More class options designed to fit into the crowded schedules of today’s students are being developed by Essex County College. The College is expanding its offerings of Sunday and 100 percent online classes, which were introduced last year and proved an immediate success, in time for the Fall semester.


“We’re constantly looking to develop more flexible class options to support the busy lifestyles of many of our students,” said Dr. Leigh Bello-de Castro, Associate Dean, Online and Learning Resource Technologies. Both Sunday courses and the ability to take classes anywhere and anytime are ways Essex is helping students to have a better chance to earn their degree.”


There is an extensive list of Sunday classes, spanning a multitude of disciplines. The disciplines include courses in Accounting, Art, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Computer Information Systems, College Success, Economics, Education, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Psychology, and Sociology.


The online classes, said Dr. Bello-de Castro, are ideal for students who, for a variety of reasons, find it better to take classes off campus and not in the traditional setting. She said that students need to have the computer knowledge necessary to take advantage of the online courses. The classes include live classroom discussions on a regular basis and online exams. There is also free online tutoring available any time through the online program.


The online courses this fall include classes in Accounting, Art, Business, Computer Information Systems, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Psychology, and Sociology.


Both of these initiatives have been advocated by Essex County College President Gale E. Gibson. They are expansions of services designed for both recruitment and retention of students who require added flexibility in order to attend school due to a variety of situations, such as working fulltime.

Online courses will begin September 2, while Sunday classes start September 7.


Additional information is available by contacting Dr. Bello-de Castro at 973-877-3484 or

Posted in Academic, Essex County College News

Dr. Gibson’s Speech »

Welcome invited guests, board of trustee members, elected officials, members of the press, faculty, staff and friends of Essex County College.

It is not every day that we have such a distinguished group of officials visiting our campus. But, by having the Governor Chris Christie, the Secretary of the Higher Education, Rochelle Hendricks, County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, and the Mayor of Newark Luis Quintana.

We have an audience rich in diversity and resources that represents the shared space we are celebrating.

Today, we will kick-off the conversion of our Library to the Martin Luther King Jr. Information Commons. This $6.7 million renovation is made possible by the 2012 New Jersey “Building Our Future” Bond Act……… from which Essex County College was awarded more than $19 million.

That represents the most of any two-year state institution. And we appreciate and are excited about what it means for us!

The Information Commons will be a transformative space for our students. It aligns with our 5-year strategic plan and it is part of a blueprint to further enhance teaching and learning at Essex County College.

Imagine this scenario with me for a moment: Today a student comes into the library, gets a book, looks up a resource, sits in a cubicle, usually alone, and studies or gathers research material for a paper. That’s a pretty typical or traditional use of our library.

However, in about 18 months when we open our Information Commons it will be transformed into a space that provides a seamless academic environment. Where students may access, manage, and produce information and have services, resources, staff and the appropriate technological cross training – all at the same workstation.

Here’s more of what the students and faculty can expect.

The Information Commons Library will consist of:

• 145 state-of-the-art computers

• Labs to offer image scanners, color printers, presentation and spreadsheet tools with the latest software

• Wireless Internet access – and plug in stations

• Multimedia production capabilities to blend technology and research needs

• 4 SMART classrooms to provide easier access to writing papers, manipulating data, or developing presentations

• A redesigned eco-friendly open space lounge with a waterfall wall and a “green” wall to absorb sound

• Individual Skype workstations to encourage informal meetings and global connections

• Several Multi-purpose rooms for collaboration and small group interactions

• Faculty resources will be available to develop new cutting edge curricular material.

I’m sure you have heard the new buzz phrase: “the Internet of Everything”… this Commons will be the Information of Everything…

I make this statement because our Information Commons is not just resources, but it will be a wonderful space to build relationships among students, library information systems professionals, multi media experts, the technologically curious, curriculum developers and the community.

We see this as a catalyst to promote retention and increase graduation rates because the joy of learning will be so well reflected in this environment.

It will contribute to the developing culture of innovation, creativity and scholarship that will impact the good of Newark, New Jersey and the world!

Posted in Announcements, Essex County College News, West Essex Campus

The Essex County College Women’s Track & Field team finished eighth at the national championships held May 15-17. Sophomore Nickheila John and freshman Ranee Ricketts earned All American status, Nickheila finished third in the 400 meter dash and Ranee third in the 100 meters.


The National Junior College Athletic Association Outdoor Track & Field Championship was held in Mesa, Arizona.


The women accumulated 34 points, with 27 teams scoring.


Ranee also came in fourth in the 200 meters; Fawzia Kheir finished fifth in the 800 meters, while teammate Taska Johnson came in seventh in the same race. Alexis Smith had a sixth place finish in the 100 meter hurdles, while Nickheila was seventh in the 200 meters.


On the men’s side, sophomore Andre Colebrook came in sixth in the 800 meters.


Both teams are coached by Michael Smart.


The national meet concludes the outdoor season, one which saw both the men’s and women’s teams win the Region XIX title.

Posted in Athletics, Essex County College News