Leaders at a pair of two-year colleges in New Jersey aim to merge by July 1 of next year into an institution with one Board of Trustees, one president and two campuses.
Cumberland County College and Rowan College at Gloucester County signed an agreement advancing the merger process, The Press of Atlantic City reported. The merger idea came up this spring and gained support from local government officials as Cumberland County College grappled with a $2 million budget deficit.
Cumberland has put layoffs in place in the midst of enrollment losses. Rowan College at Gloucester County, on the other hand, increased enrollment by 3.4 percent since a 2014 agreement with Rowan University. The partnership between the university and the two-year college, which gives students the ability to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, would be continued at the newly merged college.
Officials from the colleges outlined plans Wednesday for the merger, which would create a 10,000-student institution known as Rowan College of South Jersey. That same day, local government boards approved resolutions enabling trustees at the two colleges to pursue the combination, according to NJ.com.
Plans call for the colleges’ foundations to be autonomous and for two athletic departments to continue to operate. But other departments like finance and human resources would be combined.
The two colleges plan to submit a merger application to their accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, by Nov. 6.