Oscar Feliciano - Class of 2011

Student studying at Library

Passaic County Community College
39th Commencement - Class of 2011


DARC Program Graduate


Oscar Feliciano - Paterson
Oscar Feliciano (left) receives a graduation gift from Joan Meeh of the DARC program at PCCC.

Oscar Feliciano – Class of 2011
Associate in Applied Science Degree /Computer Science
Graduates with Honors

Being a teacher runs in the family of Oscar Feliciano. His two sisters and a sister-in-law all teach in Paterson schools. Oscar himself plans to teach. But it took time and a journey for him to realize his goal, and to obtain the degree that would help him achieve it.

On Thursday, Oscar graduates with honors from PCCC, nearly 20 years after he first started college. A 1991 graduate of Paterson High School, he first considered a career in engineering. In less five years, he attended Stevens Tech, Passaic County Community College and finally Rutgers University in New Brunswick. After his first engineering class at Rutgers, Oscar decided the field wasn’t for him. “Computers is what I wanted to do,” he said, so when he lost his scholarship at Rutgers, he took a job in tech support and customer service. “I was making good money, but I hated the work,” he explained.

A layoff at his company last summer pushed him back to college. “It was the perfect opportunity,” he said when he received a call from Joan Meeh at PCCC about the DARC program for adults who never finished their degree. “I only had a few classes to finish, so here I am.” Though he found the PCCC professors “awesome” and enjoyed his classes, Oscar couldn’t help but notice students who struggled to master basic skills.

“They should have learned those long ago,” he said. “Teaching really needs to be changed.”  Lamenting the “shortage of qualified science and math teachers,” in today’s high schools, Oscar plans to become a secondary school math teacher and will pursue his bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate, most likely at Montclair State University.

Oscar realizes that his chosen profession may not be as lucrative as his previous one was, but isn’t bothered by that. “It’s not always about the money,” he said. “You have to do what you like to do. It’s never too late.”