PCCC Alumna Progresses in The Ramapo @ PCCC Program
When Emma Brennan first learned about the Ramapo@PCCC program, she jumped at the opportunity to participate. “It was a no-brainer,” says the PCCC alumna (’20). “I’m saving a substantial amount of money and staying longer at a school where I am already comfortable.”
Emma is among the first group of PCCC graduates to pursue a more affordable bachelor’s degree through a unique partnership between PCCC and Ramapo College of New Jersey.
The 3+1 option of the Ramapo@PCCC program enabled Emma to remain for a third year at PCCC and pay the PCCC tuition rate while completing Ramapo’s junior-year baccalaureate curriculum. An associate’s degree is required for acceptance into Ramapo@PCCC.
“While at PCCC, I have had a great experience,” says Emma, a top student who maintains a 3.9 GPA. She graduated from PCCC last May with highest honors, an Associate in Arts degree in Criminal Justice, and the 2020 Graduate Award in Criminal Justice.
This year Emma receives the Associate in Science Degree in Continuing Studies, awarded to students in the Ramapo@PCCC program who have completed their third year of the baccalaureate degree program.
For Emma, staying at PCCC a third year offered not only financial benefits, but also the security of staying in a familiar environment during the pandemic.
A late bloomer in high school, Emma became motivated in her senior year when she finally defined her career goal: to follow in the footsteps of her father and other family members who worked in law enforcement.
“Law enforcement is a career that allows you to help people, serve your community, and, while it can be tough sometimes, is also extremely rewarding,” says Emma. She is interested in the investigative side of the field.
With a goal to inspire her, Emma improved her performance in senior year of high school, but felt it still might not be enough to prepare her academically for a four-year college. She chose to attend PCCC where she thought she had a better chance to succeed.
Paying for her own education, Emma liked PCCC’s affordability and appreciated the smaller class sizes and supportive faculty. “The professors genuinely want you to do the best you can and are always willing to take the time to help you.”
As a criminal justice major, Emma was impressed that the professors in her major are either current or retired law enforcement professionals.
“From them, I learned both academic lessons and life lessons, and I gained important insights about my chosen field,” says Emma. “Not a lot of colleges offer that, and I think it is extremely important.”
In September, Emma will be on the Ramapo campus to begin her final year of undergraduate studies. She expects to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Ramapo next spring.
As one of the first students in Ramapo@PCCC, Emma gives the program high marks. “Not only are the professors great, but my advisor, Natasha, is always there to answer any questions I have,” says Emma.
“To see how well the program is going now,” says Emma, “I can only imagine how successful it will be in the future.”
Written by Linda Telesco