By Connie Egan
CCC Journalism Program
Thousands of students can pass through the math, science and health career programs each year at Camden County College, preparing to transfer or getting their degrees. To improve the education they receive, Camden County College decided in July to create two new academic divisions by splitting health into one division and math and science into another.
It was the right choice, said Vice President of Academic Affairs and past dean of the huge division Margaret Hamilton.
“I was the dean of that division originally, the dean of math, science and health careers for over 13 years. It was a very large division, I love this division. It is a wonderful career-orientated entrance. That is partly getting to why we made the split. Our mission of Camden County College is both transfer and career,” said Hamilton.
The division split has allowed more specialization for the students, whether they are receiving a degree or preparing to transfer to a four-year institution. “We are very excited we can give them both the attention they deserve and need. Now our students can get more specialized advising. So number one is a more concentrated administrative oversight so the students are going to get more attention because we have smaller divisions that can work more closely with students,” Hamilton said.
The growth of the division not only called for a split, but two new deans to go with it who are experts in their fields. Susan Choi is now the head of math and science and Annie McGinley is now head of health careers.
With projected growth within the next five years with another surge in job openings, Camden County College took advantage of the previous dean’s moving back to the faculty.
The college also signed an agreement for nursing education with Rutgers only a couple weeks ago.
“We just signed on with an agreement with Rutgers-New Brunswick. Nursing is exploding in a good way right now so we will have a university center on campus with a baccalaureate nursing degree that will be the first two years here and Rutgers will be the second two years,” Hamilton said.
With the push in the science fields with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), a new science building, now rising on the Blackwood campus, was a must. “That new division is all about transfer, all about rigorous program development, and all about research laboratory,” Hamilton said.
The changes are not done, Hamilton said, as “a member of the staff visited China because we are negotiating working with having an international program with Chinese students who want to learn about medicine.”