the College.
Pillar #4: Increase equity, sustainability, collaboration, and civic engagement
RVCC is committed to providing opportunities for students and employees to become active and engaged citizens. Valuing diversity also enriches the intellectual and cultural environment for students and employees. RVCC recognizes the importance of our continued leadership in promoting the public good and environmental stewardship. The College is nationally recognized for its leadership in Service Learning, environmental sustainability, and diversity.
Categories: Public 2-Year Schools