Bergen Community College students transferring into Ramapo’s music program will now have an easier transition, thanks to an agreement struck between the two colleges.
Through the deal, Bergen graduates with an associate of fine arts (A.F.A.) in music business or technology are able to transfer to Ramapo with more than 60 completed credits going toward a Bachelor of Arts in music industry or production. The agreement was signed in the Berrie Center last Wednesday.
“The articulation agreement between the music programs of Ramapo College and Bergen Community College developed over the past two years as an initiative between the music faculty at both institutions,” said Steven Perry, the dean of communication arts at Ramapo, in an email. “They recognized that many aspects of their programs, especially in the areas of music production and industry, were similar, and that many music students from BCC were already transferring to Ramapo to complete their bachelor’s degrees.”
The agreement is designed to ensure that students transferring from Bergen will not have classes at Ramapo that mirror those they have taken at BCC. To achieve this the faculty performed a curriculum mapping exercise, confirming that the courses at Ramapo will build upon BCC’s curriculum instead of repeating it, according to Perry.
Noel Gordon, the Student Government Association’s liaison for the communication arts program, is enthusiastic about the agreement and cites the effort the faculty made to map out Ramapo’s courses with consideration to Bergen’s curriculum as an incentive for BCC transfer students to choose Ramapo.
“I feel this is a great aid to BCC students. The fact that one’s coursework from the BCC music program is transferrable to Ramapo’s is an ideal incentive that allows for better academic mobility, should they choose to enroll at Ramapo College,” said Gordon.
Gordon further attests to the comprehensiveness of Ramapo’s current curriculum.
“Enrollment into the Ramapo music program has been on a steady increase over the last two years,” he said. “This goes to show the quality and appeal of this college’s education. For me personally, the courses here do not only teach me the history of my study, but also how to be forward thinking in today’s ever-changing market and industry. The curriculum keeps students both with and ahead of the times.”
This is not the first deal Bergen has made to streamline the transfer process for their students. Bergen has 45 other articulation agreements with other four-year institutions, including New York University. These articulation agreements, along with the New Jersey Statewide Transfer Initiative, which makes possible the transfer of credits from two-year to four-year universities, have made it easier for community college graduates to extend their associate degrees into bachelor's degrees at four-year institutions. Currently, Bergen and Ramapo are in talks to create a similar agreement with regard to the theater program, according to Perry.
“The agreement was made specifically for music students because it was initiated by music faculty in order to align their programs for the benefit of students. Talks have begun between the theater faculty and administration at both institutions to develop a similar articulation agreement for theater students,” said Perry.
This collaboration could lead to more joint efforts in the future between the two Bergen County colleges. Perry hopes that this agreement will help foster a healthy and productive relationship between Ramapo and BCC.
“The agreement will help Bergen students have a smooth transition to Ramapo, and may have a positive effect on the number of students who decide to transfer here,” stated Perry. “The agreement will also promote a continued dialog among the faculty members of the two programs, possibly leading to other collaborative initiatives, such as jointly sponsored performance events, master classes or study abroad programs.”