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Rockland Community College
TypePublic community college
Established1959; 65 years ago (1959)
Parent institution
State University of New York
Officer in charge
Beth A. Coyle
ProvostVictoria Ukachukwu
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
Campus175 acres (0.71 km2)
ColorsKillarney, Gunsmoke, Cream Can, Tangerine & White
NicknameFighting Hawks
AffiliationsState University of New York
MascotRocky the Hawk

Rockland Community College (RCC) is a public community college in the town of Ramapo, New York in Rockland County. It is part of the State University of New York. The college, established in 1959, became the 18th community college to join the SUNY system. The college offers 51 programs and offers associate degrees and certificates. Additionally, students can earn other degrees, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts in the arts and sciences, Doctoral Program in Executive Leadership (EdD), technology, and health professions while attending classes at Rockland through articulation programs with four-year schools. The current enrollment is 6,859 students.

The main campus is in Suffern, New York, but classes are also offered at an extension sites in Haverstraw, Nyack and Orangeburg. The Spring Valley satellite campus, sold for $4.2 million, has been discontinued. It was located in the historic North Main Street School.[3] Instructions were discontinued at the Haverstraw Extension Center in 2020.

The college has more than 525 full and part-time faculty members, including several Fulbright Scholars,[4] SUNY Chancellor's Award winners, and published authors and artists. The faculty-student ratio is 22:1. Rockland has the third highest transfer rate in the SUNY system and has a Continuing Education programs which served about 3,500 each year.


An institution called Rockland College, chartered by the state Board of Regents in 1878, existed for sixteen years in Nyack, New York.

Rockland Junior College, supported by federal funds disbursed through New York State, and sponsored by Nyack High School was established in 1932 as one of several depression-era two-year schools. New York University and Syracuse University accepted two years of credit from the college. Rockland Junior College shut down in 1935.

Rockland Community College came eighteen years and later was organized to be an affordable, two-year college in location convenient for county residents; it was planned that it would raise taxes by only $4 a year. At the time, Rockland County, the state's smallest in geographic area outside of New York City, was growing exponentially in population and in demand for a skilled, educated work force. Between 1956 and 1970, Rockland's population was one of the fastest growing in the state, expected to double from 107,000 to 215,000 and the number of high school graduates was projected to rise from 700 to 2,463.

Large local industries like Avon Products in Suffern and Lederle Laboratories in Pearl River required more skilled workers, and the growth of Rockland County hospitals, Nyack Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern warranted the creation of a nursing program.

Sixty-nine percent of parents polled expressed interest in their children attending a community college in Rockland County, and 183 high school juniors indicated a strong interest in and an ability to attend a community college in Rockland County.

In 2020, According to the United States Census Bureau, Rockland County, the thirteenth largest county in the State of New York population is 338,329,[5] Rockland County 65 public schools population is estimated at 40,000 students which includes 22,000 attending the 10 public high schools which currently has a graduation rate of 87%.



On October 3, 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs hosted the first induction of RCC students who are veterans into SALUTE - Veterans National Honors Society. SALUTE, established in 2008 is headquartered out of Colorado State University has over 90 chapters in colleges and universities across the country. RCC is the first community college to have a chapter of this organization.

Past Events

In the 1970, concerts and big-ticket events were held in the Eugene Levy Field house. Several major artist included, Billy Joel, Earth, Wind & Fire, Genesis, Meat Loaf, Styx and The Monkees.[11]


Photo of the Rockland Community College Technology Center.
Technology Center
Academic I at Rockland Community College
Academic I

The main campus and main entrance on Almshouse Road is located on the crest of a sloping rise in a former farm community known as Mechanicsville, renamed Viola when a post office was established in 1882. The original property included:

A photo of the Student Union and Academic II buildings at Rockland Community College.
Student Union (left), Academic II (right)

Gary Onderdonk Rockland Veterans Cemetery

A cemetery was established on the property for almshouse residents, and shortly after the property was designated for the college's campus, the county designated a tract to serve as a veterans cemetery. The Korean War Monument is large granite rock at the Gary Onderdonk Rockland Veterans Cemetery on Rockland Community College's campus with a plaque bearing the names of all 27 Rocklanders killed in action during the Korean War, with the inscription: "They gave their today for your tomorrow."


RCC is sponsored by the County of Rockland and operating and administered by a ten-member Rockland Community College Board of Trustees that is appointed pursuant to New York State Education Law § 6306.[12] Nine of the Trustees serve seven-year terms, with five of those appointed by the county and four by the Governor. The tenth trustee is a voting, student representative.[13] The board in turn appoints a President who hires and supervises the staff. RCC is a community college unit of the State University of New York and is also subject to regulation and visitation by the Regents of the University of the State of New York.


The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[14] Some specific programs are also programmatically accredited:


Rockland Community College offers 40 associate degrees and 11 one-year certificate programs.[18] It also partners with other institutions to provide students with pathways to some bachelor's and master's degrees. Like most community colleges, it also provides continuing education and life skills courses.

