Dean, Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies
Kenneth T. Vehrkens has been a faculty member at Fairleigh Dickinson University since 1969. He has been an Academic Dean for over 37 years. He is currently the Dean of the Anthony J. Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies of Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is also the Associate Vice-President for Lifelong Learning Programs of the University. Fairleigh Dickinson University is the largest independent University in New Jersey.
As Dean of Petrocelli College, he is chief administrative officer of one of the four colleges of Fairleigh Dickinson University, with an enrollment of over 5,000 credit bearing students and 5,000 non-credit students. The Petrocelli College has 40 full-time faculty, 200 part-time faculty, and twenty-five staff. The College is located on the Metropolitan, the Florham and the Vancouver campuses.
As Dean, he is responsible for all non-credit programs at the University as well as credit programs which include the Edward Williams Associate Degree, the “Puerta al Futuro” – Gateway to the Future Latino Degree Program, the Bachelor of Arts in Individualized Studies Degree, the Bachelor of Science Degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies Degree, the Bachelor of Arts in Sports Administration Degree, the Master of Administrative Science Degree, the Master of Public Administration Degree, the Master of Science in Homeland Security, the Master of Sports Administration, the Master of Arts in Student Service Administration, the Master of Science in Hospitality Management Studies, and the Master of Science in Service, Innovation and Leadership. Additional programs include the Monmouth County Graduate Center, the Atlantic City Degree Completion Program, the Weekend College, Distance Learning Graduate Certificate Programs, Undergraduate and Graduate On-line Degree Completion Programs, Police and Fire Academy Programs, the Degree Completion Program for the Football Giants, the Middle College Program, the Winter Session and all Summer Session Programs. The Programs are offered at the two main campuses of the University, the Vancouver campus and at 100 off-campus locations. Some of the partnerships for Degree Completion involve Wyndham, Quest Diagnostics, Becton-Dickinson, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New Jersey State Police, the National Guard, Booz Allen Hamilton, New Jersey Transit and Verizon Wireless.
During the last ten years, Petrocelli College has received $6.5 million in grants from federal and state sources to support new College initiatives. As Associate Vice-President for Lifelong Learning, his responsibilities include the Community Service Outreach Program, Educational Programs for Senior Citizens, and the Gifted & Talented Programs for Elementary, Middle School and High School students. There are more than 2,500 students ranging in age from 10 to 86 enrolled in these Lifelong Learning Programs.
Dean Vehrkens has served as a Retention Consultant at 25 major Universities. The author of more than 60 research articles, he is also the Educational Consultant for the National Football League. Dean Vehrkens received the Pinnacle Award in 1991, which is the highest award given to a University alumnus. He has been named "Dean of the Year" on three different occasions and was the recipient of the "Elia G. Stratis Castle Award" in 2006. In May 2007, Dean Vehrkens received the "Unsung Hero Award" from Minority Athletes Networking. Dean Vehrkens was inducted into the Fairleigh Dickinson University Division I Athletics Hall of Fame and named “Educator of the Year” by the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce in 2013.