Center for Student Success

(Academic Counseling, Academic Advising, Transfer Services, Career Counseling)

The Center for Student Success, located in Pitkin Education Center, Room A-118; (201) 447-7211 has a staff of professional counselors who offer a wide variety of services for students.

Academic Counselors assist students in selecting programs of study that are appropriate for their personal and professional goals. Students and counselors work together to choose a program of study that is suitable to the student’s needs, based on factors such as academic status and history, professional goals, and educational backgrounds. Workshops and literature are provided to support students with their academic goals.

Transfer Counselors assist students by providing information about the transferability of courses taken at Bergen, articulation agreements with four-year colleges, and the transfer process. In addition, they lead Transfer Workshops, organize Transfer Fairs, and provide transfer resources for the students. Transfer counselors are available by appointment in the Counseling Center, Room A-118, on the main campus in Paramus.

Students are advised to attend a Transfer Information Session early in their academic career. These sessions are offered four times each semester and deal with the basics of choosing courses and how courses will transfer to other institutions.

Two Transfer Fairs are held each year. In the fall, representatives from over 50 colleges-both in-state and out-of-state-attend, and in the spring, representatives from local New York and New Jersey colleges attend. Throughout the year, representatives from many colleges are on-campus for individual visits and several colleges hold individual information sessions for students.

Transfer information and resources are available to students both online and at the Counseling Center. Available materials include the “Transfer Guide,” the “Transfer Connection” (a check-list of procedures for the actual application), “ARTIFACTS” (a list of all of Bergen’s agreements with other colleges and the benefits for students), and “Best Bets”-guidelines which help students select the proper classes for transferring to specific colleges and universities. Also available are guidelines for specific majors detailing course and GPA requirements for direct transfer to the same major at another institution. Applications and course catalogs for other colleges are available on their Websites.

Personal Counselors provide students with a safe and confidential atmosphere where they have an opportunity to talk about their individual concerns. The personal counselors will help students understand themselves, explore alternatives, reach a decision, or feel better about coping with problems. When appropriate, a student may be referred to outside agencies. Personal Counselors provide personal enrichment literature and they coordinate personal development workshops.

Career Counselors help students develop an understanding of themselves; they guide students in selecting an academic program, choosing a career path, and preparing for employment. The Center also offers interest assessment and vocational inventories. They are easy to use and provide students with a realistic view of educational and career options for their future success. Throughout the year, there are many workshops and special events, designed to help students to move forward by transferring to a four-year school or into a career.

Service Learning is academically-based community service. While studying theory and course content in their classes, students have the opportunity to contribute to the community by working in a community-based organization or nonprofit agency. There is also a co- curricular track through which students can participate in Service Learning through their membership in a club or student organization. Service Learning has three basic requirements- a minimum of 10 hours of service-relevant learning-and a reflection piece. Students work with social service organizations, government agencies, hospitals, mental health centers, schools and many other organizations and agencies. For further information, please call (201) 447-7171 or visit the Center, located in Room A-123 on the main campus in Paramus.

Cooperative Education is an academic program that provides students the opportunity to apply classroom learning to practical work experiences. Each year several hundred students and employers participate in this experiential learning program that provides students with meaningful and valuable learning, as well as an opportunity to obtain specific skills related to career goals. On campus, students continue their usual academic program and participate in a Co-op seminar in which they explore the relationship between academics and day-to-day work situations. Students receive academic credit for successful completion of the Co-op Work Experience.

To be eligible, a student must have fulfilled the prerequisite requirement(s) of the Co-op course. Interested students should meet with a counselor and obtain assistance in locating positions related to their educational and career goals. For information, please call (201) 447-7171, or visit the Center located in Room A-123.

Employment Services are available to students needing a part-time or summer job to pay expenses or a full-time position upon graduation. Students can use the current listing of employment opportunities on , attend a job fair, and/or participate in on-campus recruiting. Assistance with resume writing, interviewing skills, and job search strategies on an individual and/or group basis is provided for students.

College and Employment Recruitment is offered throughout the fall and spring semesters in front of the Cafeteria and in the Student Center. Transfer Fairs, Job Fairs, and Volunteer Fairs are some of the events that are sponsored by the Center (Room A-123).

Federal Work Study

Each year student aides work on-campus in a wide variety of positions such as tutors, computer support, media technicians, laboratory assistants, receptionists, and Student Ambassadors. The College Work Study program is located the Center for Student Success, Room A-118, on the main campus in Paramus, and assists both Federal Work-Study (FWS) students and student aides with departments needing student employees.

Federal Work-Study is a federally funded program. Students who are United States citizens or permanent resident aliens may apply and be awarded federal work-study that is based on financial need. FWS students may then earn up to the award specified by the Financial Aid Office in its award letter for the academic year. To be eligible, students must file a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Financial Aid Office will notify all eligible students of FWS award and will monitor their earnings. Students are referred to the College Work Study Program for employment, based upon student interests and skills, as well as position availability.

Federal Work-Study recipients who can provide their own transportation are invited to explore off-campus opportunities at community service agencies. These positions (up to fifteen hours weekly) can prove to be personally enriching while providing exposure to professional contacts that may be beneficial in furthering career goals. Off-campus job opportunities at community service agencies can be arranged by visiting the Center. For information, call (201) 447-7171, or visit the Center, located in Room A-118.

Alcohol and Drug Resources and Services

The Counseling and Health Services Offices are available to assist Bergen Community College students with education, information, and counseling services for alcohol and drugs. Counselors are available to provide students with confidential, nonjudgmental individual counseling, and to help students understand and identify factors that may point to substance abuse in themselves, their family, or friends. Counseling is offered as a first step in acknowledging the presence of a related problem. Counselors provide referrals to treatment programs, and support to students as they make the transition to outside agencies. The counselors maintain a list of agencies which provide assistance with drugs and alcohol concerns in the Bergen County area.