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Atlantic Cape Community College offers ‘reverse transfer’ option

MAYS LANDING - As a strategy to encourage student graduation, Atlantic Cape Community College offers a “reverse transfer” option in its Dual Degree Program with Stockton University. While most students in this program earn their associate degree, then seamlessly transfer to Stockton as juniors; some students transfer before earning their associate degree, and others do not earn enough credits to graduate from Stockton with a bachelor’s degree.

One such student was Sindy Troche, 35, of Egg Harbor Township, who recently said, “My goal was to get my associate degree and then my bachelor’s, but sometimes things don’t go the way you want.”

In Sindy’s case, she had earned 56 credits at Atlantic Cape and planned to take one more course in the summer of 2014 to earn her associate degree before transferring to Stockton for the fall 2014 semester. However, she was working full-time and could not devote the necessary time to coursework that summer, so she transferred without obtaining her degree.

She began taking classes at Stockton and had been there for about a year when Wendy Gray, an Atlantic Cape program officer, contacted her and asked if she would be interested in earning her associate degree through the reverse transfer program. With this option, Atlantic Cape students who transfer to Stockton with a minimum of 32 approved credits may earn an associate degree if they complete an additional 32 credits of approved courses at Stockton. Then, they essentially transfer back to Atlantic Cape where they can earn an associate degree.

Sindy was interested, so she completed the transcript review process, met the college’s graduation requirements and received her associate degree in human dervices in December 2015. Sindy then earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology this summer at Stockton and plans to become a school psychologist.

Even though she was on track to earning her bachelor’s, earning an associate degree had been an important goal, and Sindy appreciates that the reverse transfer program, “gave me the opportunity to get my associate degree when I didn’t think I would be able to get it, even though I had the credits.”

Nationwide, each year thousands of community college students, who have not earned an associate degree, transfer to a four-year college or university, and some do not complete their bachelor’s degrees for various reasons. Yet, they have earned enough credits for an associate degree. Reverse transfer programs recognize these credits and enable these students to earn an associate degree. And these degrees help graduates compete for jobs and earn higher wages than those without degrees.

Recognizing the importance of reverse transfer programs, Sens. Cory Booker, of New Jersey, and Robert P. Casey, Jr., of Pennsylvania, plan to introduce in the U.S. Senate the CREATE Graduates Act which would award competitive grants to states to create reverse transfer programs. These programs would encourage institutions to find and assist students who have transferred from a community college to a four-year school and who have earned enough credits to be awarded an associate degree but have not collected it. The ultimate goal is to help eligible students obtain an associate degree.

For information about Atlantic Cape’s reverse transfer program, students may email wgray@atlantic.edu. Atlantic Cape Community College offers 46 associate degree programs, certificates, professional and career training programs that students may pursue at the Mays Landing, Atlantic City or Cape May Court House campuses. The college also offers 13 online degree programs. For more details, visit atlantic.edu.

12th annual International Gift Fair set for Nov. 20

GALLOWAY - The South Jersey Fair Trade Alliance, in partnership with the Student Action Volunteers for the Environment, will be host the 12th annual International Gift Fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Campus Center Event Room at Stockton University. This event gives area residents and the Stockton community a chance to experience a different way to shop for holiday gifts (or for themselves). The fair features local and regional vendors selling a wide variety of Fair Trade products. The revenue from these products helps support living wages for low income artists, ensure environmental sustainability, and safe and healthy working conditions for producers and artisans.

One of SJFTA’s goals is to educate the community about Fair Trade, an alternative way of doing business that encourages long-term partnerships between consumers in developed countries and producers in developing regions, focusing on environmentally sustainable practices.

Live music and food will also be offered at the gift fair, which is free and open to the public.

For information, visit southjerseyfairtrade.wordpress.com or email southjerseyfairtrade@gmail.com.

Hammonton church hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

HAMMONTON - First United Methodist Church, 398 Bellevue Ave., will host a free Community Thanksgiving Dinner from 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 24. Everyone is welcome and transportation within Hammonton is available.

For reservations or information, call (609) 561-1537.

American Red Cross: Give the perfect gift — donate blood

The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give the perfect gift, a blood donation, to help ensure a sufficient blood supply throughout the holiday season.

A decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day when donors are busy with family gatherings and travel. However, patients don’t get a holiday break from needing lifesaving transfusions. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Donors are encouraged to start a new holiday tradition and bring family and friends together to donate blood or platelets. Donors of all blood types are needed to give this November to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients. As a thank you for donating around the Thanksgiving holiday, all those who come to donate Nov. 24 to 28 will be invited to download a set of recipes from celebrity chefs.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call (800) 733-2767. Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to save time when donating.

Buena Vista holding food drive for community pantry

BUENA VISTA - Buena Vista Township is conducting a food drive to benefit the Community Food Pantry at the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center, 661 Jackson Road, Newtonville, and the Abundant Living Church Food Bank, Route 54 at Jackson Road.

Collection containers will be available to accept donations of canned food and non-perishable food items at township post offices, the municipal building, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center through Dec. 16.

