More than 500 area high school students, adult learners and family members flocked the Lincroft campus this month for Brookdale’s annual Spring Open House events, which offered a unique opportunity for visitors to explore the college’s facilities, programs, academic offerings and meet one-on-one with representatives from every division and department.
During Brookdale’s college-wide Spring Open House on April 24, hundreds of community members packed into the Collins Arena to meet with faculty, staff, administrators and representatives from Brookdale’s partner institutions, including Rutgers, New Jersey City and Georgian Court University.
The day began with a welcome addresses by communications professor and open house co-organizer Chad Anderson, Financial Aid director Stephanie Fitzsimmons and Transfer Resources director Ann Tickner Jankowski, who outlined the various grants, scholarships, transfer agreements, academic programs and other services available to Brookdale students.
Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy encouraged the attendees to take advantage of the unique opportunities afforded through the open house, and to consider starting their academic journey at one of the “finest community colleges in the United States.”
“I would put our faculty up against any faculty in the country,” said Murphy. “Our graduation rate is always in the top ten percent nationally, and this year one our students was named to the All-USA Academic team, meaning she is one of the top 20 community college students in America.
“If you are looking for credentials to get right to work, we have those programs. If you are looking to transfer to a four-year college or university, we have those programs,” Murphy added. “We are here for you. So I welcome you, and I thank you for considering Brookdale.”
Visitors were able to talk about their passions and career goals with Brookdale faculty and staff, who manned individual booths representing every department and division at the college. Open house attendees were also able to take guided tours of the Lincroft campus, engage in fun activities hosted by Brookdale’s Student Life Board, and even snack on steamed dumplings, pasta and pastries prepared by the Culinary Education Center.
For Ryan Flynn, a senior at Middletown South High School, the Open House offered a unique look into the college and into his future career path as an engineer.
“It was surprising to learn how many options there are for an engineering major,” said Flynn. “I definitely learned a lot.”
On April 26, Brookdale hosted the second biannual Adult Open House in the Student Life Center, offering visitors the opportunity to talk with college employees and learn about career training programs, supports services and financial aid opportunities tailored specifically for adult learners returning to the classroom.
“Adult learners have different needs and different stories than your traditional, high school graduate,” said Brookdale admissions representative Carl Wiltsee, addressing the audience prior to the open house. “Whether you have a full-time job, a family, whether you have some college experience or you are wondering how to pay for tuition, we are here to answer any questions you might have. We are here specifically for you.”
The open house also featured addresses by David Stout, vice president for student success; Franklyn Rother, dean of the academic and career transitions; Stephanie Fitzsimmons, director of financial aid; Allison Fitzpatrick, director of the Wall Higher Education Center; Sarah McElroy, director of career services and leadership development; and current Brookdale student Gina Diener, who reflected on her own journey as an adult student returning to the classroom.
“I was definitely uncertain at first. But it has been a wonderful experience,” said Diener, who has since earned an academic scholarship, studied abroad in Italy, completed a work-study program in Brookdale’s Alumni Affairs office and is now considering transferring to Rutgers University to pursue a degree in business.
“This is the most nurturing place you could possible go. I hope you choose to follow through on your goals like I did, I hope you choose to get your start here at Brookdale.”
Also in attendance were representatives from Brookdale’s Center for Career Development, the International Education Center, the Testing Center, counseling and advising, and partner universities such as Rutgers, Georgian Court and New Jersey City University. Attendees were also able to take a Prior Learning Assessment through Thomas Edison State University, which determines if a student’s educational and professional experience can be used as credit toward an academic degree or professional certificate.
McElroy and career services representative Anne LaPorta also offered free resume workshops to all in attendance.
Check out more photos of the Spring 2016 Open House here.
Check out more photos of the Spring 2016 Adult Open House here.