"This gives our students a tremendous opportunity, as the only institution of higher education in our county," said David Spang, the acting president of Burlington County College, adding that it "gives us a good partner in a very strong program for our students to move into."
Community college students with a minimum grade point average of 2.50 will be eligible for the program, taught at the community college by Rutgers-Camden professors. The degree requires 60 credits from Rutgers beyond the associate's degree. The bachelor's degree is designed to be completed in three years, but some students finish more quickly.
Rutgers-Camden recommends students at community colleges who are interested in the undergraduate business administration degree take economics, math, and business courses such as financial accounting, statistics, economics, and business law.
Administrators from both schools formalized the new program at BCC's trustees meeting Tuesday evening, signing a memorandum of understanding in what Spang called "a momentous event."
More than 1,000 students at BCC are pursuing business-related majors, Spang said.
"We've been partners for a long time, but I really do think signing this memorandum will accelerate dramatically our relationship," said Wendell Pritchett, chancellor of Rutgers-Camden. "We've welcomed lots of Burlington County College students over the years, but we really want to work with you and welcome a lot more."
The move also extends the reach of Rutgers University's southernmost campus.
The business school at Rutgers-Camden runs another program at the Mount Laurel campus, a 21-month professional master of business administration program in which classes meet on Saturdays. That professional degree program also is offered at Mercer County College.
"This arrangement is the start of several . . . we can create together to offer a four-year degree to students in this county," Pritchett said.
Community colleges in the region have formalized several partnerships with four-year colleges in recent years. Some offer guaranteed transfer admission for students; others, like the new one at BCC, have classes from the four-year colleges taught entirely on the community college campus.
BCC has had a high-profile partnership with Drexel University, and Rowan University recently signed a deal with Gloucester County College, which is renaming itself Rowan College at Gloucester County.