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A good, quality education is in full reach for anyone attending Ocean County College (OCC) in Toms River. The state’s first county college remains a landmark and premier educational institution. Established in 1964, OCC offers everything you would want in a two-year community college and more.

Almost 9,000 full- and part-time commuter students currently attend to earn associate degrees, certificates and licensures in day, evening, weekend, online and distance learning classes. OCC offers an Associate in Arts (AA), an Associate in Science (AS) and the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) to prepare students for bachelor’s degree programs or to help move them forward in their careers.

Associate degrees are available in business, the social sciences, nursing and the health sciences, the arts, humanities, science, technology/computers, engineering and mathematics.

For those looking to polish skills for immediate employment, OCC offers the Certificate of Completion and Certificate of Proficiency in programs as varied as accounting and addictions counseling to small business management and visual communications.

What’s more, OCC affords students a flexible learning environment amid 275 acres of beautiful wooded land. Students can take classes on OCC’s main campus in Toms River, at OCC’s Southern Education Center in Manahawkin (20 minutes south) and at various designated sites throughout the county to better serve the needs of residents.

OCC’s e-Learning online courses allow students to complete an Associate in Applied Science degree in business; an Associate in Arts degree in liberal arts; or an Associate in Science degree in business administration, computer science with options in game development and design, information systems, and information technology, criminal justice, engineering, environmental science, general studies, homeland security and public service. Students also have the option of taking individual online classes, too, in business, computers, education, humanities, literature, mathematics, science, social science and more.

Another way OCC demonstrates its commitment to excellence is through its faculty. Many have had work published in books and distinguished journals. They present regularly at national and international conferences in their chosen fields, and thanks to small class sizes, they regularly offer students one-on-one attention. Moreover, many classroom activities have expanded to include study abroad programs, with some seminars being offered in Morocco, France, England, Spain and Mexico.

A clear extension of the greater community, OCC awards college credit for certain high school classes held at the Ocean County Vocational Technical School. Its Bridge Program helps to prepare high school students for standardized college testing, and OCC offers embedded classes at select high schools to give students the opportunity to earn college credit even before they reach college.

OCC also has an established partnership with Kean University that allows residents to complete upper division courses required for certain Kean bachelor’s degree programs and specific graduate programs (master’s and doctoral-level) offered on OCC’s Toms River campus.

Outside of classes, OCC students stay plugged in and active on campus. Many join student groups and organizations, while others find their place participating in any of the 14 athletic programs offered, including men’s baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, women’s softball, men’s and women’s tennis and women’s volleyball.

If that were not enough, the Toms River campus is also home to the state-of-the-art ow Planetarium and the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, which attracts performing acts and talents of national and international acclaim.

Whether it is to polish old skills or to enhance new ones, Ocean County College offers a world-class education that is affordable with flexible scheduling in a wide variety of subjects. With outstanding faculty members and a school built to propel the next generation forward, it is no surprise that this institution continues to be a model of academic success.

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