Northern New Jersey – Bridges to Baccalaureate
The Northern New Jersey Bridges to Baccalaureate Alliance is a partnership of public, associate-degree granting Hispanic Serving Institutions in Northern New Jersey committed to assisting underrepresented minority students in successfully transferring into a baccalaureate STEM degree program.
NNJ-B2B forms a synergistic partnership with the GS-LSAMP, a highly successful NSF-funded project headed by Rutgers University-Newark that includes eight largely public four-year colleges and universities in the region to develop a transformative model for streamlined transitions from 2 to 4-year institutions.
This nationally recognized model of teaching and learning utilizes students who have previously done well in STEM courses and who then become “peer-leaders”. These peer leaders facilitate small-group learning as an integral part of gateway STEM courses. Each week, peer leaders meet with their “student group” to engage in problem solving activities and discussion of course material. The PLTL model has been adapted to many institutions and has demonstrated its effectiveness in improving student learning.
GS-LSAMP students are paired with B2B students. They meet frequently throughout the year – in person, virtually, or by phone. Research has demonstrated measurable results for college and university peer mentoring programs, including increased grades and reduced attrition. In addition to serving as positive role models, peer mentors are an invaluable source for reviewing STEM concepts, discussing academic and social issues related to college success, and for helping community college students make a smooth transition to four-year schools.
This program is based on the premise that students who participate in undergraduate research experiences within their first two years of college are more likely to complete their associates STEM degree and transfer to a four-year college or university. B2B scholars in good standing will apply for research internships at GS-LSAMP four-year institutions.
This initiative helps to improve math performance by utilizing the ALEKS online system (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces). Students who are registered to take introductory college-level math courses, such as College Algebra, will be tested using the ALEKS system to determine their areas of weakness. Once this diagnostic has been completed, ALEKS will customize an online program to remediate those weaknesses to help move students through the academic STEM pipeline.
Because underrepresented minority students are often the first in their family to attend college, they often lack access to positive role models and therefore benefit from information on career opportunities and the process of transitioning to a four-year school. GS-LSAMP faculty offers regular seminars at NNJ-B2B institutions, while B2B schools host transfer days for students to obtain transfer and application information to four-year institutions. Other collaborative efforts include internships, career counseling, field trips and campus tours.
Research experience helps students develop an understanding of the methods used to gather and evaluate scientific data. By working under the guidance of research faculty, students gain confidence and learn to function more effectively in a collaborative four-year environment. These opportunities also help them develop professional relationships with peers who have similar interests. Research students are required to present their research findings at our annual research conference. Community college faculty are encouraged to provide research-training workshops to cohort members in preparation for these assignments.
Biology Major, PCCC B2B Research Internship at Dept. of Biology, Rutgers, Newark
Hello, my name is Carlos Macazana and I am currently enrolled at PCCC as a Biology Major. I joined the B2B program the second I heard about it from Professor Mayur in Biology I last year during the fall semester of 2015. Although at the time my mind was set on reaching Veterinarian School and becoming a veterinarian, the experiences that the B2B program has offered me have broadened my interests in possible future careers other than a veterinarian. I signed myself up for most of the trips that the B2B/STEM faculty members held and it has expanded my view of this wonderful field.
I am currently involved in two projects under the B2B program. One at Rutgers University, Department of Biology, and the other at Wildlife Conservation Society, Department of Education. The B2B program has helped me get both these internships and served as a means to reach beyond the education that is obtained in a classroom. The experience and knowledge I have learned throughout my internships have helped me obtain a position ahead of the curve and I strongly recommend for anyone with an interest in the STEM field to register for this program and involve themselves in the various opportunities that it offers.
CIS Major, PCCC B2B Research Internship at Aithent Inc.
