NJ Governor Murphy and Secretary of Education Zakiya Smith Ellis Announcement Regarding Higher Education!
Kelly Williams M.S.Ed Director of Admissions at ESATM
On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at Rutgers University, Governor Murphy and Secretary of Education Zakiya Smith Ellis announced a Student-Centered Vision for NJ Higher Education. Key points in the vision blueprint were:
1. Early Exposure to College
2. Clear and Comprehensible Financial Information
3. Affordable and Predictable Education Costs
4. Experiential Learning Opportunities
5. Supportive Faculty and Staff
6. Support for On-Time College Completion
7. Opportunities to Earn College Credit Outside the Classroom
8. High-Quality Academic Programs
9. Safe, Supportive and Inclusive Campuses
10. A Voice in the Decisions that Affect Their Education
In attendance at this event was an assortment of Senators, College Presidents, College Administrative Staff but most importantly college students. The student speaker was a direct result of the success of the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program, initiated by former Governor Tom Kean. His story outlined his life as a Paterson school system student of a single mother. His vison for his life barely included graduating high school let alone entering college with a double major. With the encouragement of a high school guidance counselor and the EOF program this student is completing one more year of education at Rutgers with a double major, very different from what he had speculated in his future.
The takeaways from this event were that the state of NJ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) plans on improving on and continuing to support New Jersey’s already innovative student forward programs. This plan includes:
1. SNAP programs for Community Colleges
2. Retention of NJ high school graduates in selecting in-state colleges.
3. Clear disclosure of college students employment rates based on major after graduation.
4. Safer learning and campus environments, no inclusion.
5. Life/work experience credit.
6. Supportive faculty and staff including better student resources.
65 by 25-currently the state of NJ retains about 45% of high school graduates to NJ based post-secondary institutions. The goal of OSHE is to increase that number to 65% by the year 2025. As Governor Murphy put it “college students will not be New Jersey’s number one export”. The future of post-secondary education in the state of NJ seems bright and in full support of the student-centered vision for the state of New Jersey’s Higher Education.