Rockland Community College

For other uses, see RCC (disambiguation).
Rockland Community College
Motto A Heritage of Excellence & Diversity
Established 1959
President Clifford L. Wood
  • Dr. Nayyer Hussain, PhD
    • (SVP Finance and Admin)
  • Dana Stilley
    • (Student Services)
  • Dr. Susan Deer
    • (Provost & EVP Academic Affairs)
Associate Vice Presidents
  • Open
    • (Instruction & Academic Services)
  • Elizabeth Kendall
    • (Resource Development)
  • Thomas P. Della Torre
    • (Academic & Community Partnerships)
Academic staff
Students 7,000[1]
Location Suffern, New York, USA
Colors Killarney, Gunsmoke, Cream Can & White
Nickname Fighting Hawks
Mascot Rocky the Hawk
Affiliations State University of New York
Website Rockland Community College

Rockland Community College is a two-year college in the State University of New York system, located in hamlet of Viola within the Village of Suffern from the Town of Ramapo in Rockland County, New York. The college, established in 1959, became the 18th community college to join the SUNY system - the year Rockland County was celebrating the 350 anniversary of the Hudson River & Lake Champlain in the former county almshouse. The college offers 51 programs and offers both associate degrees and certificates. Additionally, students can earn other degrees, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in the arts and sciences, Doctoral Program in Executive Leadership (EdD), technology, and health professions while attending classes at Rockland through articulation programs with four-year schools. The current enrollment is about 7,500 full and part-time students which includes about 125 International students from more than 50 foreign countries and approximately 800 high school enroll in credit courses. The main campus is in Suffern, New York, but instructions are also offered at an extension sites in Haverstraw and Orangeburg. The Spring Valley satellite campus has been discontinued. It was located in the historic North Main Street School.[2]

The College has more than 525 full - and part-time faculty members, including several Fulbright Scholars,[3] SUNY Chancellor's Award winners, and published authors and artists. The faculty-student ratio is 22:1. Rockland has the third highest transfer rate in the SUNY system and has a Continuing Education programs which served about 3,500 each year.

Among events in the College's recent history are SUNY Rockland Community College Board of Trustees designated the building and grounds of Rockland Community College as a Smoke-Free Environment in September 2009. Additionally, Rockland Community College celebrated the institution's Semicentennial, quinquagenary or Golden Anniversary from September 2009 through August 2010. Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY), was the featured speaker at the Rockland Community College 50th Anniversary Academic Convocation, held on Friday, September 25, 2009. The college in 2012 has been designated as a Veterans Friendly Campus.


An institution called Rockland College, chartered by the state Board of Regents in 1878, existed for sixteen years in Nyack, New York.

Rockland Junior College, supported by federal funds disbursed through New York State, and sponsored by Nyack High School was established in 1932 as one of several depression-era two-year schools. New York University and Syracuse University accepted two years of credit from the college. Rockland Junior College shut down in 1935.

Rockland Community College came eighteen years and later was organized to be an affordable, two-year college in location convenient for county residents; it was planned that it would raise taxes by only $4 a year. At the time, Rockland County, the state's smallest in geographic area outside of New York City, was growing exponentially in population and in demand for a skilled, educated work force. Between 1956 and 1970, Rockland's population was one of the fastest growing in the state, expected to double from 107,000 to 215,000 and the number of high school graduates was projected to rise from 700 to 2,463.

Large local industries like Avon Products in Suffern and Lederle Laboratories in Pearl River required more skilled workers, and the growth of hospitals such as Nyack Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern warranted the creation of a nursing program.

Some 69 percent of parents polled expressed interest in their children attending a community college in Rockland, and 183 high school juniors indicated a strong interest in and an ability to attend a community college in Rockland.

Founding faculty

RCC Presidents Past to Present

AIDS memorial quilt

October 22–24, 2009 – 1,920 panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, were displayed at the #Campus Eugene Levy Fieldhouse athletic facility. It would take approximately 10 football fields for the quilt to be displayed in its entirety.

Time capsule

A time capsule is a historic cache of goods and/or information, usually intended as a method of communication with future people and to help future archaeologists, anthropologists, and/or historians.

