Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.69
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date July 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Raritan Valley Community College
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

It is the policy of the College to promote and maintain a work and academic environment in which all members of the College Community are treated with dignity and respect. The College recognizes the human dignity of each member of the College Community and expects all employees and students to promote respect and dignity for others so that all employees and students are free to pursue their goals in an open environment, able to participate in the free exchange of ideas, and able to share equally in the benefits of the College’s employment opportunities and educational programs and activities.

The College is committed to ensuring that all current and prospective employees and students are given equal opportunity and treatment and providing its students with an academic environment and its employees with a work environment free from discrimination and harassment. No student or employee shall be denied participation in, the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any educational program or activity or in employment based upon membership or perceived membership in a protected class.

Discrimination and harassment are strictly prohibited on the College campus and at any other location where the College offers programs or activities or sponsors events. Discrimination and harassment are also prohibited in connection with College programs, activities, and events and in terms and conditions of employment. Harassment or discrimination through social media or other electronic communication is also prohibited. This prohibition against discrimination and harassment applies to all students, prospective students, employees, and prospective employees of the College, including student workers, and to all consultants, contractors, and other individuals performing work for the College.


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

RVCC is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment and learning opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, RVCC expects that all relationships among persons in the office will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice and harassment.

All complaints of discrimination or harassment and/or a first account witness to the incident filed against employees, including student employees, and students should contact Human Resources. Any person who alleges discrimination or harassment by an employee or student may contact Human Resources.

All persons have the right and are encouraged to report suspected violations of the College’s Non-Discrimination Policy to the Executive Director of Human Resources who is the designated Title IX Coordinator and Section 504/ADA Coordinator or the Human Resources Manager, Human Resources Office Raritan Valley Administration Center, (908) 526-1200 x8260 immediately. Additionally, complaints may be reported to Dean Student Affairs, College Center (908) 526-1200, x8311 for student matters.
Support Services

Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of a victim or witness of an act of harassment, intimidation, discrimination, sexual assault, hate crime or bias incident. The College strongly encourages victims and witnesses to report incidents to the Department of Campus Safety, the Dean of Student Affairs and/or the Title IX Coordinator. These Departments also comprise The College Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT).

The BIT gathers information from all team members and makes an assessment for an immediate course of action. This includes contacting the victim or witnesses for interviews and determining what support services are needed. All reports are immediately and thoroughly investigated and forwarded to the appropriate College Department or outside agency.

Victims and witnesses are referred to either on campus or off campus support services that provide emotional support, advocacy, medical services, or police assistance. On campus services include The Advising and Counseling Department, The Dean of Student Affairs, RVCC Women’s Center, Office of Disability Services and the Department of Campus Safety. The College will assist victims and witnesses with obtaining off campus resources for medical services, police assistance and other services as necessary.

Confidentiality of victims and witnesses will always be maintained insofar as it does not interfere with the College’s legal obligation to investigate allegations of misconduct, and the ability to take corrective action consistent with rights of due process.

Department of Campus Safety – 908–231–8800 (24 hours/7 days a week)
Ground floor level of Somerset Hall, Room S-010

Dean of Student Affairs: Jason Fredericks – ext. 908–526–1200 ext. 8311
Student Conduct and Assistance Title IX Coordinator

Advising and Counseling – 908–526–1200 ext. 8330/8336
College Center 1st floor, Room C-165

*Title IX Coordinator: Cheryl Wallace, Executive Director of Human Resources, Compliance
& Security – 908–526–1200 ext. 8260

*For reporting Sex Offenses for students, faculty, staff and the campus community.
Somerset Hall 2nd floor, Room S-220.

Office of Disability Services – 908-526-1200 ext. 8534
College Center 1st floor, Room C-124
The college has not had any specific incidents that would require a response team to act.

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

For students:
Collaboration/Combined Effort with local community organizations. Different organizations with different educational initiatives such as:
United Way and Latino Access Coalition – collaborative programs/events throughout the year.
Admissions Information Sessions in Spanish
High School Recruitment Presentations – Admissions Information and Financial Aid in Spanish

On-Campus Programs for HS students (annual)
Girls to Women Leadership Conference
Boys to Men Conference
Paul Robeson Youth Achievement Award

Recruitment Materials
Viewbooks in Spanish
ESL Application/Registration steps in Spanish (for both credit and non-credit courses)
Undoc Jersey literature in Spanish

Website pages and phone line in Spanish and Other Languages:

Team members in various departments, such as:
Financial Aid
Placement Testing
First Year Experience/Advising
Disability Services

Speaking multiple languages:

For staff and faculty:
RVCC is committed to recruiting a diversified group of individuals creating an employment opportunity for all not excluding those from underrepresented groups. We specifically target minority publications and organizations like, Insight to Diversity, Workplace Diversity, Higher Ed niche sites, Hispanic Outlook, partnerships with HBCU College fair, and National Urban League. The college utilizes women and minority owned recruiting agencies.

