The New Jersey Department of Labor is rolling out another round of funding for a newly revamped “degree apprenticeship program,” meant to put more students in apprenticeship training programs where they can get college credit.
This latest round of funding, $3 million, comes in the second year of this new program, known as the NJ Pathways Leading Apprentices to a College Education 2.0, or NJ PLACE.
It was launched in its current form in February last year – after having been around for a decade – in a bid by the Murphy administration to steer more students toward “work-based learning,” according to a March 9 NJDOL statement.
Under NJ PLACE, students can earn college credit and apprenticeship wages at the same time.
“Apprenticeship and a post-secondary education are not mutually exclusive,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said on March 9. “When completed together, student apprentices can achieve both the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to give them a competitive edge in a continuously evolving workforce.”
The grant funds are used toward covering the costs of the degree program, and applicants with plans to lower tuition costs will be given greater priority.
Applicants have to submit a “letter of intent” by noon on April 16 that they plan to apply for the grant program, and an application by noon on April 23. The employer needs to have an existing partnership agreement with a degree-granting institution, such as a two or four-year college.
“It is critically important to ensure viable career pathways remain available for students during this uncertain time,” said the newly-confirmed Secretary of Higher Education Brian Bridges. “Through this grant funding, students will be offered access to experiential learning opportunities that will match their talent to industry needs and equip them to succeed well into the future.”