BCC News Detail

Proposed FY15 Budget Highlights Academics, Workforce Development & Technology

Released: 3/12/2014 4:59:45 PM

Burlington County College’s (BCC) Fiscal Year 2015 budget approved Tuesday by the college’s Board of Trustees will improve student outcomes, increase job opportunities for students and bring 21st century technology and facilities while preserving the college’s commitment to high quality and affordable education.

“High quality and affordable education is not just a goal for Burlington County College, it’s our mandate,” said George Nyikita, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Burlington County College has some of the strongest academic programs in the nation and this budget will expand on them while keeping the college’s cost structure one of the lowest in New Jersey.”

The proposed $43.9 million budget represents an inflationary 1.6 percent increase, with priority given to instructional support. The budget will be supported by a 3.1 percent increase in the tuition and fees rate, which is currently the lowest in New Jersey.

“Despite a very challenging fiscal climate, Burlington County College will remain the best higher education value in the state of New Jersey,” BCC President Dave Hespe said. “These dollars represent an investment in the students and communities we serve, as well as our commitment toward expanding academic and career resources.”

Some highlights of the budget:

Academics

  • Continues commitment to add two full-time faculty members every year.
  • New full-time advising position to help students navigate their way through the college to a four-year program or career.
  • Increased capacity of the college’s distance learning programs, which is already one of the most popular and robust in the state.
  • New initiatives to reform developmental education and better prepare “college-willing, but not yet college-ready” high school students.

Workforce and Career Development

  • Increased resources to support the county’s Workforce Development Initiative to better align programs with high-demand careers.
  • Several new programs including Cancer Register Management, State Energy Sector Partnership and an expanded nursing program, reflect the needs of the private sector.
  • Growing a workforce training program that trained more than 2,000 workers and job seekers last year.

21st Century Technology and Facilities

  • Next Generation Educational Technology: ($1.4 million state grant) will put more technology in the classroom to improve student outcomes.
  • Next Generational Network: ($1 million state grant including a $500,000 match from the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders) will increase bandwidth and network speed to give students the 21st century experience they need to excel.
  • Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology: ($2.4 million state grant) will create 21st century classrooms, lecture halls and labs with the latest technology for programs geared toward high-demand science and technology jobs.
  • Chapter 12 projects: A proposed $7.85 million worth of projects that will improve safety on campus, replace antiquated heating and cooling equipment, and provide an emergency generator.
  • Minor Capital Equipment: A proposed $1 million worth of projects for new classroom furniture, public safety cameras and print shop equipment.

Funding from the State of New Jersey is projected to remain flat at $7 million, while the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders has proposed doubling the county’s operating contribution to $1 million. The college’s auxiliary income – from sources such as the business incubators, workforce training programs and the Enterprise Center – is projected to nearly double to $700,000.

“The commitments from the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders will go a long way toward minimizing the impact on our students, and keeping higher education within reach for Burlington County families,” Hespe said. “We have also implemented best-business practices throughout the college that are beginning to pay off for our students.”

Final approval for county support is required from the Burlington County Board of School Estimates.