To advance another pillar of the New Jersey State Plan for Higher Education, the New Jersey Department of Education, in partnership with the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, has awarded a total of $500,000 in grants for the creation and expansion of high-quality dual enrollment programs in four school districts across the state. The four grant awards will expand opportunities for students to earn college credits from New Jersey institutions of higher education while they are attending high school.
“Affordable access to a high-quality college education has remained a priority since day one of my administration,” said Gov. Phil Murphy. “Alongside expansions of financial aid and other critical efforts shaped by our State Plan for Higher Education, dual enrollment is developing early and cost-effective pathways to a degree for our high school students within their local community. By expanding these opportunities, we’re closing gaps to ensure every student has the ability to pursue higher education.”
This grant opportunity is a direct recommendation from the New Jersey Dual Enrollment Study Commission, which called on the state to expand access to dual enrollment programs, particularly for under-resourced student populations.
“The State Dual Enrollment Pilot Program represents an exciting development in New Jersey’s ongoing commitment to elevating education opportunity,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, acting commissioner of education. “The Dual Enrollment Pilot Program provides more students with enhanced pathways to earn college credits, ensuring that access to higher education is expanded and diversified. It is an investment to cultivate an equitable learning environment for all students.”
“Dual enrollment opportunities have not traditionally been available to students from under-resourced communities,” said Dr. Brian K. Bridges, New Jersey secretary of higher education. “By expanding New Jersey’s dual enrollment partnerships through this funding, we continue to break down barriers to ensure greater numbers of high school students are given the opportunity to pursue postsecondary pathways and to succeed. Equipping a diverse pool of learners in this way is critical in developing the workforce needed to fuel New Jersey’s future.”
Specifically, the grant opportunity required collaborative efforts between institutions of higher education and local education agencies to further expand access to and participation in dual enrollment opportunities statewide, with priority focus on student groups with traditionally lower dual enrollment participation. To be eligible for a grant, LEAs were required to present both: (1) a minimum enrollment of 40% economically disadvantaged students in grades 9 through 12; and (2) an established partnership, or intent to partner, with an accredited New Jersey institute of higher education.
Grant funding has been awarded to:
Local Educational Agencies
Collaborating Institutions ofHigher Education
Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District
Orange Board of Education School District
Hillside Public School District
Thomas Edison State University
Vineland Public School District
Rowan University and Rowan College of South Jersey