My name is Ranfi Areche and I am a Computer Science major at Passaic County Community College and hope to obtain my bachelor’s in Computer Science and pursue graduate studies. I would like to be a computer programmer. This past summer, B2B provided me the opportunity to do a research internship at “Aithent Inc.” a software development company in NYC. This internship has been an amazing eye-opener for me giving me first-hand look at how my knowledge and skills can be applied to accomplish real tasks and goals. In addition, it has given me insight into the work environment and career opportunities. I fully enjoyed the learning experience at Aithent as well as formed new connections. It was truly an experience that benefited me and one that I will never forget.
Engineering Major, PCCC B2B Research Internship at Dept. of Mathematics, Montclair State University
Who am I? My name is Ramon Almonte and I am just a guy who is trying to make this world a better place. In order to do so, I enrolled in Passaic County Community College as an Engineering Major because for an Engineer changing the world is actually in the job description. My expected graduation date from PCCC is May 2017, and after this, I am planning to continue my education at NJIT with the goal of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. I also hope to pursue a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. One of my greatest passions is mathematics and with an opportunity provided by B2B program at PCCC, I was able to intern with the Math Department at Montclair State University. Alongside another PCCC student Monica Melse we studied a subsection of graph theory called Connectivity Index.
Biology Major, PCCC B2B Research Internship at Dept. of Microbiology, Rutgers, New Brunswick
My name is Juan Villegas. I will be attending Rutger University, Newark in the Fall where I will pursue a Bachelor’s in Biology. Being part of the B2B program I was provided with many great opportunities, such as a summer internship with the Microbiology department at Rutgers. There I participated in a research project for Johnson & Johnson regarding the effect of blue light on P. acnes, the bacteria responsible for causing acne. This experience has made my love for science grow and has also opened the door to many other great opportunities.
Biology Major, PCCC B2B Research Internship at Dept. of Chemistry, WPU.
As a young Hispanic female student, B2B has opened unexpected doors for me that will propel me into a career in science. Early on, Prof. Mayur of the B2B program at PCCC encouraged me and showed me that success in the sciences as possible. As a biology major, my dream is to study Molecular Biology or Biochemistry at a four-year school and become employed as a research scientist. This summer I had the opportunity to participate in a research study at William Paterson University with Biochemistry professor, Dr. David Snyder. Throughout the internship, I had access to state-of-the-art facilities, worked side by side with other students, and gained invaluable experience by working under such a brilliant educator. The internship taught me that to succeed, I must always bring a good attitude and a willingness to work hard. Through my experience with the B2B program, I now feel confident that entering any institution or company I have the tools necessary to communicate with professionals and perform respectably. Understanding that the road may not always be easy and the path may not be clear can be intimidating, but knowing that there are resources and support absolutely makes the journey more enjoyable.
CIS Major, PCCC B2B Research Internship at Dept. of Geoscience, NJCU
My name is Chris Medrano, I am an IT major here at PCCC. I am returning to school after 10 years to finish my degree. I work and go to school full time. I plan to continue my studies and pursue a bachelor’s and hopefully master degree. I would love a career in web development / cyber security post-graduation. This B2B research opportunity was a great way to learn, build a network, and build up my resume while making some money at the same time. During the internship, I met and worked with some great professors and students. I had a blast! This will definitely be a summer I won’t forget.
Engineering Major, PCCC B2B Research Internship at Dept. of Geoscience, NJCU
My name is Jason Herrera, I am from Peru and my major is Mechanical Engineering. I have always liked math and science, actually, I am part of the STEM program. Since I was a kid I always have liked to play with Lego and to build a lot of things, knowing this my parents told me it would be a good idea for me to study engineering, so in the future, I could create bigger and better things that could also help people. One of my passions is drawing, I really like it, I am always incorporating new techniques and materials in order to make my drawings better. I joined B2B program because I knew it could be something for my future and also to contribute and share my ideas and knowledge with other people. It is the first time that I am working on a project like this. It has helped me, not only on my academic side but also as a person, one of the most important things that I have learned these months has been the importance of trees and the effect they have on a city, country, and even the whole world. Trees are the lungs of the world and is our responsibility as the habitants of such to take care of and protect them.