Support African-American Student Success at the Close the Gap Virtual Cocktail Party

CRANFORD – Five years ago, the Union County College Foundation launched the Close the Gap campaign to accelerate the pace of African American student success. Thanks to this initiative, the graduation rate for male African-American students has more the quadrupled at Union County College. To support this campaign, the Union County College will be hosting their Annual Close the Gap Cocktail Party virtually, honoring Sandra Rice, Senior Vice President at the Center for Talent Innovations on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 6 PM. This year’s event will be one to remember. Not only will the Foundation recognize Mrs. Rice for her unwavering support the Foundation’s mission, the event will also feature celebrity bartender, Al B. Sure! and Julliard trained jazz pianist, Isaiah Thompson.

Sandra Rice is one of three community members who approached the Union County College Foundation in 2014 about the educational outcomes concerning the College’s African-American students. From these early discussions, the Close the Gap campaign was born. “Since 2015, this campaign has had one of the greatest impacts on student success in the state. With exponential growth in the graduation rates as well as the increase in retention for African-American students, the Close the Gap campaign is truly accelerating the pace of student success,” said Doug Rouse, Foundation Executive Director. “Without Sandra’s leadership and support, our ability to move the needle on educational outcomes would be diminished.”

If you are interested supporting this year’s Close the Gap Virtual Cocktail Party, please visit www.ucc.edu/CTG2020, or would like to learn more about how you can be the difference in a student’s life, please contact the Union County College Foundation at (908) 709-7505 or email foundation@ucc.edu

Registration Now Open for 2020 Summer Youth Courses

CRANFORD – This summer the Office of Continuing Education at Union County College will be delivering programs through remote instruction for youth ages 11-17. The courses will begin on Monday, June 22 and will run through August 28, 2020.

Enrichment classes will be offered Monday through Thursdays for students ages 11-17. Topics include Algebra Review, Middle School Math Review, The Writer Within, and SAT Preparation. All courses are taught by NJ-certified teachers and subject matter experts that specialize in delivering high-quality youth programs. Dates, times and pricing for all classes can be found at www.ucc.edu/ce-youth

The College is also partnering again with Black Rocket to offer remote classes such as App I.O.: Make your First Multiplayer App, Code Breakers, eSports Apprentice, JavaScript Developer Jam, Minecraft® Redstone Engineers, Python Programmers, Roblox® Makers, YouTube® Content Creators and much more. Our partnership with Super Science also continues this summer with online programs such as Chemical Wizardry, Junior Physicians, and STEAM Challenges and Mini Robotics. Classes are available for students ages 11-14.

The College for Teens career exploration program sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will not be held this summer. We look forward to returning in summer 2021 in a face-to-face format, with three career tracks and exciting guest speakers who will share their expertise and real world industry experience with participants.

For more information about summer youth programs and to view the classes online, please visit www.ucc.edu/ce-youth

One can also enroll by calling the Office of Continuing Education at (908) 709-7600 or (908) 709-709-7601 or emailing the youth program registration form and emailing it to coned@ucc.edu

Union County College Establishes COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund to Fill the Gaps

CRANFORD – In March 2020, as the impact of COVID-19 became imminent, Union County College, in partnership with the Union County College Foundation, established a COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, over half of the students at Union County College reported facing financial challenges, ranging from food insecurities to housing issues. However, today, this number continues to grow as the economic and personal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is felt across our community. Due to the socio-economic realities of the student body at Union County College, this crisis is already having a devastating economic impact on many students and their families as they face unprecedented hardship due to this national crisis.

The federal CARES Act provides funding to students who are dealing with financial issues that threaten to impede or interrupt their ability to continue their college education, but not all students and situations qualify.

To ensure that funds are available to assist as many students as possible, the COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund supports immediate student financial needs brought on by the COVID-19 crisis. This new fund will help our students in their time of need and ensure that they are able to continue their education without roadblocks due to this current pandemic. To date, this fund has raised more than $100,000 thanks to the generosity of corporate and individual donors.

“We stand at the beginning of a historic moment in time. Generations in the future will judge us not by our words, but by our actions, which is why our Board approved the development of this new Student Emergency Relief Fund. I truly believe we would not be true to our motto of Students are number one, if we did not meet this unprecedented challenge head on. Our hope is that with the help and support of our community, we can make sure that our students are able to focus on their studies and have access to the basic needs for survival,” said Doug Rouse, Union County College Foundation Executive Director.

Awards to students can vary depending on specific needs. All contributions to the Fund will be awarded directly to students. To donate to the COVID-19 Student Emergency Relief Fund and help a student today, go to www.ucc.edu/studentemergency. If you have any questions about the fund or the Union County College Foundation’s mission in our community, please call the Foundation at 908-709-7505.

