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Georgian Court University Partners with Cumberland County College to Offer Bachelor of Social Work Degree Program

GCU president shaking a student's hand

Cumberland County College President Yves Salomon-Fernandez, Ph.D., with Georgian Court University President Joseph R. Marbach

Affordability and accessibility are critically important to today’s college students, and schools like Georgian Court University and Cumberland County College are committed to providing more pathways to a degree, including helping them earn a Bachelor of Social Work, GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., said Wednesday. His comments came as he joined Yves Salomon-Fernandez, Ph.D., president of Cumberland County College, to launch a new dual admissions partnership.

“This approach encapsulates our approach to working with community colleges,” said Dr. Marbach. “Part of our shared mission includes serving students and providing access to higher education. Last fall, more than 50 percent of our newest students transferred from other colleges.

“We make accessibility one of our key priorities, and I’m pleased that we are able to extend that commitment to our neighbors in Cumberland County,” said Dr. Marbach.

There was standing room only as Dr. Salomon-Fernandez and Dr. Marbach signed new University Center Partnership and Dual Admissions agreements on February 15 at Cumberland County College’s Shirlee and Bernard Brown University Center.

People standing next to GCU president
Cheryl Resnick-Cortes, D.S.W., professor and chair of the GCU Department of Social Work; Megan Callahan Sherman, LCSW, GCU assistant professor of social work; GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D.; CCC President Yves Salomon-Fernandez, Ph.D., Lynn Lichtenberger, Ed.D., CCC dean of Business, Education, Social Science, Science, Technology, and Engineering; and Jan Hanselman, CCC assistant professor of sociology

Under the dual admissions agreement, Georgian Court University will admit Cumberland County College graduates who have an Associate in Social Services degree to the Fall 2017 Bachelor of Social Work program with junior status. This agreement enhances exceptional in-demand employment opportunities for Cumberland and GCU graduates in their own county.

“We are pleased to partner with Georgian Court University on the Bachelor of Social Work degree completion,” said Dr. Salomon-Fernandez. “This is a tremendous opportunity for students and professionals to obtain a GCU degree without ever leaving Cumberland County. It provides the excellence in undergraduate programs that Georgian Court University is known for with the convenience of staying local.”

“Over the past year, Georgian Court University has seen a significant increase in new students through university partnerships, and we are pleased to collaborate with CCC to have a location in southern New Jersey,” said GCU Dean of Admissions Justin G. Roy. “This is a good example of two institutions of higher education coming together to increase the success of our students.”

Full-time students will take rigorous classes ranging from Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare to Human Behavior and Social Environment that will prepare them to go out into the field.

Transfer Success

“Georgian Court University is a transfer-friendly institution. We look forward to expanding the possibilities for the community by being affordable and accessible to students in Cumberland County,” said Dr. Marbach.

He also underscored the growing importance of college partnerships and degree pathways for transfer students, as noted in new research from the National Student Clearinghouse.

“These options are increasingly indispensable for underserved and disadvantaged students, working adults, and students with family or employment responsibilities, enabling them to achieve their educational goals with affordable, flexible, and accessible offerings,” researchers wrote in its most recent Community Colleges Outcomes Report. In a 2015 report, the clearinghouse found that about 46 percent of students who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2013–2014 were once enrolled at a two-year college.

About the CCC University Center

The Shirlee and Bernard Brown University Center, located on the Cumberland County College campus, offers high quality bachelor’s and master’s degree-completion programs. The wide variety of degree offerings are the best and most affordable in the area and the only in-county graduate and postgraduate offerings. The special reduced tuition makes it even more affordable to attend classes with one of the university partners. On-campus university partner representatives make it unnecessary for students to leave Cumberland’s campus by providing admissions, advisement, financial aid, and completion services.

The University Center currently offers degree-completion programs from three university partners: Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, and Wilmington University. Seton Hall University offers postgraduate certificates for K–12 educators.

Since opening, the University Center has filled more than 9,000 bachelor’s and master’s-level seats, supporting UC partner students completing their degrees, and gaining higher level and leadership positions on campus and within the community.

Cumberland County College graduates and other community members who are prepared to enter Georgian Court University’s Bachelor of Social Work program should submit their applications (fee waived) to Georgian Court University and indicate the Cumberland County College campus. For complete program details, contact the GCU Office of Graduate and Continuing Education at 732-987-2770 or

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 16 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.