Union County College’s Student Development Vice President Helen Brewer has announced the appointment of two key administrators to help improve the way the College serves and supports students.
Dr. Terrence Hardee has become the College’s Dean of Students, and Ms. Rebecca Royal is the Dean of Student Success.
With Dr. Hardee’s arrival, the Dean of Students position has expanded its scope of responsibilities, while the Dean of Student Success under Ms. Royal is a new position that oversees a number of departments and programs designed to improve student retention, transfer success, and completion.
Vice President Brewer says, “Both of these positions reflect the College’s strategic focus on taking better care of our students by integrating the services we provide.”
The Dean of Students position will continue to lead the Student Judicial Board and be responsible for ensuring that the College adheres to federal and State compliance in student-related regulations including Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act. The new responsibilities will include managing the assessment center, high school outreach and the Student Services One Stop centers. Says Mrs. Brewer, “The position will direct our Recruitment staff’s efforts to help increase enrollment such as through the monitoring of enrollment trends and via extensive outreach to the high schools.”
The primary focus of the new Dean of Student Success will be coordinating a number of student services, including academic advisement, disability support services, transfer and career services, student orientation, the Educational Opportunity Fund program, and Operation Graduation.
However, as the title indicates, the main objective will be to promote student success. Mrs. Brewer says, “The Dean of Student Success will serve as a catalyst for ensuring that all of our employees are working together to take a team approach to helping our students every step along on their journey to a timely graduation.”
The new Student Success Dean will introduce a number of initiatives called “Guided Pathways” strategies. Mrs. Brewer explains, “These are nationally recognized best practices that help advance student success, some of which we have already introduced such as by discontinuing late registration and through ‘intrusive intervention’ in advisement.”
The College has made tremendous strides in the past year in nearly doubling the College’s graduation rate to 15.7 percent in 2015 and in graduating 1,505 students—which eclipses Union’s all-time record by more than 200 students.
Mrs. Brewer sees both Deans having a hand in helping increase graduation rates even further. “Ms. Royal, as Dean of Student Success, is responsible for Operation Graduation, which tracks and supports individual students as they move toward graduation.” Mrs. Brewer adds, “As we collaborate with the county high schools to provide math boot-camps and dual enrollment programs, Dr. Hardee will champion college readiness to enable high-school graduates to move seamlessly into college-level programs.
Dr. Hardee joins Union as the Dean of Students after having served previously at two New Jersey community colleges. He was the Vice President for Student Success at Rowan University at Burlington County and the Dean of the University Center at Cumberland County College. His prior institutions include Stockton College, Montclair State University, DeVry University, and Rutgers University. He has a doctorate of Letters in Humanities from Drew University, a master’s degree in Political Science from Marshall University, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Concord University (Athens, WV).
Ms. Royal becomes the new Dean of Student Success after having served Union since 2012 as the Director of Financial Aid. In this prior role at Union, she was responsible for managing $40 million annually in federal and State student aid as well as $800,000 in Foundation scholarship awards. As the Director, she strengthened operational controls and improved the performance of the Financial Aid staff. Ms. Royal’s previous employer was the Central Career School of South Plainfield, where she served as co-executive director. Before that she directed the Financial Aid department at St. Peter’s University (Jersey City).
Mrs. Brewer notes that Student Development staff will appreciate the dynamic leadership that Dr. Hardee and Ms. Royal bring to their new positions. “Our employees have made tremendous strides in the past year in expanding their skillsets,” says Mrs. Brewer. “These Deans have the energy and the acumen to help ensure that the ‘One Stop’ student-service model is a success on all of our campuses, particularly in our new Student Services building.”
For more than a year, employees on all three campuses have been trained to provide a full range of services for students through a centralized location. Next summer, Union will unveil the premier showcase for the One-Stop model with the opening of Cranford’s new Student Services building.