In 2017 Rockland Community College was ranked the best community college in New York for adult learners in Washington Monthly's recent annual ranking of American colleges and universities. Rockland Community College rated twenty-eighth nationwide out of nearly 1,500 two-year colleges.[19] The following year, the college was named the fifth Campus Pride's 2018 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities[20]

In 2021, Rockland Community College received the Insight into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award[21]

In 2022, Economic Mobility Workforce Innovation (EMWI) Division of Rockland Community College was introduced focusing on Workforce development that provides employment prospects in work markets by offering comprehensive certificate programs, including Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Medical credentials, Commercial Driver's License (CDL), Google IT, "stack-able" credentials and community educational programs such as Computer literacy and Scholastic Aptitude Test review courses.

High School Program

The Rockland Community College High School Program began in 2010. Rockland Community College academic departments have oversight of the curriculum, textbooks, and student assessments offered at the high schools. High school teachers who are college adjuncts teach the courses at the high schools. Rockland Community College participates in the New York Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NYCEP),[22] which enables the college to network and share strategies of concurrent enrollment programs offered throughout SUNY community colleges.

Cambridge University Study Abroad Program

Great Court of King's College.

Students must be at least 18 years of age and meet the requirement of a minimum 3.0 GPA and two faculty recommendations when classes begin at Cambridge University in July or August. Students can be from any college but must apply through the RCC Sam Draper M/TS Honors Program Office in Spring to be eligible.

Maritime Studies Program

Rockland Community College offers the nation's first Maritime Studies Program works with a US Coast Guard-approved partner featuring online training with hands-on classroom instruction at the college's campuses. Through the RCC/Learn America program, Mariners seeking work on board any vessel are required to complete a Coast Guard-approved Basic Training course. Students also are able to sign up for any of the individual elements of the Basic Training course.[23]

Industrial Development Agency (IDA)

in 2023, Rockland Community College (RCC). Skill Up Rockland, part of RCC's strategic initiative to close skills gaps, meet employer talent needs, and increase economic mobility has partnered with Rockland Rockland County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), in advancing the economic welfare and general prosperity of Rockland County by promoting the development of various facilities, industries, and businesses within the region actively supporting the growth of commerce and industry in Rockland County.[24]

Campus life

The Connection Center

In 2016 Rockland Community College opened The 211 Connection Center which connects students to off-campus resources regarding health and human services such as housing, childcare, food, utilities and legal because "life happens".[25]


The Rockland Hawks compete in the Mid Hudson Conference and belong to Region XV of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Many RCC alumni advance to competing at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) sponsored colleges or universities and several have gone on to professional sports careers as players, coaches, scouts and trainers.

Sports facilities

Sports championships

New York Boulders

Rockland Community College was the training camp site in 2011 for the Rockland Boulders (now the New York Boulders of the Frontier League) during the construction of their ballpark, Clover Stadium in Pomona, New York.

Notable faculty

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b About the College page, RCC website,
  2. ^ "SUNY Fast Facts". State University of New York (SUNY).
  3. ^ Nancy Goblet and William E. Krattinger (July 2007). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: North Main Street School". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved May 28, 2010.
  4. ^ The College - Why Rockland Community College
  5. ^ "QuickFacts Rockland County, New York". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 26, 2021.
  6. ^ Goals and Gold
  7. ^ SUNY Board of Trustees and Rockland Community College Announce Presidential Appointment at RCC
  8. ^ Bio Bishop Michael Anthony Baston
  9. ^ RCC Elevates Susan Deer & Katherine Lynch While College Seeks New President
  10. ^ Rockland Community College Has Announced the Selection of the College's Eighth President
  11. ^ Rockland Community College to demolish old amphitheater
  12. ^ "Trustee Bylaws". Rockland Community College. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  13. ^ New York State Education Law § 6306.
  14. ^ Rockland Community College Accredited
  15. ^ Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc (ACEN)
  16. ^ American Occupational Therapy Association Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
  17. ^ New York State Board of Regents, State Education Department, Office of the Professions (Nursing Education)
  18. ^ "Facts about Rockland Community College". Rockland Community College. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
  19. ^ RCC Named #1 Community College in New York for Adult Students
  20. ^ Campus Pride's 2018 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities
  21. ^ RCC Receives Insight into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award
  22. ^ New York Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NYCEP)
  23. ^ RCC Maritime Studies Program the First of its Kind
  24. ^ Partnership Part of RCC's Strategic Initiative “Skill Up Rockland”
  25. ^ 211 The Connection Center - We're here for you when life happens.
  26. ^ RCC's Diana Carey Earns National Award for Athletic Training
  27. ^ Historic Achievement: Tayejon Lynch Earns NJCAA All-American Honors
  28. ^ "'Bad Lieutenant' filmmaker Abel Ferrara got his start at Rockland Community College". Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  29. ^ NBA Assistant Coach Guest Stars in Life After the Rock

41°7′56.78″N 74°5′14.71″W / 41.1324389°N 74.0874194°W / 41.1324389; -74.0874194