Berkeley College President Michael J. Smith Joins New Jersey Leaders at Meadowlands Regional Chamber 2016 Education Summit

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Speakers promote importance of soft skills, internships


Berkeley College

Photo Caption (L to R): Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College (center), joins Thomas Eastwick, Founder and President, Eastwick College (left) and Anne M. Prisco, PhD, President, Felician University, on a panel of New Jersey college presidents at the 2016 Education Summit, hosted by the Meadowlands Regional Chamber.

The need to improve soft skills in the workplace was the topic that had business and education leaders buzzing, as more than 130 attendees gathered for the 2016 Education Summit, hosted on March 31, 2016, by the Meadowlands Regional Chamber.

Panels of business leaders, educators and college presidents shared the challenges and solutions facing education and career readiness as they addressed the question, “Are we educating students today for the workplace of tomorrow?”

Panelists spoke about the value of soft skills such as communications, flexibility, work ethic and problem-solving that may not be inherent to millennials.

“These are a whole new set of skills that are going to be more and more important in the future,” said Ellen Glazerman, Executive Director, Ernst & Young Foundation.

The panel of business leaders also spoke about the importance of diversity and how it contributes to workplace solutions.

Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College, said colleges are training students to step into important roles in the future. Sixty-eight percent of the Berkeley College student body is female, and the majority of students are of African-American or Latino descent.

“What makes New Jersey so great is that we are diverse,” he said. “This is the future of New Jersey. These are the professionals your organizations want to employ.”

He added that Berkeley College has 35 Career Services professionals who are dedicated to working with students on skills that allow them to step into internship opportunities and benefit employers.

Matthew Murphy, EdD, Superintendent, Ramsey School District, spoke about changes on the K-through-12 level, and how schools are redesigning the student experience to increase problem-solving skills.

“Children today have access to information all the time,” he said. “It’s not about what you know – it’s what you do with what you know.”

Kaye Walter, PhD, President of Bergen Community College, said education must continue to adapt at every level.

“The world has changed,” she said. “We can’t continue doing the things we have always done.”

A leader in providing career-focused education since 1931, Berkeley College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and enrolls approximately 8,300 students – including more than 700 international students – in its Baccalaureate and Associate degree and Certificate programs. Students can study in more than 20 career fields. Berkeley College is comprised of the Larry L. Luing School of Business, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Health Studies, and the School of Liberal Arts. The School of Graduate Studies offers a Master of Business Administration degree in Management online and in Woodland Park, NJ.

Berkeley College has five New Jersey locations – Clifton, Dover, Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park. In New York there are three locations – Midtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and White Plains. Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. In January 2016, U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College one of the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Degrees for the third consecutive year. The website address

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