By Nicole Biello

CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – The Camden County College Blackwood campus hosted a spring open house last Saturday morning to give prospective students and their parents program information and an opportunity to tour the campus while highlighting what CCC has to offer.

The Camden County College Cougar holds an open house sign. By Nicole Biello, CCC Journalism Program

Organizer Steve D’Ambrosio found the event to be a major success. From his observations, the four months of planning, marketing and discussions with CCC staff from various concentrations before the event paid off. The open house accumulated 337 RSVPs but the head count alone generally does not determine success as much as the students’ actual engagement, says D’Ambrosio.

“The audience we had on Saturday, they were really engaged, they were asking questions,” says D’Ambrosio. “It seems like they really engaged based on the marketing and based on the kind of questions they were asking.”

The main draw of this event was the information tables lining the Taft and Connector buildings. Here, representatives from a variety of programs and services including veterinary science, psychology, financial aid, criminal justice, tutoring, disability services, the new JEDI club, dentistry and engineering showcased the extensive opportunities and resources for students at CCC.

“We have it all here,” states Melanie Iannuzzi, the student recruitment director who served as a tour guide for the event. “You can do so much here at just your local community college. I don’t think a lot of people realize that this is a little hidden gem here in South Jersey.”

Groups of students and their guardians were taken for an exploratory walk around the campus to learn more about different majors and get a feel of the campus. One tour group entered Lincoln Hall, where visitors were greeted by an art gallery display before getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the ongoing set construction in the Little Theatre. Prospective students happily vocalized their impressions of everything they experienced.

Melanie Iannuzzi gives tours to prospective students and their parents. By Nicole Biello, CCC Journalism Program

“I love this campus and I thought the tour was really good. I got to see sides of Camden County College that I never saw before,” says Shandiyah Taylor, a high school senior with plans to enroll at CCC in the near future.

Other students were able, through the tour and informative centers, to discover programs that confirmed their interest in CCC and aligned with their goals for the future.

“I’ve always loved animals and I’ve heard really good things about the veterinary nursing program here, so it’s kind of just a thumbs up on all fields,” says 26-year-old Alexander Patterson, who also looks forward to applying for admission.

When asked about their general feelings toward attending college, students had quite similar responses. Interviewees expressed that they found the campus and its offerings to be exciting but that the open house did not completely ease their healthy college anxieties.

“I’m excited because it’s a new chapter and I’ll get to meet new people but just nervous because it’s like, I write my own story from now on,” Taylor explains.

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