Graduates of Burlington County College’s “green degree” programs will be guaranteed admissions into Richard Stockton College’s sustainability bachelor’s degree program under an agreement signed by the college presidents Wednesday.

Both presidents said the opening of Stockton’s new building in Hammonton makes the agreement even more attractive to Burlington students, who may be able to take courses much closer to home.

“We are thrilled to have you so close in Hammonton,” BCC President David Hespe said.

After the signing at the Stockton board of trustees meeting on the Galloway Township campus, Hespe said that with no four-year college within Burlington County, students have fairly long drives to Rowan, Rutgers Camden or Stockton to get a bachelor’s degree. The Hammonton site provides a convenient option about a half-hour away.

BCC’s main campus is in Pemberton, but they also have sites in Mount Laurel, Willingboro and Mount Holly.

Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp Jr. said the agreement also gives a boost to Stockton’s new sustainability undergraduate degree, which enrolled its first students in fall 2012.

To qualify for the guaranteed admission program, or GAP, BCC students would have to enroll in the program before completing 30 credits, and maintain a 3.0 grade point average, equivalent to a “B” average. They would be able to graduate from Stockton within two years.

Robert Brzozowski, project director at BCC, said currently about 25 students are enrolled in the green degree programs as their major, and another 25 are taking some of the courses. All of the credits would transfer to Stockton and apply to the bachelor’s degree.

Saatkamp also named three major construction priorities for its share of $247 million allocated to New Jersey’s smaller four-year state colleges from the $750 million Build Our Future Bond Act passed by voters in November.

The college will request $17.6 million for the completion of the new science building, $28.6 million for an addition to the science building, and $18 million for a new classroom building to be built across from the Campus Center on what is now parking lot 2.

Saatkamp said the bond money means the college would not have to use investment or budget funds to complete the science center, which was started with money remaining from previous building projects and was scaled down in size to match available funds.

The science center is scheduled to be completed this spring and open in September.

The state’s public colleges must apply for a share of the funds, and a committee through the Office of Higher Education will approve the projects. The state is looking for “shovel ready” projects, so Saatkamp said he hopes the science building, since it is already under construction, would qualify.

The $64.2 million bond request is part of a $110 million list of projects and upgrades throughout the campus for which the trustees hope to get funding from the state through various state programs.

A parking garage is also on the college master plan, but may not qualify for state funds. Saatkamp said they may look into the garage as a private/public partnership project.

Contact Diane D'Amico:

609-272-7241