On Wednesday, April 28, 2010, Rockland Community College buried a time capsule in front of the Technology Building celebrating the 50th Anniversary of RCC's establishment. This entry was posted prior to placing the Rockland Community College Wikipedia page in the capsule.

Other events

9/11 Commemoration and Remembrance Ceremony


On June 11, 1961, the college's first commencement exercises honored 39 graduates—22 men, 17 women—who had finished the journey begun by 139 full-time students two years before. In 1962 there were 60 graduates, and in 1963, 115, including the first 24 from the school's nursing program.

On May 23, 2010, the college's 50th commencement exercises honored 350 graduates.


On October 3, 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs hosted the first induction of RCC students who are veterans into SALUTE - Veterans National Honors Society. SALUTE, established in 2008 is headquartered out of Colorado State University has over 90 chapters in colleges and universities across the country. RCC is the first community college to have a chapter in this prestigious organization.

Past Events

In the 1970, concerts and big-ticket events were held in the Eugene Levy Field house. Several major artist included, Billy Joel, Earth, Wind & Fire, Genesis, Meat Loaf, Styx and The Monkees.[7]


The main campus and main entrance on Almshouse Road is located on the crest of a sloping rise in a former farm community known as Mechanicsville, renamed Viola when a post office was established in 1882. The original property included:

The current campus evolved with these milestones:

Daniel T Brucker Hall – (Photo credit: Michael Bastianelli)
Spring Valley Extension Center

Gary Onderdonk Rockland Veterans Cemetery

A cemetery was established on the property for almshouse residents, and shortly after the property was designated for the college's campus, the county designated a tract to serve as a veterans cemetery. The Korean War Monument is large granite rock at the Gary Onderdonk Rockland Veterans Cemetery on Rockland Community College's campus with a plaque bearing the names of all 27 Rocklanders killed in action during the Korean War, with the inscription: "They gave their today for your tomorrow."


RCC is sponsored by the County of Rockland and operating and administered by a ten-member Rockland Community College Board of Trustees that is appointed pursuant to New York State Education Law § 6306.[11] Nine of the Trustees serve seven-year terms, with five of those appointed by the County and four by the Governor. The tenth trustee is a voting, student representative.[12] The board in turn appoints a President who hires and supervises the staff. RCC is a community college unit of the State University of New York and is also subject to regulation and visitation by the Regents of the University of the State of New York.

Institutional Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Specialized Accreditation


Aspen Prize - Top 150

Rockland Community College has been selected from a national pool of over 1,000 public two year colleges as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges and one among two selected SUNY colleges and three selected CUNY colleges eligible to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million in prize funds, as well as Siemens Technical Scholars Program student scholarships. The ten Aspen Prize finalist will be named in Fall 2016. Winner to be Announced in March 2017. The $1 Million Prize for Excellence in Four Areas are Learning, Degree Completion, Graduates' Employment and Earnings, and Access and Success for Minority and Low-Income Students.

The Aspen Prize, funded by the Joyce, Siemens, and Kresge Foundations are awarded every two years, recognizing institutions for exceptional student outcomes among more than seven million students working towards certificates and degrees across America in the areas of student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings, and access and success for minority and low-income students based on publicly available data.


Rockland Community College offers 40 associate degrees and 11 one-year certificate programs.[16]

In 2015 Rockland Community College was ranked as the eighth best community colleges in the state of New York by[17]

In 2016 Rockland Community College was ranked as the tenth best community colleges among the 121 two year community colleges in the state of New York by[18]

Information Assurance Course Validation

Rockland Community College became first New York Community College to Receive Information Assurance Course Validation from the Committee on National Security Systems during the June 2008 CNSS Awards Ceremony held at the 12th Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education.

International students

More than 125 international students are enrolled at Rockland Community College yearly.

Rockland Community College is ranked number one in the country among two-year institutions for sending students on international study programs.[19]

Language courses

SUNY Rockland Community College offers nine "living" languages which have been approved by the State University of New York (SUNY) – the most of any community college in New York State, which meet the Foreign Language General Education requirement and are mandatory for students seeking a bachelor's degree from a SUNY school. These include;

B.A. programs

Although Rockland Community College does not confer four-year degrees, it cooperates with 4-year institutions:

B.S. programs

Bachelor's Online Program

M.A. programs

Students can obtain their master's in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education at SUNY Rockland through a program co-sponsored by The College of New Rochelle (CNR).

