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Union County College

Union County College (UCC) is an accredited, co-educational, two-year, public, community college located in Union County, New Jersey. As the first and oldest of New Jersey's 19 community colleges,[2] Union County College has been serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College has four campuses situated in Cranford, Elizabeth, Plainfield and Scotch Plains.


1033 Springfield Ave


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Additional Information

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Black And White
Garden State

College History


Union County Junior College opened on October 16, 1933 in Roselle, New Jersey, with 243 evening students. With massive numbers of people out of work, there was strong pressure to educate people as a way to provide jobs; one account suggests that the official who "established Union County Junior College" was the Union county schools superintendent, Arthur L. Johnson, who was seeking ways for people to find employment and better themselves. According to one source, it was the oldest community college in New Jersey. Still, the college was "pitifully underfinanced" and rented space from a local high school. Its initial budget was $17,000 for the entire school. Its purpose at the time wasn't so much to teach undergraduates but to "provide jobs for unemployed teachers" during the Great Depression, according to historian Donald R. Raichle. An early administrator was Dean Hubert Banks Huntley. Raichle described the college's emerging mission was preparing "students in the first two years of college to make possible their later transfer to other colleges and universities. But funding problems became even more severe, and a lack of funds from the federal government in the middle 1930s forced a change back from public to independent status. Vocational training was emphasized; the curriculum catered to students who did not plan to further their education at four-year universities. The college was to have four distinct homes from its founding until 1983. Twin challenges presented themselves in the next few decades: first, after World War II, returning soldiers bolstered by the GI bill swamped colleges and became a severe strain on resources in the late 1940s. In the 1960s, the college faced competing pressures from the "rapid proliferation of public community colleges in New Jersey." Career education became more varied, more sophisticated, more costly, according to Raichle. By 1983, another major change happened. The college had grown to 6000 students. It merged with the Union County Technical Institute in Scotch Plains, and it once again became a public college with the official name of Union County College. The college's structure was established by state statute on August 17, 1982. Between its founding in 1933 and 2007, it taught 1,100,000 students, with large numbers of them advancing to four-year colleges and universities, and it has graduated more than 25,000 students as well. The merger was presided over by college alumnus Dr. Saul Orkin, who had been president since 1974; Dr. Orkin died the following year of a heart attack at age sixty. In 1992, there were 4,000 full and part-time students in Elizabeth, and 6,500 students in Cranford and Plainfield. One report in the New York Times in 1997 noted that graduates from New Jersey schools often had relatively high default rates��high relative to other states and to the national average��nevertheless graduates of Union County college had a lower default rate (9%) than the national average of 10%. In comparison, three New Jersey schools had average default rates greater than 25% and were in danger of losing funding as a result. In the latter years of the first decade of the twenty-first century, an economic downturn caused admissions to swell, as students unable to afford pricier colleges descended on cost-effective alternatives such as community colleges; enrollment at Union County College was up 17% in 2010. And many students and families found that community colleges such as Union County college were attractive educational values.

College Specialty


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