For information, call (856) 697-2100.

Atlantic City library holding 29th annual Kwanzaa celebration

ATLANTIC CITY - The Atlantic City Free Public Library will hold its 29th annual Kwanzaa celebration at 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at the library at 1 N. Tennessee Ave. Afro-One Dance, Drama and Drum Theatre will perform. The group combines song with traditional and contemporary dance, while also providing a history of Kwanzaa and its principles.

The program is free and suitable for all ages.

For information, call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3112.

Free senior workshop about retirement income

LINWOOD - The Stockton Center on Successful Aging will sponsor a free workshop for older adults on Social Security and maximizing retirement income.

The workshop, “Social Security — What You Need to Know to Maximize Your Retirement Income” will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Brandywine Senior Living at Brandall Estates, 432 Central Ave. Lunch will be served, compliments of Brandywine Senior Living.

Christopher J. Carrozza, a certified public accountant, chartered financial consultant and chartered adviser for senior living, will discuss:

When to begin your Social Security benefits to maximize your lifetime retirement income. Should you take early payments, begin payments at full retirement age or delay taking benefits?

How to capitalize on benefits you may be entitled to based on your spouse’s earnings. Should you take only your benefits, spousal benefits or a combination of the two?

Understand the potential impact continuing to work has on your ability to collect social security benefits.

Plus benefits for divorced spouses, enhancing survivor income, planning for the tax consequences of Social Security benefits, the benefits of filing and suspending benefits and building an income bridge to enable you to delay receipt of Social Security benefits.

To register, call (609) 626-3591.

For information, visit www.stockton.edu/scosa.

Stockton Center sponsoring ‘Staying Healthy’ workshop

MAYS LANDING - The Stockton Center on Successful Aging is sponsoring a free workshop for older adults, “Staying Healthy & Happy As You Age,” from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 at Woodview Estates Assisted Living, 5030 Unami Blvd. A complimentary luncheon begins at 1 p.m. and is donated by Woodview Estates.

Maryann Prudhomme, a registered nurse with more than 30 years of management and clinical experience in health care and nursing in both acute care and home care settings, will facilitate the workshop beginning at 2 p.m.

Prudhomme will discuss how to help yourself stay healthy and happy by using the things that you love: food, sleep and active fun.

To register and for information on this workshop, call (609) 625-4878 or email residentservices@woodviewestates.com.

For SCOSA information, visit www.stockton.edu/scosa.

Learn how to de-clutter and stop over-acquiring

GALLOWAY - The Mental Health Association in Atlantic County will offer a Buried in Treasures Workshop for individuals who want to learn to de-clutter and prevent over-acquiring. Registration is in progress for late fall/early winter classes. This action-oriented, self-help group incorporates skill building and provides insight about why people acquire/hold on to too many possessions.

For information, call (609) 652-3800, ext. 303, or email cquinn@mhanj.org.

Influenza can lead to hospitalization and death

Seasonal flu (or “influenza”) is a serious illness that can have dangerous complications resulting in an average of 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations each year.

Influenza, commonly called “the flu,” is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). The seasonal flu usually spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks and the virus is sent into the air. Unlike many other viral respiratory infections, such as the common cold, the seasonal flu causes severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.

Flu shots are available to residents age 18. Fee is $15, cash or check only. There is no out-of-pocket fee for the flu shot for Medicare Part B recipients who present their cards.

Shots are available from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday at 201 S. Shore Road in Northfield and from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday at 310 Bellevue Ave., in Hammonton.

Recruiting volunteers for Special Advocates for Children

SOMERS POINT - Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Atlantic and Cape May Counties is recruiting volunteers to be court advocates for children living in foster care. CASA has nearly 500 children waiting for an advocate that will help ensure they receive the best care while living in the child welfare system.

Applications are being accepted for a training class beginning in January. Individuals interested in learning more should attend one of CASA’s monthly Information Sessions held on the first Tuesday of each month at the CASA office at 321 Shore Road or call Jennifer Valentine at (609) 601-7800 or email Jennifer@AtlanticCapeCASA.org. Online volunteer applications may be submitted at AtlanticCapeCASA.org.

You can enroll in online training courses at community college

MAYS LANDING - Upgrade your skills and develop new talents in the comfort of your own home by enrolling in online training courses through Atlantic Cape Community College’s Workforce Development division.

Hundreds of courses are available in topics ranging from Business, Grant Writing/Nonprofits, Health Care, Career Development, Personal Enrichment, Teaching, Web Programming and more.

Courses range from Marketing Your Nonprofit to Become a Veterinary Assistant, which are just a small sampling of the diverse array available online through Atlantic Cape, in partnership with Education to Go. Learn more at www.ed2go.com/accc.

Classes start at $99. All students need to get started is Internet access, an email address and Web browser. Each course begins every six weeks and consists of 12 lessons, interactive quizzes, assignments, tutorials and online discussion areas.

For information, call (609) 343-5655 or visit www.atlantic.edu/ce.

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