Urban and rural high school students in South Jersey whose academics have been affected by COVID-19 will receive support and guidance as they prepare for college thanks to a $ 1.5 million grant to the University Rowan.
The grant, announced by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Higher Education Secretary Brian Bridges, is part of $ 28.5 million from the US Department of Education awarded to the state to launch the Opportunity Meets Innovation Challenge, “a competitive grant program” to help historically disadvantaged students, including under-represented minorities, low-income students and working-age adults.
Many of these populations, state officials note, have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, leading to declining enrollments, challenges for student success and unprecedented unemployment.
By working with high school students from four school districts in southern Jersey — Atlantic City, Camden, Paulsboro and Kingsway — Rowan University’s Opportunity for Post Secondary Excellence and Success (ROPES): Mitigating and expanding student learning opportunities will solve these problems.
“The objective of the ROPES program is to facilitate pathways to university thanks to a new double registration program for college students affected by the pandemic”, explains Gaëtane Jean-Marie, Dean of Rowan’s College of Education and principal researcher of the stock Exchange.
“Five Rowan Colleges will work together to help 100 high school students develop a smooth transition and successful college enrollment. We will follow a focus on the hand, heart and mind, offering students interactive programs to prepare for college preparation.
Students will be recruited for ROPES and will obtain up to 11 credits in double enrollment in high school and college, according to Jean-Marie. Five specific fields of study – teacher education, social services, computer science, engineering and the music business – will be offered to students of the program, she adds.
the College of Education, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Science and Mathematics, the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering and the College of Performing Arts are involved in CORDES.
“The dual enrollment program offered by ROPES will help us increase access and remove barriers to affordability for students by creating a pipeline of students through engagement in high schools,” said Rowan Provost Tony Lowman. “We are delighted to be working together across all disciplines to support high school students in their graduate studies. And we are proud to support the state’s core priorities to address the impact of the pandemic on students. “
Opportunity Meets the Challenge of Innovation grants have been awarded to 35 institutions statewide.
“Our higher education institutions have provided high quality education to our students throughout the pandemic, despite difficult circumstances,” said Murphy. “Supporting our institutions will continue to be a priority as they strive to provide a fair educational experience for students, prepare them for the jobs of the future and meet the challenges of the future. “
The top five priority areas of the state plan for higher education include: expanding opportunities for students to gain early exposure in college; improve the affordability of colleges; promote student success; promote safe and inclusive learning environments; and cultivate research, innovation and talent.
In addition to the grant for the ROPES program, Rowan also received a grant of $ 100,000 under the Hunger-Free Campus Grant Program, state officials said.
Grants from the program are used to address food insecurity among students enrolled in public institutions.