Spells Success for Two MCCC Grads
N.J. - Two recent graduates of Mercer County Community College
have proven without a doubt that work experience counts. William
Dargan ('10) and Donte Boyer ('10), both of whom earned their
associate in applied science degrees in Technical Studies,
have taken full advantage of NJ PLACE (New Jersey Pathways
Leading Apprentices to a College Education), a program that
creates flexible opportunities for skilled trade workers to
earn their college degrees.
Working with the state's 19 community colleges, NJ PLACE was
established in 2004 to enable skilled trade workers to utilize
their apprentice education for college credits - from 3 to
as many as 25 towards their associate degrees. That was a
huge boost for Boyer and Dargan, who were both awarded the
full 25 credits. The two are among 84 students statewide participating
in this innovative initiative.
Boyer, a journeyman carpenter with Princeton Carpenters Local
781, will continue his education this fall at Rutgers University's
School of Management and Labor Relations. Dargan, a steam
fitter for Local 475, completed his coursework in December
and is currently pursuing his bachelor's degree in Organizational
Management in an accelerated program at Somerset Christian
College. He expects to graduate later this month.
Boyer ('10) earned credits towards his
degree through NJ PLACE program.
and journeyman carpenter, Boyer decided to return to the classroom
in his 30s. "I felt I needed a college degree in order to advance
in the construction industry and in the union," said Boyer.
"With NJ PLACE, skilled trade workers see that a college degree
is within their reach."
of North Brunswick, studied at other institutions and also served
in the military before returning to college at Mercer. He credits
his coursework with providing him valuable insights into group dynamics,
a perspective that has enriched him professionally and personally.
He is contemplating various management career options. "Everything
comes together for a reason," Dargan said. "I am thankful
to have been able to benefit from NJ PLACE and the doors that have
opened for me and others."
to Dee Smith-Johns, MCCC's NJ PLACE coordinator, both men have made
the most of this opportunity. "Donte and Bill have a strong
will to succeed no matter what they undertake," she said. "Each
truly symbolizes the spirit and intent of NJ PLACE. The concept
of college credit for apprenticeship experience is brand new territory.
Lifelong learning and professional advancement is what it is all
PLACE has established agreements with the New Jersey Regional Council
of Carpenters; the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators
and Allied Workers; the International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers; the International Association of Bridge Structural Ornamental
and Reinforcing Iron Workers; and the New Jersey Department of Corrections.
The program will continue to expand its agreements in order to reach
as many potential students as possible.
year, the initiative was further enhanced with the passing of a
state amendment that allows NJ PLACE students who complete their
associate degree to transfer their credits to New Jersey's four-year
public colleges and universities.
more about NJ PLACE here.
more information about MCCC's Technical Studies degree program,
or contact Dee Smith-Johns at
(609) 570-3449 or via email at email@example.com.
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