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 of full-time enrollment, 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 an academic advisor. The student will receive curriculum information for both programs and will 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. Honors College graduates will be able to transfer credits earned at RVCC and enter most four-year colleges with junior-year status.
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 materials 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 enhance their admission to many four-year colleges.
Students may choose from a variety of Honors opportunities:
- Honors courses: Several Honors courses in different academic disciplines 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.
- Honors Options: Many regular courses offer the Honors Option, an Honors-level project within a non-Honors course.
- Honors Achievement Award: This award calls for 15 to 18 credits of Honors and Honors Option courses in addition to a public, scholarly presentation.
The Honors Program and its courses are open not only to current 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 Work Experience
The RVCC Cooperative Work Experience program offers students the opportunity to step into real-life career situations and to test out various career possibilities. Students also may earn Cooperative Work Experience credit for volunteer experiences.
Cooperative Work Experience education offers students an on-the-job training program directly related to their academic major and career interests. Its purposes are to help students choose a career, find the right job, and achieve success on the job. It provides a supervised off-campus work assignment through which students earn degree credit and, in most situations, a salary. All Cooperative Work Experience forms must be signed by the Associate Dean or Dean of Academic Affairs.
Students can earn from 1-3 credits per semester:
10 hours per week @ 15 weeks = 150 hours = 1 Credit
15 hours per week @ 15 weeks = 225 hours = 2 Credits
20 hours per week @ 15 weeks = 300 hours = 3 Credits
Internships & Cooperative Education
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
An internship is considered a highly important criterion when employers seek to hire a new employee. Students are encouraged to begin internships when they have completed at least 12 -15 credit hours at RVCC, are in good academic standing 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. Prior to beginning an internship or co-op, it is important to meet with the Coordinator of Internships and Cooperative Education to begin the preparation process.
Similar to an internship, a cooperative education experience, commonly known as a “co-op”, provides academic credit for a structured job experience which is supervised by a faculty coordinator.
Participating in either an internship or “co-op” will not only help you gain a greater degree of confidence about your choice of major and career, it will better prepare you when entering professional employment.
To make an appointment or for additional information, the Internship Coordinator can be reached by calling (908) 526-1200, extension 8213 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about Career Services, please refer to the Career Services website.
Service Learning at Raritan Valley Community College provides students with the exciting 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.