Berkeley College Recognizes National Distance Learning Week

Berkeley College Logo
Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, Ext. 1-5122


Continues to Offer Expanded Options for Distance Learning through its Online Community

 Three images of NDLW stories

Photo Caption: The number of Berkeley College students taking at least one online course per semester is increasing. More than 3,100 students (54 percent) enrolled in at least one online class at Berkeley College in the fall 2019 semester. Left to right, Berkeley College Online® Honors student Emily Pross, the world’s leading female downhill longboarder, expects to graduate at the end of the fall 2019 semester with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Communications; Berkeley College alumnus Grovert Fuentes, Class of 2017, is a veteran who launched two businesses while he completed his undergraduate degree, taking online courses. Berkeley College student-veteran Josephine Cornacchia, thrives as an Honors student taking both on site and online courses.

Share the News: @BerkeleyCollege  @USDLA  #NDLW  #NewsBerkeley

Berkeley College enters its 21st year of offering a distance learning option to students, recognizing National Distance Learning Week (NDLW) November 4 to November 8, 2019, in accordance with the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), noting that growing data indicates a blended learning approach that combines taking online and on site courses benefits student the most.

“At Berkeley College, we know that students who take a combination of both online and on site courses persist more than if they take only online or on site courses,” said Joseph Scuralli, DPS, Dean, Online, Berkeley College. In the fall 2019 semester, 54 percent of the undergraduates enrolled in at least one online class, a nine percent increase over 2018. Nearly 60 percent of the students enrolled in the Master of Business Administration in Management program are earning their degrees online.

“Beyond establishing a quality online teaching and learning option early on, Berkeley College provides students with a well-rounded, dynamic online college experience that continues to be recognized by others today, including U.S. News & World Report,” said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College. U.S News & World Report has ranked Berkeley College for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans for the past six years, 2014-2019.

Berkeley College student Emily Pross of Mineral, VA, is completing her internship and last semester earning her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Communications online. Worldwide, Ms. Pross has held the record for five consecutive years as the top-ranked female competitor in her sport. She recently competed in the Olympic-sanctioned event, the “World Roller Games” (WRG) and won Gold for the United States. Because of her interest in professional downhill longboard racing, earning a college degree could have been postponed indefinitely, had she not enrolled in Berkeley College Online®. “Thanks to the online option, I can sign into my classes and complete coursework before and after competitions while I am on the road,” said Ms. Pross, who is an Honors student and competed in eight races throughout six countries in 2019. 

Ms. Pross has been using marketing and branding concepts she learned in her college courses to gain sponsorships that help pay for skating equipment and travel expenses, which allowed her to compete in more competitions. Following graduation, Ms. Pross will pursue her career as a marketing specialist in the downhill skating industry or in extreme sports. She hopes someday to have her own business.

Josephine Cornacchia of Woodland Park, NJ, served in the United States Air Force for five years in satellite communications for a combat communications squadron, mostly in Georgia. It took her a while to overcome challenges in transitioning to civilian life. She started her educational journey by earning a Certificate in Culinary Arts at Eva’s Kitchen in Paterson, NJ.  Then an instructor who was a fellow veteran recommended Berkeley College. She finds taking both on site and online courses is the best approach for her.

“It worked for what I needed because I was having a baby. I was able to stay enrolled continuously because it gave me the convenience of staying home,” Ms. Cornacchia said. An Honors student, this semester she is taking three courses online and two on site. One course is a project-based internship online for the New York YWCA. Following graduation, she wants to complete the new Online Paralegal Certificate program at Berkeley College, which begins in January 2020.

“I enjoy going to school,” Ms. Cornacchia said. “I will complete the Certificate in six months and it will distinguish my credentials when I apply for permanent employment.”

Berkeley College alumnus Grovert Fuentes developed a reputation as a combat photographer during his six years of military service. After his discharge, he knew he needed to prepare for a new career because he had sustained injuries that made it impossible to continue with his passion for photography. Searching for a military-friendly college, he discovered Berkeley and was attracted to support services offered for veterans and the flexibility that Berkeley offered. Mr. Fuentes took classes at night while working during the day. At age 24, he feared being the “old guy” in class, but found students of all ages and from all backgrounds. The experience helped him expand his perspectives. While still attending Berkeley College, he launched two of his own businesses – Fit Lifestyle Box, a subscription-based service offering fitness-related products, and T-Print Express, a print shop. To continue his studies while devoting time to the startups, Mr. Fuentes took online classes. His professors helped by offering advice for getting the businesses off the ground.

“I don’t think I would have been able to start my businesses and remain in school without being able to take online classes,” said Mr. Fuentes.

Having accomplished much since earning his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Communications in 2017, Mr. Fuentes continues planning for his future. He loves to travel and enjoys public speaking engagements with other Berkeley veteran alumni. “It’s a network that is extremely valuable,” he said. “Veterans are always willing to help each other and I’ve gained friends who are always supporting me through the Berkeley veterans community.”

To view a video story about Berkeley College alumnus Grovert Fuentes click here.

NDLW highlights worldwide content that features distance-learning accomplishments from all sectors including pre-K-12, higher education, corporate, government/military and telehealth. Some of the activities included in this year’s celebration are: the Online Film Club’s selection “The Circle;” an Online Fall Art & Creativity Festival; the Online Book Club’s selections that focus on Mental Health Awareness: “What Made Maddy Run,” by Kate Fagan, “High Achiever” by Tiffany Jenkins and “72 Hour Hold” by Bebe Campbell; a video networking opportunity to engage with students from all Berkeley Colleges in a virtual setting, a LinkedIn challenge, an online essay contest, and a community service initiative called Adopt an Air Force Unit.

More than 24 percent of students enrolled in fall 2019 at Berkeley College are earning their undergraduate degrees entirely online. Year-round, Berkeley College Online® campus life experiences include online clubs, social media engagement, wellness and personal development programs, and workshops focusing on student success. All of the student support services such as Academic Advisement, Library, the Center for Academic Success, and Career Services are available to online students as well as to students on site. Berkeley College Online students are also invited to apply for the Berkeley College Honors Program.

To read an article that debunks myths about online learning click here.

About Berkeley College
Berkeley College is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College has campuses in Newark, Paramus, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, as well as in Midtown Manhattan and White Plains, NY, with more than 5,700 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for six consecutive years. The website address is

The mission of Berkeley College is to empower students to achieve lifelong success in dynamic careers.

- End -