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SCCC Offers New Fully Online Degree Programs

June 9, 2016 in Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

Sussex County Community College (SCCC) has recently received formal approval from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to offer fully online degree programs. In an effort to better serve its students and community, SCCC recognizes that online learning is critical for many who do not have the time or means to travel and attend classes on campus.

“The ability to offer college degree programs 100% online will allow individuals in our county and beyond the opportunity to complete their educational goals while working full-time or taking care of a family,” said Cory Homer, SCCC’s Director of Institutional Assessment and Distance Learning, “and we look forward to announcing additional programs in the near future.”

Online learning is a very common alternative to brick-and-mortar/in-person classes that allows access to course content 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so the student can participate whenever it’s most convenient.  There is also a cost savings to online courses, saving not only time but in transportation costs. In addition, online learning allows students to both build their time management skills and increase their computer skills.

The first two degree programs that are being offered completely online through SCCC are an Associate in Arts Degree in Liberal Arts and an Associate in Science degree in Business Administration.

More information about the new online degree programs and courses at SCCC visit

Veterans to benefit from SCCC’s Rockin’ Fest

June 9, 2016 in Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

In what surely will be a night to remember, Sussex County Community College launches its summer family summer concert series, “Thursdays on the Green” on June 30th, with “Rockin’ Fest”,  a tribute and benefit for SCCC’s student veterans.

Rockin’ Fest, which begins at 5 p.m., includes three musical bands, vendors, and ends with a fireworks display!

For Nikki Briar, whose band Sweet Briar headlines the music portion of the night, playing in tribute to our veterans is personal. Her husband Staff. Sgt. Angelo Martinez, deployed overseas twice and remains active with the National Guard Army as a recruiter, is a constant reminder to her of the sacrifices our troops make every day.

“Being an Army wife, it hits home,” said Briar, whose known her husband for 10 years, the last seven in marriage. “That’s why performing at these type of events is so important to me. I really try and embrace it into my music. I tend to do a little extra for veterans and for veterans’ organizations.”

Three of Briar’s songs, in fact, available on iTunes, have proceeds earmarked for Heart Songs for Veterans.

Briar, who has opened up for a number of national acts including Blackberry Smoke, Tim McGraw, Billy Currington and Parmalee, someday soon hopes to take her band overseas as a part of a USO tour.

When Briar comes to Newton, she’ll be coming off a tour that’s taken the band through the Carolinas, Illinois, Nashville and other parts of the south.

“We are picking up steam,” said Briar.

“Rockin’ Fest” will also include music by Rick Barth, playing a wide mix of acoustic versions of classic pop and rock cover tunes and Infinite Parallels, whose music includes songs that dominated the 1990’s music charts, like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, STP, and the Smashing Pumpkins.

The night culminates with an awesome fireworks display at 9 p.m., sponsored by Visions Federal Credit Union and Garden State Fireworks. This is the only part of the summer series that requires a  parking donation: $10 per car, $5 with a veteran or SCCC student. Proceeds from the event help support SCCC veteran students in need of emergency funding.

The series continues in July, with concerts on July 7th, July 14th, July 21st, and July 28th, and concluding on August 4th. All performances are held on the Connor Green, or in the Pavilion at SCCC.  Vendors open at 6 p.m. and the concerts begin at 6:30 p.m., except for June 30th, which starts at 5 p.m.  Refreshments are available for purchase, with a portion of the proceeds supporting SCCC student scholarship funds. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the show.

On July 7th, the Doo Wop fest will be Desire, followed by headliner Jersey Sound. Jersey Sound, the tri-state’s premier oldies band, with its eclectic blend of classic Oldies, Rock N’ Roll, Motown, R&B, British Invasion and Pop styles, is a fun and lively throwback to a classic era. Desire, a vocal group based in Easton, Pennsylvania, also specializes in the sounds of the 50s and 60s.

Upcoming weeks feature a wide range of diverse music styles. Rockabilly is the theme on July 14th with Gas House Gorillas taking the stage for the evening with their modern spin on this classic eclectic genre. July 21st is 60s night. Ready Steady 60s Band will serve up the hits from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and July 28th is the Billy Joel Tribute, which will celebrate one of music’s most legendary singer-songwriters. Street Light Serenade headlines a night that will feature some of the “Piano Man’s” most beloved anthems. The final week is Grateful Dead week, with tribute band IDB hitting the stage on August 4th.

The Thursdays on the Green summer music series is sponsored by the First Energy Foundation and the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council.  Funding of the SCCC Thursdays on the Green has been made possible by the NJ State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Block Grant Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council.