Union County College Embraces AI Technology

CRANFORD – Union County College has added the artificial intelligence (AI) technology program Packback to the software tools available for faculty use to spark curiosity and creativity among students. The new technology will lead to improved student engagement and academic outcomes in their online courses. Packback is an inquiry-based discussion platform that will enable students in various academic disciplines to access more challenging online discussions.

The initiative is being launched at a time when community colleges across the nation, Union included, are working to grow and strengthen all online offerings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Union’s summer courses are all online and summer online course fees have been waived. New full-time students this fall will receive a laptop to ensure they have computer access.

“Online learning allows us to expand access during this uncertain period and the ability to engage students in meaningful conversations will improve the overall learning experience,” said Union President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin. “Packback’s unique platform combines sophisticated technology with a deep understanding of students’ needs. It helps to create opportunities for thoughtful, productive discussion that engages all students.”

A growing body of research suggests that improving college students’ behavioral, cognitive, and emotional engagement has a significant positive impact on academic performance. Packback uses AI and machine learning to provide inquiry-based online discussion to over 2,000 instructors and over 450,000 students, who have posted 12 million questions and responses to date. Recent pilot studies suggest that classes who use Packback are more likely to be engaged in discussion and are also more likely to report higher levels of satisfaction and improved overall course grades.

“Community colleges have always been powerful engines of social and economic mobility, and their role will only become more important in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Packback co-founder Kasey Gandham. “This work is about supporting community college faculty with the tools to make the online learning experience just as engaging — and impactful — as the classroom.”

Union County College Student Beianka Tomlinson Accepted to Princeton University

CRANFORD – Union County College student Beianka Tomlinson has been accepted to Princeton University as one of only 13 transfer students admitted for this fall. Beianka currently has a 4.0 GPA and will graduate from Union this month with her Associate Degree in Chemistry.

In addition to maintaining a perfect GPA, Beianka is an American Honors student, serves as president of the Student Government Association, and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society for two-year colleges. Beianka is also a tutor in the College’s Academic Learning Center which provides free peer-to-peer tutoring to students.

This year, Beianka was a semifinalist for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. In 2019, she was selected as a PTK Coca Cola Leaders of Promise Scholar.

At Princeton, Beianka plans to major in chemistry. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine as a cardiovascular surgeon. She is passionate about racial prejudices in healthcare and is interested in studying diseases that disproportionately impact people of color. Beianka moved to the United States only two years ago and is a first generation college student.

“I am thankful to God, my family, my friends, and so many at Union County College for helping me to achieve this goal. The College’s chemistry faculty is outstanding, but in particular, Professor Sherry Heidary mentored and advised me. My honors advisor Jen Ross, SGA advisors Dr. Norelli and Jose Paez, and Black Student Union advisor Dr. Wrice all supported me and helped me balance academics, activities, and applications. I cannot thank each of them enough,” stated Beianka.

Union County College Freezes Tuition for 2020-2021 Academic Year

CRANFORD – At their February 2020 meeting, the Union County College Board of Trustees approved the College’s 2020-2021 budget which included no increase to student tuition. Students who attend Union County College this fall will pay the same rate as last year. Students who register full-time for the fall will receive a brand new laptop which will be included in the tuition and fees this year.

At their February 2020 meeting, the Union County College Board of Trustees approved the College’s 2020-2021 budget which included no increase to student tuition. Students who attend Union County College this fall will pay the same rate as last year. Students who register full-time for the fall will receive a brand new laptop which will be included in the tuition and fees this year.

Registration for fall is currently open. Students are encouraged to register now to create their ideal schedule. Payment for fall classes is not due until August 6. The application to Union is free and can be found at www.ucc.edu. Fall classes start on Wednesday, September 2.

The College offers more than 60 programs of study including supply chain, cybersecurity, criminal justice, education, and more. For high achieving students, the American Honors program provides one on one academic and transfer advisement. For students interested in athletics, NJCAA sports teams include soccer, baseball, wrestling, lacrosse, and more. The College boasts an active Student Government Association, student clubs and organizations, and a chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two year colleges. Graduates of Union County College enjoy easy transfer to four-year colleges or universities.

Students need not wait until fall. This summer, Union is offering a wide array of online classes to accommodate both enrolled students and visiting students, those who attend college elsewhere but are interested in taking an affordable summer class and transferring the credits back to their home institution. Available courses include lab sciences, math, English, psychology, history, Spanish, and more.

“Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College’s budget included no tuition increase for our students. We provide a critical service to the residents of Union County: an affordable, accessible, and excellent education. We know cost is important, and our priority was making adjustments elsewhere so we did not have to increase tuition,” stated Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.

