Bergen’s main campus safeguarding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
PARAMUS, N.J. – As Bergen Community College continues to offer the majority of its spring 2021 classes remotely, an expanded slate of courses will begin Feb. 9, giving students a flexible, “late-start” option for enrolling this semester. Students interested in registering for spring classes can do so at Bergen.edu. The College’s Board of Trustees approved the expanded spring offerings as part of a revised reopening plan that details the institution’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic Feb. 2.
The approved plan for the spring semester builds on the College’s existing on-campus protocols currently in practice, which include requiring face masks, the installation of MERV-13 air filters, providing COVID-19 awareness training for students, faculty and staff and limiting on-campus access to those taking a class, teaching a class or performing official College business. To date, and through adherence to its safeguarding protocols and reopening plan, the College has not experienced any community spread or transmission from person-to-person on campus, allowing the institution to continue limited on-campus classes and business operations.
As the College has adapted to the changing dynamics of the pandemic during the fall semester, it has now adopted new protocols for the spring such as an additional step to its on-campus screening process, which features a self-assessment exposure questionnaire and thermal temperature scan. A new, third-step will see students, faculty and staff submit their Bergen-issued identification card at entry to verify identity and assist in contact tracing.
The College will continue to evaluate its response to the pandemic and make adjustments as necessary, directed by President Eric M. Friedman, Ph.D., and Reopening Coordinator Larry Hlavenka, Ed.D., and supported by a reopening taskforce, taskforce subcommittees, the executive team, leadership, collective bargaining unit heads and students. Specific areas College officials will monitor include spring break and its potential impact on driving positive COVID-19 cases.
Additionally, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack will remain closed for on-campus operations and only paramedic science classes will take place at the otherwise shuttered Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. All student service offices will continue to operate remotely.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has completed almost an entire year of classes mostly online, with on-campus operations transitioning to a virtual environment in March. The College has frozen tuition rates at last year’s levels and also offered students the opportunity to apply for CARES Act funds awarded through the institution and federal government.
For families and students unsure of their plans for higher education due to the pandemic, Bergen’s affordable tuition and renowned faculty complement general education classes such as English Composition, General Biology and Statistics that remain ideal for transfer to many four-year colleges. Bergen offers more than 130 degree and certificate programs in areas such as aviation, criminal justice, dental hygiene, fashion design and hospitality. Students considering enrolling at the College should first file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filing a FAFSA can help students become eligible for programs such as the state’s tuition-free Community College Opportunity Grant, which has now expanded to include households making up to $65,000 per year, and other tuition assistance programs. The College ranks No. 1 in New Jersey for associate degree graduates.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.
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