For more information, please visit

Skylanders Capture More Talent

June 7, 2016 in Sports by Michael Rath

The Sussex County Community College men’s and women’s soccer programs have recruited two more talented players.  Thomas Parry (England) and Camille Constant (France) have both committed to SCCC to start their collegiate soccer careers.

Constant is a technically gifted goalkeeper, who has played for the academy team of Lyon FC.  Assistant coach Mike Rath was quick to praise the talented goalkeeper.  “Camille is a great addition to our squad and brings in a lot of experience from playing at a high level.  She is extremely talented and we are delighted that she has signed for Sussex.  She will be a player to watch without a doubt.”  Constant is planning on earning a Liberal Arts degree at Sussex, and is excited to study mathematics as well.



The men’s program has also signed a talented prospect.  Thomas Parry (Herefordshire, England) is a skillful forward who has an eye for goal.  Head coach Frank Vernacchio said of Parry, “Tom is a fantastic player.  Not only is he very talented, but he brings with him experience and leadership.  His style of play will fit perfectly with our system as he has great footwork and vision.  We are very excited that he is starting his college career at Sussex, and we feel that he will be a huge success here.”  Parry is planning on earning his degree in Business Administration or Sports Management.

Medical Assistant Program offered full- and part-time

June 6, 2016 in Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

Sussex County Community College is offering a Medical Assistant program that will give prospective students a new career path in the health care field.

This Program is offered both full-time for 10 months and part-time for 17 months. The course runs 910 hours and allows prospective students the opportunity to take courses that are convenient to their schedule. The next programs will begin this September and January with classes being held in the Health Science and Performing Arts Center on the SCCC campus.

Medical Assistants focus on the quality of patient care by assisting a physician with clinical skills. They ensure patient satisfaction by handling administrative tasks essential to secure proper reimbursement by Medicare and other insurances as well as other office tasks. Professional credentialing is important to demonstrate to the employer the Medical Assistant commands the knowledge to work in any physician’s office across the country. Jobs in this sector of healthcare are expected to increase 29% by 2022.

Upon successful completion of the requirements of the SCCC Medical Assistant program (accredited by CAAHEP), students are eligible to sit for the National Certification Examination offered by the American Association of Medical Assistants.

In order to secure a spot in the September or January start, students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be eligible for financial aid.

For more information about this program contact Kathryn Quinn, SCCC Program Coordinator, at 973-300-2279 or

Click here for more information about the program

SCCC and WCCC forge partnership to strengthen regional training and workforce development 

May 26, 2016 in Continuing Education, Health Sciences, Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

In an effort to strengthen economic and workforce development in the Northwest New Jersey region, Sussex County Community College (SCCC) and Warren County Community College (WCCC) yesterday signed a historic partnership agreement that will offer residents an opportunity to take advantage of myriad choices for certification programs and non-credit courses.

“This is an educational agreement/partnership to offer customized training to help strengthen workforce education opportunities in our region by providing non-credit courses and certification training for jobs in demand,” said Dr. Jon Connolly, President of SCCC. “Through this unique partnership we are combining the strengths of two institutions with similar goals.”

“This is a win-win for residents of both counties,” added Dr. Will Austin, President of WCCC. “The partnership streamlines our efforts so that residents can get the most out of their educational pursuits.”

“As colleges we are very similar and face many of the same challenges,” continued Dr. Austin. “As a shared service concept it makes perfect sense that we combine our efforts in what is a very competitive market.”

The first courses and programs expected to be offered are predominately in the health/science/allied health related field, such as Dialysis Technician, Physical Therapy Aide, Pharmacy Technician, Veterinary Assistant and Opthalmic Assistant.

“The new partnership between Sussex County Community College and Warren County Community College to provide customized training and noncredit career programs is a wonderful opportunity to build the workforce skills of the two counties,” noted Dr. Rosalie Lamonte, Interim Executive County Superintendent for both Warren and Sussex. “This will make it easier for students to get the training they need in the job market, and should ultimately strengthen economic development in the Northwest NJ region.  I encourage our Sussex and Warren residents to take advantage of this educational opportunity to advance their skills and employability.”

“The collaboration between SCCC and WCCC is a terrific example of two leaders in higher education working together to enhance the educational offerings to their students, while helping each institution to control costs through a shared service offering the best workforce training for our residents and businesses,” noted State Senator Steve Oroho, who represents Sussex and part of Warren County in the 24th District.

