New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis announced a $20 million investment in higher education in the release Tuesday of “Where Opportunity Meets Innovation: A Student-Centered Vision for New Jersey Higher Education.”
The following educators will chair the five working groups that comprise the higher education plan:
Camden County College President Donald Borden and Laura Overdeck from the Overdeck Family Foundation will head Creating On-ramps to College.
Rutgers University Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor and Rowan University President Ali Houshmand will co-chair Making College Affordable.
Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman and Reginald Lewis of the Newark City of Learning Collaborative will co-chair Student Success.
Sarah McMahon from Rutgers University and Maggie McMenamin from Union County College will co-chair Safe and Inclusive Learning Environments.
The New Jersey Institute of Technology President Joel Bloom and BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart will co-chair Research, Talent, and Innovation.
The plan is based around a Student Bill of Rights which includes early exposure to college, starting in middle school; clear and comprehensive financial information on costs and financial aid; affordable and predictable education costs with support to cover expenses; experiential learning opportunities through research and/or internships; supportive faculty and staff with time and resources to support student learning; support for on-time college completion; opportunities to earn college credit outside the classroom for work and other experiences; high-quality academic programs that will prepare students for success in the global economy; safe, supportive and inclusive campuses that welcome all students; and a voice in the decisions that affect their education.
Murphy and Smith Ellis unveiled the plan at Rutgers University-Newark, surrounded by students, state officials, and other higher education stakeholders.
Smith Ellis said the plan’s central goal is to have 65 percent of New Jersey residents graduate from college by 2025. She wants every New Jerseyan to have the opportunity to obtain a high-quality credential that prepares them for life after college.