‘Well-rounded leaders’

Rowan College signs transfer agreements with two more universities

Albert J. Countryman Jr./The Sun
Signing a partnership to sponsor a nine-month program for developing future Gloucester County leaders are representatives of the Rowan College of South Jersey, the United Way of Gloucester County and the Board of Commissioners.

Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) continues to grow by leaps and bounds, partnering with United Way of Gloucester County and the county board of commissioners to sponsor a leadership program and signing transfer agreements with two more universities in the past three weeks.

On March 11, officials gathered at the Deptford campus to launch Lead Gloucester County (Lead GC), a nine-month program that aims to develop a pool of well-informed, skilled and resourceful individuals to serve as business and community leaders.

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Rowan officials met on March 18 with representatives of Delaware State University, an HCBU (Historically Black College and Universities), to sign a transfer partnership agreement that will offer scholarships for students thinking of continuing their education.

The same thing happened on March 19, only this time with St. Peter’s University. A similar agreement was signed in February with Lincoln University, also an HCBU.

“We are investing in the leaders of tomorrow. We are here to celebrate a good partnership for Gloucester County,” noted Jim Jefferson, deputy director of the board of commissioners and a member of the United Way of Gloucester County Board of Directors, during the launch of Lead GC.

“We are thrilled with this new initiative,” Commissioner Director Frank DiMarco said. “It will serve our community. Together we can make positive change.”

“This is a great county and we are proud to host the leadership program. It’s natural for us to be the support mechanism,” Rowan President Dr. Fred Keating offered. “The students will have a chance to learn about what qualities are needed to be a good leader.

“We are a college on the move, and we are here to serve.”

Lead GC will begin on Friday, Sept 6, and will meet on the first Friday of the month through May 2025. Applications to be part of the program will be available online from May 15 to July 31, and the first class of 24 future leaders will be selected and announced by mid-August, according to Claire Riggs, a longtime member of the United Way Board of Directors.

“Claire pulled together some of the greatest minds around the community,” emphasized board Executive Director Michael Gower. “She got the right people in the room. She had the wonderful vision of making this happen.”

“Leaders need to be well-rounded,” offered Riggs, who has been with United Way for 25 years. “We focus on providing the best job training for our future leaders.”

Riggs pointed out that the program is not unique and has been started in other counties, including Cumberland and Somerset. The Leadership New Jersey program for the entire state began 20 years ago.

Also participating in the signing ceremony were Commissioner Joann Gattinelli, liaison to the Department of Economic Development; Director Tom Bianco; and Dr. Joanne Connor of the United Way.

Lead GC is a collaborative of the United Way, Rowan and the County of Gloucester. For information or how to be a business sponsor, go to www.uwgcnj.org/LeadGC.

The transfer partnership agreement signing between St. Peter’s University in Jersey City and Rowan was held at the college’s Cumberland campus in Vineland, and it expands opportunities for Rowan graduates to attend the Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI).

The mission of the Rowan Academy of Student Enrichment (ASE) is to bridge the achievement and academic gap with the implementation of student engagement through high-impact practices. Intentional relationships with HSIs are one piece to fulfill the mission.

The agreement with Delaware State University was signed at Rowan’s Deptford campus and expands opportunities to the prestigious HBCU. Located in Dover, the university has a proud history as one of the nation’s first land-grant institutions. It has a 356-acre main campus brimming with history, a diverse student body and a talented faculty.

Through this new partnership agreement, Rowan graduates are provided with a streamlined path to transfer to Delaware State to pursue one of 47 undergraduate programs, along with scholarship opportunities, according to college officials.

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