Paterson Ribbon-Cutting Press release
Photo Left to Right: Pastor Michael McDuffie, Mayor Andre Sayegh, Superintendent Eileen Shafer, Pillar College Vice President, Pillar College Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Rupert Hayles, Student Lounge.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Pillar College had a ribbon-cutting at its new location, 111 Washington Street, Paterson on Wednesday. Following state guidelines regarding social gatherings the event was only attended by a few invited guests, future open house events that will be open to the public once restrictions are released.
“Wednesday’s Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Pillar College’s new Paterson campus was symbolic of the collective efforts by the entire Paterson community in bringing a four-year accredited college to the city of Paterson” said Dominic DiGioacchino, M.Ed., Associate Vice President – Interim Director of Admissions. I would like to sincerely thank our Paterson Partners for making this new campus possible; including Superintendent Eileen Shafer, Mayor Andre Sayegh, Dr. Randall Lassiter, and or course the great Reverend Michael McDuffie. Without the help and support of these individuals and so many others, Pillar in Paterson would not have been possible.”
Attendees were given tours of the recently renovated space. This location has marble floors, sleek white and black interior and exposed brick walls. There are several classrooms, a state-of-the-art computer lab, conference rooms, private study areas and a student lounge with views of the city.
“We are marking another historic milestone for Pillar College and commemorate the opening of our new Paterson site. We would not be here if it weren’t for the support of the community,” expressed Dr. David E. Schroeder, President of Pillar College. “Pillar College sees itself as a practical Christian college. We are designing new career-friendly majors so that graduates will be able to get jobs right out of college.”
Students can enroll for the Spring semester for several of Pillar College’s most popular programs to help them obtain college degrees and entrepreneurs open businesses. BLEND and LEAD are the programs offered at this location. BLEND (Bi-Lingual ENtry Degree) is the pioneer program that allows Hispanic students to take accredited college classes in Spanish and LEAD (Life-Enhancing Accelerated Degree) is a cohort, or collaborative small group format, program that helps students with some college credits to complete their degrees.
“I am delighted to hear of Pillar College’s new campus here in our city, Paterson. Having been part of the team with the Board of Education that unanimously gave approval for the college to be welcomed here in Paterson, it is great to see its continued growth. I have seen how Pillar College supports the Hispanic community to receive the education and training needed to reach their goals. Pillar College is a door of hope for the city of Paterson. Congratulations Pillar College on your continued growth,” said Councilman Alex Mendez.
The Paterson location also holds the Pillar Center for Transformative Work (PCTW), the College’s newly acquired incubator program. PCTW trains urban entrepreneurs and businesses to launch and grow thriving businesses which employ local residents in their enterprises.
“As Paterson Superintendent of Schools, I want to welcome Pillar College to the great City of Paterson. Our school district has worked with Pillar College in the professional development of our educators, leading them to more fulfilling careers and developing their abilities to help provide better education for our students. Pillar College is a great neighbor to have in the great City of Paterson.” expressed Eileen Shafer, Superintendent of Paterson Public Schools.
The LEAD program offers students the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s degree part-time in as little as 18-20 months. It is tailored to adult learners and provides the flexibility needed to juggle full-time work and family responsibilities while simultaneously pursuing an accredited degree program.
“There are many NJ residents who have earned some college credits, however, have not had the opportunity to complete their degree. The LEAD program offers these students the ability to fulfill their dreams,” states Dr. Schroeder. “We’re hopeful that by bringing Pillar College’s LEAD program to Paterson, we can increase the number of college graduates living here, potentially contributing to increased employment opportunities, benefitting the students, as well as potential employers in the area.”
Students accepted into the LEAD program can convert their life experiences and prior learning into credits through portfolio assessments. This has the potential to translate into a maximum of 30 credits for “life learning,” plus a savings of one year in tuition and reduced classroom time.
Marisol Rodriguez, Executive Director of RENEW Life Center, states “Congratulations to Pillar College on their new campus location in Paterson NJ. RENEW Life Center is excited to use Pillar College’s specialized programs like Start Here, BLEND, and DEED as a resource to help the families we serve move from just surviving to thriving.”
The BLEND program allows students to take general education classes, such as math, psychology, biology and history in their native language (ex. Spanish), while concurrently enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to achieve English competency. After taking these core classes, students will then transition to taking all remaining academic requirements in English.
“A key distinction of Pillar’s BLEND program is that unlike other college programs that require ESL competency at level 4 or 5 before any academic classes can be taken, our BLEND program allows students to take core academic instruction immediately,” noted Dr. Joseph Andino, BLEND Program Chair.
For a tour and/or additional information, please call (973) 803-5000, ext. 1000.
About Pillar College
Pillar College is a comprehensive institution of higher learning, providing a Christ-centered education. Pillar College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and licensed by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). Pillar College offers Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs. Pillar College educates, inspires, and equips students for excellent scholarship, service and leadership. Rooted in and committed to Christian faith, Pillar College fosters intellectual, spiritual and social development among its diverse student population. Pillar College has locations in Newark, Somerset, Paterson and Plainfield, New Jersey. Founded in 1908. For more information about Pillar College, visit