Raritan Valley Community College awards Associate of Arts degrees (A.A.), Associate of Science degrees (A.S.), Associate of Fine Arts degrees (A.F.A.), Associate of Applied Science degrees (A.A.S.), and certificates to students who have completed approved programs.
Satisfaction of associate degree requirements is measured by the pattern of courses taken and the number of credits earned, not by the amount of time it takes to complete them. The number of credits required varies somewhat according to the program, but always totals 60 or more. Although associate degree programs are designed to be completed in two years (four consecutive semesters, summers not included), the actual amount of time needed by particular students will vary depending upon their individual and family circumstances, as well as their academic preparation. For example, students in the nursing or engineering science programs frequently require more than four semesters to complete the degree. Academic preparation is determined by placement tests.
Transfer Programs (A.A., A.S., A.F.A.)
In general, transfer programs are designed for students who are planning a career that requires at least four years of college preparation. Upon completion of an associate degree program at RVCC, students are prepared for transfer into the junior year of baccalaureate study at a four-year college.
Career Programs (A.A.S.)
Career programs are designed primarily to prepare students for direct entry into a career field upon completion of their studies, although transfer to four-year schools is possible. The number of credits acceptable for transfer depends on the program taken at the College and the transfer institution.
RVCC also offers a joint career program leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree in partnership with Hunterdon Polytech. The A.A.S. degree program in Food and Beverage Management combines the facilities and faculties of the College and its partner institution. Students enrolled in a joint program attend classes at both the College and the designated educational facility following a prepared course pattern approved by the appropriate institutions.
The College offers a number of certificate programs that provide specialized training for occupational preparation. Most certificate offerings can be completed by full-time students in one year.
Students are permitted to pursue a double major provided that they have met with and received the approval of an academic advisor. The student will receive curriculum information for both programs and be advised of additional admission requirements.
Honors @ RVCC
The Honors College
The Honors College is intended for highly qualified high school graduates who are entering college for the first time. Students who are admitted will have the opportunity to transfer to selective four-year colleges and universities at the end of their second year at Raritan Valley Community College. Students will be able to transfer credits earned at RVCC and enter their four-year college with junior-year status. By attending the Honors College at RVCC for two years, students also will be able to substantially reduce the cost of their college education.
Honors College classes will be limited to no more than 25 students and will be taught by a select group of faculty. Admission is competitive and students are encouraged to apply as early as possible during their senior year in high school. For application material and procedures, visit the Honors @ RVCC page of the RVCC website.
The Honors Program offers qualified students the opportunity to take challenging classes that will be documented on their transcripts and will facilitate their admission to many four-year colleges.
Students may choose from a variety of Honors opportunities:
- Several Honors courses in different academic areas are offered each semester. Honors courses offer sophisticated uses of research, introduce stimulating readings from varied sources, promote diverse approaches to writing, and encourage independent study.
- Many regular courses offer the Honors Option, an Honors-level project within a non-Honors course.
- The Honors Programs calls for 15 to 18 credits of Honors and Honors Option courses and a public, scholarly presentation.
The Honors Program and its courses are open not only to RVCC students but also to recent high school graduates, high school seniors in advanced placement programs, and transfer students from other colleges. The general requirement for Honors courses and Honors Option projects is either a minimum grade point average of 3.5 or the permission of the instructor; some courses carry additional requirements. See the Honors Course Descriptions in this catalog. For further information about the Honors Program and about the specific courses offered each semester, see the Honors @ RVCC page of the RVCC website.
Cooperative Education is a college experience in which students work part-time, acquire academic credit along with on-the- job training, and might be paid for the work they do. Occasionally, students may volunteer their time where the experience is considered valuable and the sponsor is unable to pay the students.
For students in the College’s liberal arts program who may not have decided on their life goal, the cooperative education program allows a sampling of various professional and vocational environments.
For career students, cooperative education offers an opportunity to gain experience in their chosen field and to audition for a potential full-time employer.
Cooperative education is frequently used by students in the following academic programs: accounting, business management, criminal justice, computer information systems, early childhood education, events planning, fitness specialist, paralegal studies, liberal arts, real estate, retailing, science, and mathematics.
Service Learning at Raritan Valley Community College provides students with the unique opportunity of serving in the community and receiving academic credit for their efforts. Students enrolled in courses that offer service learning get involved in a community service activity that relates to their coursework. Students reflect on their experience either through journals, essays, reflective papers, group discussion or in-class presentations.
Students receive many benefits from their participation in Service Learning. It enriches academic learning; develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills; improves communication, writing and life skills; enhances career development; contributes to a sense of civic responsibility; and fosters an appreciation of people with diverse backgrounds and life situations.
The Service Learning Program provides established community placements with numerous organizations in Somerset and Hunterdon counties where students can serve. Some of them include K-12 public schools, after-school programs, day care centers, hospitals, adult day care centers, churches, libraries, homeless shelters, animal shelters, soup kitchens, nursing homes, assisted care living facilities, probation and police departments, court houses and youth correctional facilities. Students get involved in various service learning activities, such as tutoring, mentoring, recreation, companionship, health education, safety programs, protecting legal rights and business-related projects.
For additional information about the Service Learning Program, visit www.raritanval.edu/servicelearning, or contact the program director, (908) 526-1200, extension 8284.
Raritan Valley Community College offers a college-wide internship program. Participants are able to:
- Explore career choices and gain work experience in their current field of interest
- Apply their classroom learning to real work situations and challenges
- Become a more marketable candidate when they enter the workforce on a full-time basis
- Develop valuable job search abilities and skills in such areas as communication, problem-solving, organizing, prioritizing, etc.
- Build valuable business contacts
Students are encouraged to begin internships when they have completed at least 15 credit hours at RVCC and have some idea about what career they’re interested in pursuing. Internships vary from short-term projects designed to meet a company’s needs to positions that last a full semester. The length of an internship is limited by a company’s needs and budget, as well as a student’s interest and schedule.
For more information, vist the Career Services website at http://www.raritanval.edu/studentserv/career_serv/index.html or contact the internship coordinator, (908) 526-1200, extension 8437.