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Cape May Campus Expands Educational Opportunities with Culinary Arts Certificate and RN Program Evening Cohort

07/13/2023 | Media Contact: David Zuba, Public Relations Manager and Copywriter | (609) 343-4933
Culinary cohort at the Cape May campus

MAYS LANDING — Atlantic Cape Community College continues to prioritize expanding academic programs at its Cape May County campus. Last year saw the addition of a two-semester, 13-week Culinary Arts Certificate Program and Registered Nursing Program evening classes and skill labs for local students seeking convenient access to higher education opportunities in those fields of study.

Exterior of Cape May campusThis was the first time that Atlantic Cape offered a Culinary Arts Certificate Program at a satellite campus. Each participating student received a $2,500 Robert Hunter Dougherty Memorial Scholarship and a gift card that enabled them to receive their culinary knife kit. Eight students completed the certificate program this year and seven have committed towards completing their Associate in Applied Science degree at the Mays Landing campus starting this fall.

“This certificate program is important because it gives Cape May County residents a convenient place to start their culinary education,” said Joseph Sheridan, Director, The Academy of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. “Many of our students live 45 minutes or more from the Academy’s Mays Landing campus, so offering credit program classes in Cape May removes that barrier, further enabling student success.”

The 13-week class semesters are exclusive to the Cape May campus. They allow students from Cape May County to fit a college education into their seasonal work schedules, which are heavily-dependent on tourism between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The culinary classes were instructed by Adjunct Chef Educator and local restaurateur Peter Gingerelli. Academy Chef Educators Ruth LaTorre and Annmarie Chelius oversaw the Baking and Pastry classes.

“Teaching baking in Cape May was very exciting. The students were able to learn the art of baking in an environment that was both comfortable and challenging,” Chelius said. “Their motivation to bring their new baking skills to their employers’ menus was a great success. As the smell of the wonderful baked goods permeated the campus each day, without a doubt, the student’s favorite part was tasting their baked products, and sharing them with family and friends.”

This past year’s cohort of culinary students participated in the Annual Atlantic Cape Restaurant Gala while student and Cape May resident Tyler Deane traveled with 23 fellow classmates to Italy in May for a 17-day study-abroad educational and cultural excursion.

Culinary Arts Certificate Program classes begin on September 5 while all other general course offerings in Cape May begin on September 25. Visit today to register for the upcoming fall semester.

Nursing program at Cape May campusAlso, last fall, Atlantic Cape’s Registered Nursing Program (RN) began offering evening cohort classes and skill labs in Cape May, allowing county residents to work towards earning their RNs close to home instead of traveling to the Mays Landing campus for in-person classes.

The Nursing Program originally began the evening cohort class at the Mays Landing campus in 2015 before relocating to the Cape May campus.

“The move of the nursing program evening cohort was motivated by pandemic-inspired infection prevention processes requiring additional classroom and laboratory space, and the decade-long history of admitting nursing students who commuted to the Mays Landing campus from Cape May County for their nursing studies,” said Myrna Morales-Keklak, Dean, Nursing and Health Sciences. “Each year 20-25% of newly-admitted nursing students reside in Cape May County and willingly commit to traveling, at a minimum, one hour one-way. The time had come to consider the sacrifice these students were making to achieve their dreams of becoming nurses by affording them the opportunity to complete their nursing degrees closer to home.”

Thanks to the financial assistance provided by a Perkins grant, a fully-functional nursing skills lab was created in Cape May, thus allowing for a more efficient use of classroom resources and additional laboratory space.

This fall, 60 nursing students will attend their lectures and skill labs in Cape May starting September 5 while the remaining 150 RN students and 20 PN students will continue their nursing studies in Mays Landing.

Atlantic Cape’s 68,000-square-foot Cape May Campus opened in August 2005 on South Dennis Road adjacent to the Cape May County 4-H Grounds. The facility features two wings that house an information commons with a combination library and computer lab; a 100-seat lecture hall; a full-service cafeteria; and 19 classrooms, including chemistry and biology labs, three academic computer labs, two continuing-education computer labs and one distance education classroom.

The Cape May Campus offers credit, non-credit and personal enrichment classes. In addition, Atlantic Cape provides support services facilities, including counseling, testing, tutoring and financial aid offices as well as administrative offices.

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About Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers over 40 career, transfer and workforce development programs to more than 8,000 students annually at three campuses in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Cape May Court House and Mays Landing.