For the past nine months, New Jersey’s community colleges have been working together and with stakeholders to define a bold vision for the future of community colleges (https://njccc.org/vision-2028/). At the core of this vision is a commitment to work with a broad set of partners to help achieve New Jersey’s ambitious goal of ensuring that 65 percent of our working population holds a post-secondary degree or credential by the year 2025. A post-secondary credential or degree is critical to the economic success of many of our residents.
New Jersey’s community colleges have a unique role and responsibility in providing opportunities to all of those who call our state home. The state’s community colleges deliver high-quality college and credential programs and serve 325,000 students annually.
We recognize that in order to meet the state’s ambitious post-secondary attainment goal and to broaden economic opportunities for more individuals, community colleges need to find new and innovative ways to work together with like-minded people and organizations dedicated to ensuring that every New Jerseyan has access to economic mobility and the opportunity to live a successful, productive life.
Currently in New Jersey, there are more than 3 million adults who have no education after high school, hold only a high school diploma, or have obtained some college credits but no credential, certificate, or degree. Without post-secondary credentials, these New Jerseyans will not have the education they need to be successful in the future.
Also, many people aspire to earn a post-secondary credential that leads to a great job, but too many barriers prevent them from being successful, including hunger, homelessness, and access to child care, health care, and other support services.
In the coming months, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges’ Center for Student Success will be launching initiatives and partnerships designed to:
1. Increase the number adults connected to post-secondary opportunities; and
2. Remove barriers to student success with a focus on the social service support needs of students
On Thursday, May 30th at 1:30 p.m. at Rowan College at Burlington County, we will be convening a meeting to obtain input on these efforts and to build the broad partnerships that are needed to advance these efforts.
This kickoff event is an initial conversation with all of us whose mission is to serve the people of New Jersey, and discuss how we might work together to advance economic mobility.
The event will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in Votta Hall at Rowan College of Burlington County, 900 College Circle, Mount Laurel, NJ. The tentative agenda is:
1:30 to 2:15 p.m. – Welcome and Overview
2:15 to 3 p.m. – Keynote Address, Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, founder of the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice
3 to 4 p.m. – Focused Discussion: Partnerships and Strategies to Move Forward