Human Resources enhanced its applicant tracking system to accurately track and capture diverse applicants. We worked with our Ad agency to properly code our diverse sites and resources so that we could track which sources were best effective.

During the month of February and March we worked with the academic leadership to enhance our faculty search guidelines; commitment to a diverse and balanced search committee, created an understanding of HR’s role in the hiring process and created a new structure of decision-making to monitor the inclusivity of diverse candidates.

Human Resources supports several Administrators to attend The National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education.

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

For students:
Sister to Sister and Brothers Helping Brothers: Sister to Sister and Brothers Helping Brothers programs maintain a supportive environment for students and promotes academic achievement, greater engagement and personal well-being of students of color through a wide range of services. Throughout the year, the Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Academic Counselor, Jeff Warren worked with students to improve retention and graduation rates by assisting students during key transitional periods in their academic careers. Both Sister to Sister and Brothers Helping Brothers programs work collaboratively to address closing the achievement gap and increasing retention for students of color.

MILE (Multicultural Initiative for Leadership & Excellence) MILE is a leadership preparation and exploration program aimed at providing Raritan Valley Community College students with tools that are transferable to gain a paraprofessional position at a 4-year college as a Resident Advisor or Student Affairs Assistant. The MILE Passport offers selected student participants skills development activities needed to prepare them for employment opportunities as a College Resident Advisor and Student Affairs paraprofessional. An informational workshop was held to identify potential students along with outreach with the Student Life Leadership participants. Student Applications are available in the fall and the program is offered during the spring semester.

CRECER Latino High School Student Conference Funded by the Office of Multicultural Affairs Grant, Student Government Association/Student Life, Foundation and Admissions. The Orgullo Latino Club (OCL) which is a student association club sponsored this high school outreach program for the 17th year. CRECER is the Spanish word for “To Grow” /Acronym: Caring, Reaching, Educating, Connecting, Enriching and Reaping. This year’s theme was “It’s Your Future…Step It Up!” This student driven conference supports the College’s Strategic Plan which include providing excellent educational experiences to prepare students for advancement to college and career readiness. Latino students from Somerset and Hunterdon counties are exposed to college and career pathways. Raritan Latino Students share their college success stories to inspire high school students to achieve excellence.

Study Group Selected as peer liaisons coordinate a weekly study group that in an academic classroom at RVCC. Students were encouraged to bring a friend or meet new friends that had similar academic goals. The study group was comprised of a diverse group of student learners. Phi Theta Kappa students and Academic Tutors help students with assignments and study skills techniques. Students who required additional tutoring were encouraged to meet during the week with tutors from Academic Support Services.

RVCC Affinity Organizations and Departments
• Alliance - LGBT
• Asian Pacific Islander Committee
• Association for Black Faculty and Staff
• Black History Month Committee
• Boys to Men Conference
• Brothers Helping Brothers
• College Forum Steering Committee
• Diversity Council
• Equal Opportunity Fund Programs
• First Year Experience
• Hispanic Heritage Month Committee
• MLK Day of Service Committee
• Orgullo Latino – CRECER
• Paul Robeson Institute
• Filipino PEACE Club
• Sisters to Sisters Network
• Sustainability Committee
• Women and Gender Studies

For staff and faculty:
Senior College members established an affinity group, African American Administrators, Faculty and Staff group to support our growing diverse population in order to provide them with the tools and resources they need to navigate the college. It is being revitalized to include all minority groups.

The college is committed to a campus that is free of prejudices and biases. In 2019, in collaboration with the Academic Affairs Division, employees received Implicit Bias training to help them identify and reduce any potential systemic inequities. We will continue this effort with ongoing conversations and presentations to minimize any issues.

Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

RVCC along with the New Jersey’s community college presidents are supporting a cohort for Rowan University’s Community College Leadership Initiative, a doctorate in education program offered through a unique partnership between Rowan University’s Graduate School of Education and New Jersey’s community colleges. The Community College Leadership Initiative is delivered in a hybrid format - online with three in-person Saturday meetings for each course. Many New Jersey community college presidents teach in the program and serve on dissertation committees. The program is open to all college employees with Masters degrees.

In addition, RVCC has tuition reimbursement for college advancement (Bachelor, Graduate and PhD programs) which is offered to full-time college employees.

Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Information provided by Nancy Bombay & Carolyn White (student recruiting), Multicultural Affairs, and Cheryl Wallace (HR).

Information provided by Nancy Bombay & Carolyn White (student recruiting), Multicultural Affairs, and Cheryl Wallace (HR).

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.