Founded in 1933, Union County College is the oldest of New Jersey’s community colleges. The main campus in Cranford is joined by satellites in Elizabeth, Plainfield and Scotch Plains. Union is a two-year institution with the mission of serving career-minded high school graduates and working adults. The college is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Union County College offers associate’s degrees in 64 fields. Nine distinct associate’s degrees are available within the area of Business and Computers. The Science and Technology area offers 16 potential degrees, ranging from Engineering to Mathematics and Nuclear Medicine. One of the most cutting-edge degree programs is Game Design Creation. Video games represent one of the largest sectors in the entertainment industry. Students pursuing their Associate of Applied Science Degree in Game Design Creation can choose one of four course sequences to customize their studies: animation, illustration, photography, or film and video.
Like many community colleges, Union maintains articulation agreements with several nearby universities. Those schools include Rutgers, Montclair State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey City University, Kean University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Students who want to take advantage of these dual-degree programs apply to the baccalaureate program of their choice and take classes at Union for the first two years. Provided that all associate’s degree requirements are met, students can transfer seamlessly to their university programs and complete the bachelor’s degree.
Union County College offers the following degree programs online: Business, Business Management, Computer Science, Information Systems Technology, and Liberal Studies. Individual online, hybrid and teleconference courses are available in nearly every department. The costs and expectations for online coursework are identical to traditional classroom instruction. Students should be aware of the technology requirements for all online courses, which generally include a modern desktop or laptop computer with ample memory and processor speed, speakers and a microphone, an office software suite and a high-speed Internet connection.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Union County College offers open enrollment, though certain programs are more selective than others. The school’s official website outlines a straightforward, five-step process for becoming a Union student. The first step is to complete an application. Both paper and online versions are available, and both require payment of a small processing fee. Union recommends that prospective students begin the application process at least several months prior to their intended first semester of coursework.
High School Admissions
Union requires an affidavit and official transcripts from high-school applicants. Depending on the program of choice and the student’s status, academic placement testing may be necessary.
Transfer students must complete the same application as first-time students and pay the necessary fees. Prospective students must send official transcripts of college-level work to the Office of Admissions. In order to apply previous credit earned to a Union County College degree, students must complete a Transfer Credit Evaluation Form. Union will accept for transfer no more than one-half of the credits necessary for a certificate or degree.
Students at Union County College represent 77 other nations. The admissions process for international applicants has several more criteria which students must consider. International students must demonstrate their ability to fund their education and take care of basic living expenses. The appropriate Visa or other immigration documents must be supplied to the Office of Admissions. International students are eligible for scholarships, but not state or federally-funded grants and loans.
Being a community college, Union does not offer campus housing. The majority of students are native to the surrounding area, with very few applying from outside the state of New Jersey. Roughly half of all students attend class full-time, and over half are women.
Students at Union have organized a theater group, an art society and an architecture club. A student newspaper is joined by college-sponsored television and radio stations. Campus security offers a free late-night transportation service. For anyone struggling with mental health issues, psychological counselors are ready to be of assistance.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Union County College competes in the National Junior College Athletic Association. Both men and women compete in golf and basketball. Women face off in softball and volleyball, while men’s teams play baseball and soccer. All of Union’s teams participate in the Garden State Athletic Conference.
In the fall 2009 season, the men’s soccer team defeated Richland College to hoist the NJCAA Division III National Championship.
Nearly 500 faculty members teach courses at Union County College. Many of them only teach part-time. About 1 in 5 members of the faculty hold the highest degree in their field.
- The College Board. Union County College. 2011. Web. 19 July 2011.
- Capuzzo, Jill P. “Cranford, N.J.” New York Times 29 October 2010. Web. 21 July 2011.
- Petersons Two-Year Colleges 2011. New Jersey: Peterson, 2010. Print.
- Union County College. Union County College. 2011. Web. 19 July 2011.
Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.