Volume 2, No. 1
September 28, 2015
Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks
What's New? 
Secretary Hendricks highlights news from colleges and universities across the state.

With the semester already underway, there are events, programs and interesting news items on campuses all over New Jersey. Read below to find out more about an Emmy-nominated documentary produced by Essex County College. Learn about Associate Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor visit to Rutgers. NJIT and St. Peter's University discuss high national rankings, and Brookdale Community College describes how its Poseidon Early College Program helps students earn high school and college credits at the same time.

As always, our agency offers news and information on graduation rates, enrollment and tuition on our web site. Scroll down -- read more! You may be surprised by what you learn.   

Essex County College Biology Professor Dr. Jeffrey Lee, Essex County College President Dr. Gale E. Gibson, Sofia Medina, her brother Sebastian, father Jose Medina Sr. and her brother, Pedro.
Essex Co. College Video Nominated for Emmy
Immigrant family from Ecuador gains access to the American Dream. 

"An Immigrant's Story," which 
focused on Sofia Medina and her
family's struggles to obtain
Permanent Residence cards as they all worked toward their educational
goals, has been nominated
for an Emmy. Sofia went on to study medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and her entire family enrolled at Essex County College.  In  addition to Sofia, the segment featured her family, Essex Biology Professor Dr. Jeffrey Lee and Essex County College President Dr. Gale E. Gibson. 

TCNJ's Campus Town Project provided housing for more than 440 students this fall.

TCNJ Campus Town Officially Opens

New dorms, retail space provided for more than 440 students. 

Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno, TCNJ President R. Barbara Gitenstein, and CEO of PRC Group Robert Kaye at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August.

The Campus Town project will include the development of approximately 12 acres of property adjacent to TCNJ's Ewing campus along Pennington Road. It will create approximately 278,000 square feet of housing and amenities, including approximately 195,000 square feet of living quarters with the capacity to house 446 students.

MONEY Magazine Ranks Saint Peter's Fifth in the Nation for Colleges That Add the Most Value

Jersey City, N.J. - Saint Peter's University is proud to announce that it has been named to MONEY┬« Magazine's list of best colleges in the United States for 2015-2016. Saint Peter's was ranked fifth nationwide in the category of "Colleges That Add the Most Value." According to the magazine, the top value-added colleges are those "that best help students exceed expectations." The University was also ranked in the top 18 percent of all American colleges for educational quality, affordability and alumni outcomes.

"Our consistent recognition in national college rankings in the value category truly demonstrates Saint Peter's commitment to providing the best return on investment for our students," said Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter's University. "We are very proud to be acknowledged by MONEY Magazine as this rank further exemplifies the University's commitment to our students, which begins the moment they step foot on campus through graduation and beyond, as our alumni go on to pursue successful careers."

Brookdale's Poseidon Early College Program Offers College and High School Credits Simultaneously 

The Poseidon Early College program is the first of its kind in the state of New Jersey,
The newest members of the Poseidon Early College High School program tour the Brookdale Community College campus in August. Photo by Brookdale Community College.
offering first-generation college students the opportunity to earn an associate degree by the time they graduate high school. Students take college courses offered by Brookdale faculty at the college's newly renovated 
Neptune Higher Education Center , across the street from Neptune Township High School.

"It's pretty cool," said Poseidon student Joe Sarambo, of Neptune. "I mean, it's weird knowing that I'm 14 and I'm in college now, but I'm excited. I know it's a lot of work, but I don't mind."   The free program, administered by Brookdale and the Neptune Township School District (NTSD), is funded by an unprecedented $1 million endowment to the college from local education advocates Dr. Robert and Joan Rechnitz.

The Brookings Institution Ranks NJIT in the Top 1 Percent for Alumni Earning Power 

NJIT ranks in the top 1 percent of colleges and universities in the U.S. for its occupational earnings power - a measure of the market value of the careers it prepares its graduates to pursue, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution, the Washington, D.C.-based think tank.
In a second measure, NJIT alumni are among the top 10 percent of high earners for mid-career salaries, as compared with the thousands of two- and four-year colleges and universities surveyed for the study, from Stanford University, to Northeastern University, to Florida State College at Jacksonville.
The report, "Beyond College Rankings: A Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two and Four-Year Schools," looks closely at how well colleges prepare their students for high-paying careers. It bills itself as 'value-added' for assessing the contributions that the colleges themselves make to their graduates' eventual economic success, beyond their ability to attract well-prepared, high-achieving students who would likely succeed anywhere.