State Senator Mike Doherty, who represents part of Warren County in the 23rd District, added, “Education is the pathway to opportunity, and focusing courses and training to match jobs in demand is a smart move to maximize those opportunities for students. I commend the partnership between WCCC and SCCC, which will boost the economic prospects of participants and ensure that local businesses have access to a skilled workforce.”

It is expected that several courses and programs will begin this fall. Course information will be available on both the SCCC and WCCC websites, and

Photo of signing ceremony with, in front, Dr. Will Austin, WCCC President and Dr. Jon Connolly, SCCC President. Back row L-R, Craig Dana, WCCC Board of Trustee Member; Eve Azar, WCCC Vice President Corporate and Continuing Education; Ed Smith, WCCC Freeholder and former WCCC Trustee; The Honorable Steve Oroho, State Senator;  Dr. James Baker, SCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Judge Lorraine Parker, Chair, SCCC Board of Trustees.

SCCC Men’s & Women’s Soccer Teams Score Big With Local Recruits

May 24, 2016 in Men's Soccer, News, Sports, Women's Soccer by Kathy Peterson

The Sussex County Community College Men’s and Women’s soccer teams have scored big in landing some superb local talent for the fall.

Six outstanding male recruits will join the ranks of the men’s team in September, along with several for the women’s team. In addition, the women put another couple of goals into the net by signing two players from England.

The male recruits include:
Alejandro Patino – Newton HS, was NJ Herald Player of the Year as well as All Herald 1st team. He led the area in scoring with 20 goals.
Kevin Sosa – Newton HS, was 1st team All Herald with 12 goals this past season for his team.
Ben Armstrong – High Point HS, a strong center midfielder who helped the Wildcats clinch their league title and was named All Herald second team.
Kristian Rokosny – High Point HS, center-back who also helped the Wildcats clinch their league title.
Cody Bartsch – Vernon High School, center-back from who was named to the All Herald second team.
Jorge Cabellero – Vernon HS, where he played forward and attacking midfielder.

“As a coaching staff we are very excited by the group of local talent we have coming in from the area,” said Vernacchio. “The level that they play at and the success that they have each had at their high school teams, that is what we are looking for from them as they move on to their college careers.”

The women’s soccer team has plenty to brag about, as well. Two English players are heading here, Eden Brown from Northampton and  Paige Tomlin from Luton, both outstanding players. Tomlin is a powerful, imposing center-back while Brown has played with the Northampton FC academy for several years, and has been a dominant midfielder and defender for the club.

Local standouts Gabby Sarni, Brielle Hilbert, Brittany Todd and Stephanie Ahmad will join the English women on the soccer field this fall for the current NJCAA Division I Region XIX champions.

Hilbert (Wallkill Valley) and Sarni (Kittatinny) have been local standouts for their high school teams, with Hilbert excelling in both soccer and basketball.  Brittany Todd, from Wallkill Regional, is a fantastic midfielder. Stephanie Ahmad, who was a goalkeeper from Newton, is the other major recruit.

Vernacchio noted that “We worked really hard on bringing these players in to play for us.  Brielle, Gabby, and Eden will add a lot to our team and we pursued them to help us achieve our goal of reaching the National Tournament this season.  Each player brings something different to us and will help us reach that next level here.”

Assistant coach Mike Rath added, “Not only are these girls great players, but they also have great character.  We are really excited for this upcoming season, and these three players are going to bring another dimension to our program.

Betty June Silconas Poetry Festival coming to SCCC

May 24, 2016 in Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

The hugely popular Annual Betty June Silconas Poetry Festival will make its return to Sussex County Community College’s Performing Arts Center on Saturday June 11.

This much anticipated event goes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes guest poet readings, an all-day book fair featuring local poets, literary readings, workshops, and an opportunity for writers and poets, professionals and amateurs, to network about their works. Of course you don’t have to be a writer or poet to attend. This great event is open to the public!.

Workshops included are:
one: A Place for Revision with Nan Becker, author of After Rain. She will begin with reading aloud to start the discussion. Nan will dive in with the problem poems by asking questions such as; Has the poem changed its path? What is assumed? Is it surprising? and many other questions. Attendees should bring 15 copies of their own poem.

Visual Poetry Workshop: In the Spirit of Play with Katrinka Moore, author of NumaThief, and This Is Not a Story winner of the New Women’s Voices Prize. Participants will create new poems over old book pages by practicing two visual poetry techniques, erasure and augmentation.  Erasure is marking out existing words in a text and augmentation is adding words or graphics. By exploring with simple art materials, poets can step outside the anxiety of composing and expand the possibilities for their work. Each poet will come away with a completed visual poem and strategies for using the contents to write new text poems.