Kamilla Kocsis Awarded Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

Kamilla Kocsis

CRANFORD – Union County College student Kamilla Kocsis, of Rahway, has been named a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholar. This prestigious award includes up to $40,000 per year in financial support to attend a four-year college or university. Kamilla was selected as one of only 50 recipients out of almost 1,500 applicants.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is available to the nation’s top community college students who are selected based on exceptional academic achievement and ability, demonstrated financial need, service to others, and leadership. Since the inception of this scholarship in 2000, Kamilla is the third Union student to receive this highly selective award.

At Union, Kamilla is a member of the American Honors program with a 4.0 GPA. She served as president of the College’s Model United Nations Club, is the Cranford Senator for the Student Government Association, and serves as Co-Vice President of Scholarship for Phi Kappa Theta, the international honor society for two-year colleges. She credits her advisor Jennifer Ross, American Honors Academic Specialist, with supporting her through the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application process. Currently a liberal arts major, Kamilla plans to pursue a baccalaureate degree in international relations after she graduates from Union.

“We are incredibly proud of Kamilla. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is providing a transformative opportunity for her to further her education at the college or university of her choice without the heavy financial burden. Kamilla is a wonderful representation of a community college student: focused on her goals and driven to succeed,” stated Union President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.

For more information about Union County College, please visit www.ucc.edu or call 908-709-7000.

Union County College Moves All Summer 2020 Classes Online

CRANFORD – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Union County College has moved all Summer I and Summer II classes online.

Summer I session starts on Tuesday, May 26 while Summer II session starts on Tuesday, July 7. The last day to register for summer courses is the day before classes start, May 25 or July 6.

This summer, Union is offering a wide array of online classes to accommodate both enrolled students and visiting students, those who attend college elsewhere but are interested in taking an affordable summer class and transferring the credits back to their home institution. Available courses include lab sciences, math, English, psychology, history, government, Spanish, economics, and more.

“Given the current pandemic, moving our summer sessions fully online is the best option. We are closely monitoring the situation and following the guidance of Governor Murphy to stay home in order to help flatten the curve. Holding our summer classes online allows students to continue their studies while also staying safe,” stated Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.

The payment deadline for Summer I is May 7 and for Summer II is June 18. Students are encouraged to register now to secure a seat.

While College operations are remote, advisors and financial aid assistance are available. Student services questions should be directed to studentservices@ucc.edu or 908-709-7500. Enrolled students may also reach out directly to their advisor with questions.

For more information on summer sessions at Union and to search for classes and register for a summer course online at Union, please visit www.ucc.edu/summerregistration or call 908-709-7000.

Coronavirus Preparations at Union

COVID19 Information and Updates

Latest News

Previous News

Online Learning Resources

Additional Resources

Coronavirus Health Information

  • Symptoms
    The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
  • Prevention Methods
    There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Our entire college community is encouraged to practice preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    If you do not feel well, stay home except to get medical care. Call your doctor before going to their office, but be sure to get care if you feel worse or think it’s an emergency. Avoid public transportation.
  • Further Health Resources & Guidance
    This is a developing situation, and we encourage you to stay informed by visiting: If you have questions about the coronavirus, you may call the 24hr public hotline hosted by the New Jersey Department of Health: 1-800-222-1222 or 1-800-962-1253. People looking for emotional support can call 1-877-294-4357.





































































































































Eight Union County College Student-Athletes Named to All-GSAC and All-Region Teams

Top row: Destine Alarcon, Lindsay Wielgus, Sarah English, and Kiana Veloso-Lima. Bottom row: Dominique Denilson, Murielle Mason, Jacques Fuentes, and Victoria Fernandez.

CRANFORD – For their achievements on the field and the court during the fall 2019 semester, eight Union County College student-athletes were recognized by the National Junior College Athletic Association by being named to All-Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and/or All-Region teams. The eight students were members of the men’s soccer team, women’s soccer team, and the women’s volleyball team.

The College’s student-athletes are from towns throughout the County. Below is the list of the students who were acknowledged for their athletic performance.

Men’s soccer team:

  • First Team All-GSAC & First Team All-Region
    • Dominique Denilson of Elizabeth
  • Third Team All-GSAC & Third Team All-Region
    • Jacques Fuentes of Hillside

Women’s volleyball team:

  • Second Team All-GSAC & Second Team All-Region
    • Murielle Mason of Cranford

Women’s soccer team:

  • First Team All-GSAC & First Team All-Region
    • Lindsay Wielgus of Cranford
    • Sarah English of Clark
    • Destine Alarcon of Plainfield
  • First Team All-GSAC & Second Team All-Region
    • Victoria Fernandez of Rahway
  • Second Team All-Region
    • Kiana Veloso-Lima of Union

“We are so proud of the achievements of our high performing student-athletes. Their individual drive for success is the catalyst for reaching both their athletic and academic goals,” stated Dean of College Life Tammy Smith.

For more information about the Intercollegiate Athletic programs available at Union County College, pleases visit www.unionowls.com.