L to R top row: Cynthia Negron, Bria Wallace, Justice Baskin, Yasmin Wadud, and Keshawn Williams. L to R bottom row: Nathalie Barillas, Jennifer Zumba-Salto, and Clara Vasquez.
L to R: Helen Solomon, Justice Baskin, Jennifer Zumba-Salto, and Deizhani Rodriguez.

Caldwell University EOF Students

New Jersey's Educational Opportunity Fund, which helps about 13,000 disadvantaged students throughout the State succeed in school, has started its 47th year.

Pictured are students at Caldwell University who enjoyed an introductory summer program. For a progress report on one of the nation's most successful student success programs,  click here.

Montclair State University's new school of business, opening fall 2015
Montclair's New School of Business Receives $20 Million Gift
Anonymous gift is largest in University's 107-year history.

Montclair State University announced on July 8 that it has received a $20 million anonymous gift, which is the single largest donation that the University has received in its 107-year history.  Funds from the gift will be dedicated to support the University's School of Business and to advance its mission of transforming today's students into tomorrow's business leaders, successful entrepreneurs and industry innovators.

"Montclair State is both grateful and honored to receive this extraordinary gift and the recognition that comes with it of the quality of education that this University has made available to the people of New Jersey," said Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole in announcing the gift.

Read more.
Dean Sharon Sherman and Associate Professor Judith Fraivillig were invited to the White House with other education experts to discuss policy.
Two Rider University School of Education Leaders Invited to White House

Representing one of only two schools of education invited to attend, Rider's representatives collaborated with national leaders in science, technology, mathematics and engineering to discuss national policy around STEM. Judith  Fraivillig, an associate professor of mathematics education at Rider, was both honored and inspired to be invited to participate. "It was gratifying to participate with administration officials and practitioners in exploring innovations in STEM teacher education, and to see Rider's Teach First Class model contributing to the narrative on positive transformation," she said.

Dean Sharon Sherman also felt energized by the visit. "I am inspired by the commitment of the White House to STEM education in America," she says. "Participating in sessions with leaders from across the nation was invigorating. I look forward to sharing what I learned from this experience with my students and colleagues at Rider."  As a member of the prestigious 100K in 10, the School of Education at Rider actively works to create opportunities for partnerships between its education students and local school districts. 100Kin10 works with the nation's best universities, corporations, foundations and government agencies to instruct and retain 100,000 excellent STEM teachers to educate the next generation of innovators and thinkers. These groups are working together to answer the Carnegie Corporation of New York and Opportunity Equation's challenge to train 100,000 excellent STEM teachers by 2021.

News from Rutgers University

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor Tops List of Distinguished Speakers as Eagleton Institute of Politics Marks 60th Anniversary

A former U.S. senator who helped change the way America looks at its national pastime,
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
and the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, top the lineup of speakers, initiatives and events marking Rutgers' Eagleton Institute of Politics' 60th anniversary.  Sen. George Mitchell, the principal investigator  and author of the report bearing his name on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball in 2007, will visit Rutgers on Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m., at Trayes Hall in the Douglass Student Center, New Brunswick. 

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the high court's third woman Justice, will speak in April 2016. B ronx-born Justice Sotomayor, whose parents came from Puerto Rico, is the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. She will speak as part of the Louis J. Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series. Gambaccini, a well-respected transit executive, is perhaps best known for his role in creating New Jersey Transit. Details of Justice Sotomayor's visit will be released later.    

American Bar Association Approves Merger Creating Rutgers Law School   

CHICAGO - The Council of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar has approved the merger of Rutgers' law schools into one unified Rutgers Law School with two distinct locations in Camden and Newark, during its annual meeting. The ABA's Accreditation Committee voted in June to recommend approval of the proposed merger as did the Rutgers Board of Governors in April.  "We are elated with the ABA's decision to approve the new Rutgers Law School," says Acting Co-Dean John Oberdiek. "We believe strongly that our ambitious model allows for increased opportunities for all Rutgers Law students to advance their career searches and to learn from a wider selection of world-class faculty."

Keenly attuned to the evolving demands of the legal profession and to the need for legal scholarship and education to address the public good, the new Rutgers Law School offers a comprehensive curriculum, propelled by one of the nation's largest faculties with wide-ranging expertise. The expansive course offerings are made possible through cutting-edge immersive technology currently in place that connects the two locations and brings great legal scholars and students together in real time.