A Leap into the Void: Craft, Imagination, & Duende with Priscilla Orr: This workshop will look at ways of accessing that force, as participants examine poems written by others. Once a solid foundation is established, participants will turn to their own work. For this part of the workshop, three copies of a draft poem, that needs work, is recommended.

For those looking to share their own work, a free open mic session will be held from Noon-1 p.m., followed by readings from the featured poets, who will also be signing copies of their books.

The festival will close with the launch of the Betty June Silconas Poetry Center’s Stillwater Review, Vol. 6, plus readings.

All workshops will run from 10 a.m. to Noon and cost $10 per person. Advanced registration is recommended to reserve a spot. All classes are on a first-come, first-served basis.

The full schedule is as follows:

  • 9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Registration and Breakfast
  • 10 a.m.-Noon: Workshops (registration required, more information below)
  • Noon-1 p.m.: Lunch and Open Reading – everyone invited!
  • 1 p.m.-2 p.m.: Guest Poet Reading
  • 2 p.m.-4 p.m.: Launch Reading for The Stillwater Review, Volume 6

All-day Book Fair– Come meet our local poets

Payment can be mailed to Sussex County Community College, ATTN: Foundation, One College Hill Road, Newton, NJ 07860. Make check payable to SCCC Foundation and please include “Poetry Festival” in the memo line. For questions, please email David Crews at, For more information about SCCC and its community events, visit



Dolaghan Breaks School Record for Wins

May 19, 2016 in Men's Baseball, Sports by Michael Rath

Congratulations to Sussex County Community College pitcher Tom Dolaghan (Harrsion, NJ) who broke the school record for most wins in a season for baseball.  Dolaghan recorded 10 wins this season, eclipsing the previous record holders JD Brodrick and Delio Coutinho, who had earned 8 wins in 2004 and 2011, respectively.  The Skylanders finished the season with a 16-20 record.

Mason and Dunn Sign for Belhaven

May 19, 2016 in Men's Soccer, Sports by Michael Rath

Sam Dunn

Alex Mason









The Sussex County Community College men’s soccer team has moved on two more former players to a 4 year college soccer program.  Alex Mason (Mornington, Australia) and Sam Dunn (Frankston, Australia) have both committed to Belhaven University, located in Jackson, Mississippi.  Mason and Dunn have both started for the Skylanders for the past two seasons and were standout performers both on the field, and in the classroom.  The Belhaven Blazers are one of the top division I soccer programs in the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association), and this past season advanced to the NCCAA Division I Semi-finals.

NJCCC Honor State’s Top Community College Student Scholars

May 11, 2016 in Home Page, News by Kathy Peterson

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges honored New Jersey’s 37 best and brightest community college students and their families at its 22nd annual Phi Theta Kappa Day celebration on May 5, at a special ceremony in Trenton.

Samuel Dunn of Sussex County Community College was one of the state’s elite to be selected as part of the 2016 New Jersey All-State Academic Team. Dunn, an international student from Australia who currently resides in Newton, has been an integral part of the SCCC community, academically and in many other ways as well.

“Samuel’s efforts prove that with hard work, good things can happen,” said Jon Connolly, President of SCCC. “His perseverance will ensure he has success as he moves forward in his future endeavors.”

“I was honored to accompany Sam Dunn to this very special and prestigious event,” stated Dr. James A. Baker, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at SCCC. “Sam has worked hard, studied, and is an all-around great athlete. His drive and ambition are admiral. His plans for the future include both a Bachelor’s degree and graduate school. Indeed, his family in Australia is thrilled at this award. Sam is a wonderful ambassador for Sussex County Community College. We are most proud of his outstanding academic achievement!”

Dunn was recognized along with students from throughout New Jersey and the 18 other community colleges.

“Each year, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) honors New Jersey’s top community college students and their families for their outstanding academic achievements and exceptional service to their communities as members of Phi Theta Kappa at their local community colleges,” said NJCCC President Dr. Lawrence Nespoli. “The event, sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, the Coca-Cola Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), offers deserving community college students statewide recognition by policymakers and legislators.”

In addition, 21 of New Jersey’s four-year colleges and universities have offered over $1 million in scholarships to Phi Theta Kappa students transferring to their institutions.

Phi Theta Kappa has recognized and encouraged scholarship among community college students for 97 years while promoting the academic integrity of the associate degree program. Students with grade point averages of 3.5 or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government.