The New Jersey Center for Student Success is leading statewide efforts to support community colleges in helping the State of New Jersey reach its ambitious goal of having at least 65 percent of working adults hold some type of post-secondary credential by 2025. Specifically, the Center is expanding educational and support services for learners of all ages and facilitating social service supports for students.
Initiatives for Improving and Expanding Educational and Support Services for Learners
College Readiness Now (CRN) – Funded by the State of New Jersey and administered the New Jersey office of the Secretary of Higher Education, CRN improves college readiness in math and/or English for students by the time they graduate high school by fostering community college and high school partnerships that improve student success. Students living below the poverty line are the target population. Since its inception eight years ago, 48% of participating students have become fully college-ready, while the remaining participating students moved up significantly in the developmental course sequence, saving themselves thousands of dollars and accelerating time to degree completion.
Degrees When Due – In partnership with the Institute for Higher Education Policy and the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, the Center is supporting seven lead New Jersey community colleges in identifying, re-enrolling, and supporting stop-out adult learners who hold 45 credits or more but do not hold a post-secondary certificate, degree or credential.
OnPath - With the support of the Ascendum Foundation and the ECMC Foundation, the Center for Student Success is working with MDRC on OnPath, which provides technical assistance to community colleges to incorporate behavioral communication strategies to improve student retention and completion.
Open Textbook Collaborative – Funded by the U.S. Department fo Education, the Center has joined with Middlesex College, Brookdale Community College, Ocean County College, Passaic County Community College, and Rowan University in creating a statewide community of practice in four high growth career and technical education sectors to create high quality open educational resource textbooks and materials for highly-enrolled STEM/Perkins CTE gateway courses at the state's community colleges.
Scaling Up College Completion Efforts for Student Success (SUCCESS) – Working with MDRC, the Center for Student Success and two lead New Jersey Community Colleges, Essex County College and Passaic County Community College, are part of a four-state pilot program that takes MDRC’s work over the past 15 years in proactive advising, financial incentives, academic momentum, and real-time data to improve student outcomes, especially focusing on struggling low-income, underrepresented minorities, and adult community college students.
Initiatives for Facilitating Social Service Supports for Students
The Every Mind Project: Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Community College Students – The Center for Student Success and its partners, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Health, and the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, are working with New Jersey’s community college counselors to strengthen mental health services by providing evidence-based training to faculty, staff, and students, implement a train the trainer model to promote long-term, sustainable mental health trainings to additional faculty, staff, and students, developing statewide support groups, and strengthening partnerships among community colleges and community-based mental health providers to ensure students have access to mental health services.
The Coalition to Address Students Basic Needs – Led by the Center for Student Success, this coalition – consisting of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, Hunger Free New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, and the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education – significantly expanded access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for community college students and the New Jersey Child Care Subsidy Program for parenting community college students. The Coalition is currently working to address other non-academic barriers to community college student enrollment, retention, and completion.