Rutgers Raises a Record $187.9 Million in 2014-15; total 
tops previous fundraising record by nearly 27 percent

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Fueled by a surge in donations at the end of the most successful fundraising campaign in its history, Rutgers University raised a record $187.9 million during the 2014-15 academic year.  That total marked a 26.6-percent increase over the previous year's record of $148.4 million, the Rutgers University Foundation announced today.  "Thanks to the growing generosity of our donors, Rutgers University has greater resources to support our outstanding students, groundbreaking faculty research and new classrooms, labs and other world-class facilities," said Rutgers University President Robert Barchi. "This record level of giving demonstrates donors' enthusiasm for the vision outlined in the university's comprehensive strategic plan, which will propel Rutgers to the ranks of the nation's finest public universities."  The five-year strategic plan, adopted in February 2014 by the Rutgers Board of Governors, outlines ambitious aspirations to promote faculty excellence, improve the student experience and enhance infrastructure, among other key priorities.

Super Catnip Repels Mosquitoes and Drives Cats Wild

Rutgers has invented a mosquito repellant
A bigger, more hearty catnip plant -- whose enriched oil not only promises to drive cats crazy but may also be a safer, more effective mosquito repellent -- has been developed for specialized commercial farmers by Rutgers University.

The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), which has spent more than a decade developing the new breed, CR9, for the insect repellant and pet toy industries recently licensed the product to Ball Horticulture, an Illinois company that will produce the seeds for commercial farmers.
"In the past catnip wasn't grown much because the plant itself was never developed to generate commercially acceptable yields from its leaves and flowers which produce its aromatic volatiles oils, and thus, wasn't profitable" said James Simon, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at the Rutgers School of Environment and Biological Sciences who led the plant breeding in the development of the new catnip variety. "We developed a super catnip that can survive northern winters and produce copious amounts of aromatic oil with a special composition that is rich in the bioactive compound that repels the mosquitoes away and drives cats wild."

Read more about how Rutgers' catnip fends off mosquitoes here.

News from Stockton University

Stockton Trustees Authorize Negotiations with Harvey Kesselman Regarding Presidency
Stockton Interim President Harvey Kesselman

The Board of Trustees of Stockton University on Sept. 16, 2015 authorized negotiations on a contractual agreement between the board and Interim President Harvey Kesselman that could lead to his appointment as Stockton's fifth president.

"Stockton is privileged to have such an extraordinary leader, someone who has grown along with the institution, who has dedicated his life to academic excellence and who always puts students first," said Board Chair Madeleine Deininger. "Dr. Kesselman has shown exceptional leadership as well as the willingness to sacrifice his own interests during a challenging time. When the trustees asked him to stay on earlier this year and he agreed, there was a tremendous outpouring of support from the Stockton community, the region and the state. He has more than earned the board's full confidence."

Stockton University Enrollment Hits New Record

Enrollment at Stockton University has hit a new record, with 8,674 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled for fall 2015, up 1.21 percent from last year's previous record of 8,570.  "In our first full year as a university, Stockton's exceptional faculty, small class sizes and beautiful campus in the Pinelands National Reserve have attracted outstanding students from throughout New Jersey and beyond," said Interim President Harvey Kesselman. "Stockton has again received national recognition for its academic excellence from U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, which helps increase the value of a Stockton degree for all of our graduates."  The "headcount" for undergraduate enrollment this fall is 7,808 students, up 1.22 percent from last fall's 7,714, while the headcount for graduate enrollment is 866, up 1.17 percent from 856 last fall.

Office of Global Engagement Celebrates New Educational Language Services Center

Stockton University's Office of Global Engagement officially opened its Educational Language Services (ELS) Language Center on Aug. 4, 2015, where nearly 40 international students seeking study in the U.S. will complete coursework to strengthen their English as a second language.  Stockton, located in Galloway, NJ,  partnered with ELS Language Centers, one of the world's largest English Language schools, to provide conditional admission for international students who are academically qualified, but do not meet English language proficiency requirements at the time of application. 

Award recipients Zofia Gradzki, M.A. (third from left) and Kassandra Topp, B.A., (second from right), with (left to right) Dr. Rose Rudnitski, Dean, School of Education; Dr. Michelle Anderson, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs; Professor Karen Pezzolla, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs; Professor Mary Ann Joyce, and Professor Annette Rycharski, Field Director and Certification Officer.
Felician  College Graduates Honored as Student Teachers o f the Year

2015 Marks Fourth Consecutive Year Felician Students are Recipients of Coveted Award from the New Jersey Department of Education

For the fourth consecutive year and the eighth time in as many years, graduates of Felician College's School of Education were recipients of the coveted Student Teacher of the Year Award, presented by the State of New Jersey's Department of Education.  The 2015 awardees from Felician College, Zofia Gradzki, M.A., from Montvale, Distinguished Student Teacher (Graduate Program) and Kassandra Topp, B.A., from Upper Saddle River, Distinguished Student Teacher (Undergraduate Program) are both certified in the areas of Elementary and Special Education.  According to New Jersey's Department of Education, the award publicly recognizes fifteen top graduates of teacher education programs in New Jersey's colleges and universities annually.

