Montclair State University students had a range of reactions on the recently announced merger with Bloomfield College, which is expected to be completed in June 2023.
The Oct. 26 announcement comes a year after Bloomfield College started looking for support from higher education institutions as threats of closure were rising.
The news left the Montclair State community questioning the future of the institution and what the merging represents for Montclair State.
Devin Sanderson-Raphael, a junior family science and human development major, noted that with the merger, each college could help one another grow in its programs.
“My main thought is ‘Are there going to be more students coming to our campus?’ since we are already pretty congested with traffic,” Raphael said. “What would be really exciting is to see how our organizations could grow, specifically with the Office for Social Justice and Diversity where I volunteer. If they don’t have diversity training on campus, we could bring it to them.”
Andrew Mees, the university spokesperson, described what the merging would entail for Montclair State students.
“Under the new partnership, Montclair [State] students will have additional pathways to earn a degree,” Mees said. “They may also choose to enroll in Bloomfield College of [Montclair State University] to take advantage of a distinctive educational experience: a supportive, small-college environment backed by the resources of a public research university.”
Balti Torres, a junior communication and media studies major, shared his experience with colleges joining together.
“I definitely think some of the majors are going to move around,” Torres said. “I was a transfer student from [New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)] who had something similar happen and some majors did move around. It’s going to be interesting to see what upgrades both institutions receive and how that’s going to work.”
Lindsey Scheier, a freshman visual communication design major, explained how the opportunities for new programs at both institutions could increase as well.
“If Bloomfield [College] has classes or programs that we don’t have, it would be interesting to see how their administrators and ours come together to provide more for their students, similar to how Rutgers [University] operates with three campuses across New Jersey,” Scheier said.
Scheier also highlighted how the financial aspect of both institutions plays a big role in determining their futures.
“It seems like a financial thing if anything,” Scheier said. “Bloomfield College was private before the announcement and Montclair [State] is going to offer and secure jobs to those employed or who need opportunities.”
Mees also assured that Montclair State’s current tuition rate would not be affected by the change.
“There will be no impact on [Montclair State’s] tuition,” Mees said. “The University is dedicated to remaining one of the most affordable institutions in New Jersey and this partnership will not change that. Bloomfield College students will become part of Montclair State University’s total enrollment.”