In 2016 students can obtain graduate degrees from LIU Hudson by enrolling in evening and weekend courses at the Rockland Community College main campus. [21]

Doctoral Program

In September 2014 a Doctoral Program in Executive Leadership (EdD), offered through St. John Fisher College is the first doctoral program at SUNY Rockland

Honors programs

The Samuel Draper Mentored/Talented Students and Management Development programs are nationally acclaimed, rigorous academic programs for liberal arts and business students seeking to transfer to premier colleges. Graduates transfer to such universities as Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Fordham, Georgetown, Havard, University of Pennsylvania, NYU, Stanford, Wesleyan, Yale and Smith College. The program was awarded a FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education)[22] grant from the United States Department of Education to serve as a model for community college honors programs throughout the country. In 2012 Rockland Community College was ranked as the Second Best Community College in the USA by the website Community College Transfer Student.[23]

Articulation Agreements

Rockland Community College has articulation (transfer) agreements with over four dozen colleges including these and some previously mentioned.[24]

High School Program

The Rockland Community College High School Program began in 2010. Rockland Community College academic departments have oversight of the curriculum, textbooks and student assessments offered at the high schools. High school teachers who are college adjuncts teach the courses at the high schools. Rockland Community College participates in the New York Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NYCEP),[25] which enables the College to network and share strategies of concurrent enrollment programs offered throughout SUNY community colleges. The program continues to grow yearly.

Study Abroad Program

Cambridge University Study Abroad Program

Great Court of King's College.

Students must be at least 18 years of age and meet the requirement of a minimum 3.0 GPA and two faculty recommendations when classes begin at Cambridge University in July or August. Students can be from any college but must apply through the RCC Sam Draper M/TS Honors Program Office in Spring to be eligible.

Thames Valley University Ealing Campus in England

Thames Valley University offers a range of undergraduate degree programs that are validated by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA)

College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS)

Rockland Community College as a member in the College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS), offers students the opportunity to spend a semester in over 25 countries including Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Costa Rica, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain. A student need not be fluent in a foreign language to participate as most instructions are in English.

Study Abroad Tours

Rockland Community College in recent years has participated in study abroad tours in China, England, France, Greece and Italy.

Pre-Employment Police Basic Course

The course provides the opportunity to begin preparation for a career as a local police officer prior to being hired by a law enforcement agency. A Civil service exam which students will be required to pass in order to be hired by a law enforcement agency, will be given upon completion of the course work at RCC. A candidate from the civil service list who has completed the coursework is more likely to be chosen by an agency, as he or she will not need to attend a twenty-three week academy.

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

The CETL program provides outstanding professional programs and services to faculty and staff as well as one of America's premier psychologists, Dr. Edmund W. Gordon, as scholar-in-residence. Professional development workshops on a wide variety of topics are held throughout the academic year with a full program of workshops offered during January and May.

Homeland Security and Domestic Preparedness

Our Homeland Security and Domestic Preparedness is part of The Hudson Valley Educational Consortium which is a collaboration with Orange, Ulster, and Sullivan Community Colleges providing broader access to academic programs and workforce training throughout the four county region.

Cyber Security Program

According to the Advanced Technological Education Center, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, Rockland Community College is one of only 30 community colleges in the U.S., and the only State University of New York (SUNY) community college, to have successfully mapped its courseware to the 4011 National Training Standard for Information Systems Security (INFOSEC) Professionals. The goal for RCC is to be designated as a Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

Academic Success Center (ASC)

The Academic Success Center (ASC) formerly known as Centers for Academic Progress and Success (CAPS) includes Reading & Writing, Tutoring, Testing and Science Learning centers which provide academic assistance free to all Rockland Community College students.

Children's programs

Full-day preschool to the community

The Campus Fun & Learn, which runs from the first day after Labor Day until the last week of June, is a full-day or part-time preschool program open to the community for children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years. The program includes art, music, language activities, and more, and helps prepare children for their future school experiences, as well as providing an opportunity for RCC students majoring in Education, Psychology and other programs gain experience and understanding in working with young children. RCC students who enroll their children qualify for scholarships and subsidies for child care tuition.