"I've wanted to be a teacher since my first day as a kindergartener," said Kassandra Topp. "It's a tremendous honor to receive this award, which wouldn't have been possible without the support and guidance of the outstanding faculty and staff at Felician College."  

"I was very pleased to receive the award," said graduate student Zofia Gradzki.  "The nurturing environment at Felician, coupled with an incredibly talented and supportive cooperating teacher at the Harrington Park Elementary where I student taught, made it possible for me to excel and stand out from all the other outstanding candidates."

NJCU School of Business Opens in Jersey City's Financial District

The New Jersey City University (NJCU) School of Business began the fall semester on September 1, 2015 in a custom-designed facility located in the heart of New Jersey's financial hub on the Jersey City waterfront. The School is situated in a 68,348-square-foot space at Harborside Plaza 2 directly on the Jersey City waterfront, adjacent to the Exchange Place PATH station. The location centralizes NJCU's growing undergraduate and graduate business programs and provides students with convenient access to corporate employers both in Jersey City and New York City. The School of Business features cutting-edge technology, a simulated trading floor, classrooms, faculty offices, and a conference space with stunning views of lower Manhattan.

Centenary Students Work on Kindergarten Preparation Program

Centenary College's Principles and Practices in Early Childhood Education course is working with the Allamuchy School District this summer to provide residents with a newly implemented Kindergarten Countdown program. The four Centenary students who are enrolled in this summer program will be instrumental in collaborating with teachers from the Allamuchy School District in developing and facilitating preparedness activities for over 50 children who will be entering into kindergarten in the fall.  This exercise provides valuable experience to the Centenary students, which provides them with the foundation that can lead to securing a Pre-K - 3rd grade certification in New Jersey. The Education students will develop lesson plans in literacy, mathematics and classroom etiquette surrounding the theme of Summertime Fun.  

The Camden County College Cougar celebrates a newly renovated student service center in Taft Hall on the Blackwood Campus.
New 'One-Stop' Student Services Center Opens on Main Camden County College Campus
Enrolling, registering for courses, using support programs and transferring records to other institutions just got easier at Camden County College, thanks to a $10 million renovation and expansion that converted Taft Hall from a science building into a one-stop student services center. The all-in-one, fully networked site was developed as part of CCC's continuing effort to improve customer service. The new facilities and its state-of-the-art features will help students enroll in classes, transfer credits and gain guidance and other assistance in a streamlined way.
"Because these services were, until now, spread among multiple buildings, students often became frustrated in having to crisscross the Blackwood Campus to complete a process or had difficulty finding or even being aware of the many services that the College provides to aid their program-completion efforts," said James Canonica, executive dean of Enrollment and Student Services. "Now, Taft Hall will be the go-to place for almost any service a student might need to start, succeed in or complete a program."

Georgian Court University's new president, Dr. Joseph R. Marbach (second from right), was joined at BlueClaws stadium by two GCU scholar-athletes and a 96-year-old Georgian Court alumna. Dr. Marbach's inauguration is scheduled for Oct. 16.
Georgian Court University Prepares for Inauguration of New President

Georgian Court University's new president, Dr. Joseph R. Marbach began his new post with lots of excitement. In July, GCU was named #25 among Money magazine's "Top 50 Schools that Add the Most Value" and during Independence Day weekend, Dr. Marbach set off post-game fireworks at the BlueClaws stadium. In August, GCU was named a "Catholic College of Distinction," and landed at #21 on Washington Monthly's list of northeastern schools considered a "Best Bang for the Buck." He returned to the BlueClaws stadium Aug. 27 to throw out the first pitch, and was joined on the mound by two GCU scholar-athletes and a 96-year-old Georgian Court alumna.

Dr. Marbach's inauguration is scheduled for Oct. 16. 

Bergen's First Paramedic Class
Answers the Call
With a ceremonial pinning Aug. 25 marking the end of their studies, the inaugural Bergen Community College paramedic science program class will now enter a growing health profession expected to grow 23 percent by 2022 according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The ceremony took place at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands - the exclusive home of the paramedic science program. The class featured seven graduates who first entered last fall, christening the institution's paramedic science laboratory at the Lyndhurst location. The program educates current emergency medical technicians seeking to advance their knowledge and employment prospects as licensed paramedics. Enrollment for the second class has doubled - 14 students will begin their path to an associate in science this fall. Director Jennifer McCarthy leads the administration, direction and instruction of the program.

Alan Guenther, Manager, Policy and Planning
Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
4th Floor
20 West State Street
Trenton, NJ   08625-0542