The Theresa Morahan Simmons Center for Children and Families groundbreaking ceremony took place on July 27, 2008 and the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony took place on June 14, 2009.

In 2012 Campus Fun & Learn received the “Children’s Champion Award” through Childcare Resources of Rockland

The center's three original goals include:

Seniors adult programs

Senior Adult Audits – Seniors over the age of 60 are eligible to take credit courses free of charge on a space available basis. The seniors are responsible for program fees, are required to meet pre-requisites and cannot enroll in contract courses.

Institute for Senior Education (I.S.E.) – The College's Institute for Senior Education (ISE) offers courses during the College's regular semesters at modest prices. These informal groups meet once a week and stress independent study within a curriculum adjusted to the needs and interests of the group's members. All ISE courses are open to everyone over 50 years old.

Campus life

Multi-Cultural Diversity

Rockland Community College has month-long celebrations which include

Rockland Community College also recognizes

The Christian Fellowship, Hillel and The Center for Muslim Life are located next to each other and provide outreach for students as well as the community.

Clubs and Organizations

Students at RCC may choose to join any one or more clubs or organizations which are advised by a faculty or staff member and guided and funded by the Student Government Association.
Students explore and have fun by meeting diverse groups of people and developing valuable leadership and organizational skills.[26]


Mid Hudson Conference
List of college athletic programs in New York#NJCAA

Rockland Boulders

Rockland Community College is also the training camp site for the Rockland Boulders, a member of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball who play their home games at the new 4,350-seat/16 suite Provident Bank Park in Pomona, New York.

Campus Traditions

Alma mater

Nestled in the hills of Rockland County/Facing the Eastern sky/Rockland Community College/Stands loyal, firm and true./No matter where we roam/No matter where we be/We will always remember RCC/We will always remember RCC!

The chain of office

The presidential chain of office of Rockland Community College showing the academic programs of Liberal Arts, Allied Health Sciences, Engineering, Performing Arts, Nursing and Natural Sciences in front going left to right is approximately forty-eight inches long and is made of sterling silver with a medallion of sterling silver, partly gold-plated and green acrylic featuring ten frames, each illustrating one of the academic programs, alternating with round links made up of concentric initials "R.C.C" along with a display of the Map of Rockland County on the right side of the circle.

The mace

The ceremonial mace, a gift from the Rockland Community College Foundation is a 3-foot-tall (0.91 m) mace that serves as the official symbol of the institution of higher education. At its crown is a bronze medallion displaying the Seal of Rockland County on one side and the Seal of New York on the obverse side. Beneath the crown is a sterling silver globe with the inscription "Rockland Community College, 1959" in thick metal letters around it. The wood staff is sculpted from decorative Purple Heart wood in a non=glossy oil finish and the mace's counterbalance is made of copper and bronze in a dark patina.

Notable faculty


  1. 1 2 About the College page, RCC website,
  2. Nancy Goblet and William E. Krattinger (July 2007). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: North Main Street School". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  3. The College - Why Rockland Communuty College
  4. Senator David Carlucci Being Sworn in to the New York State Senate
  5. The Big Idaho Potato comes to RCC
  6. Rockland Community College to demolish old amphitheater
  7. GI Jobs Magazine
  8. RCC Auto Technology Agreement with Subaru
  9. RCC Undertakes 24-hour Online Fundraising Campaign to Build Outdoor Performance Space
  10. "Trustee Bylaws". Rockland Community College. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  11. New York State Education Law § 6306.
  12. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc (ACEN)
  13. American Occupational Therapy Association Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
  14. New York State Board of Regents, State Education Department, Office of the Professions (Nursing Education)
  15. "Facts about Rockland Community College". Rockland Community College. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  16. Best community college in New York
  17. Best Community Colleges in New York
  18. Institutional Profile
  19. Purchase College at RCC
  20. LIU Graduate Degrees at Rockland Community College
  21. Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)
  22. Community College Transfer Student
  23. Transfer Agreements
  24. New York Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NYCEP)
  25. Clubs and Organizations
  26. Emil Willis
  27. Sister Marie Buckley
  28. National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD
  29. New York State Nurses Association
  30. Tanya Drake

Coordinates: 41°7′56.78″N 74°5′14.71″W / 41.1324389°N 74.0874194°W / 41.1324389; -74.0874194

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