In building upon its deep and close relationship with the city in which it resides, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is partnering with the City of Newark and the Newark Public Schools on two new and important initiatives. NJIT President Joel S. Bloom, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Newark Board of Education Superintendent Roger León announced The Mayor’s Honors Scholars Program and the NJIT/Newark Math Success Initiative (MSI) at a news conference, held Feb. 27 at Newark City Hall.
“As a 22-year-educator in Newark Public Schools, I know just how dedicated, talented and motivated our students are to succeed in the classroom and in life. I also know that numbers of them must overcome considerable challenges to gain the high grades they need to in turn achieve their goals in life. This partnership between NJIT, Newark Public Schools and the city will enable many deserving Newark students to gain a pipeline to classes, scholarships and networking that will in turn enable them to attend college and excel. These two initiatives are more than an academic opportunity for our youth — they are an investment in our city’s future,” Mayor Baraka said.
The Mayor’s Honors Scholars Program at NJIT will create a pipeline from the Newark Public Schools to NJIT’s prestigious and top-ranked Albert Dorman Honors College (ADHC). Each year, NJIT will work with the Newark Public Schools to select three Mayor’s Honors Scholars for admission to ADHC. These students will receive full scholarships as well as paid internships with the City of Newark during the summer months. ADHC will admit its first cohort of Mayor’s Honors Scholars this fall.
The NJIT/Newark Math Success Initiative (MSI) will seek to dramatically increase, to a minimum of 600, the number of Newark residents who enroll at NJIT for undergraduate education. Administered on the NJIT campus, and beginning summer 2019 and continuing throughout the academic year, MSI will provide direct mathematics instruction and support to rising 12th-graders and mathematics-certified teachers from Central, Science Park, Technology and Malcolm X. Shabazz High Schools. The program, which will also offer counseling, tutoring, assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form and Common Application, and other college preparatory services to students, and mentoring, professional development and research opportunities to teachers, is designed to strengthen Newark high school students’ mathematics knowledge, skills and preparation for college work, so they are able to succeed as first-semester, first-year college freshmen taking MATH 111 Calculus at NJIT.
Newark Public Schools will identify 32 to 40 students for MSI’s first year, as well as eight teachers for the summer component and 24 teachers for the academic-year component. Integral to the MSI collaborative effort are NJIT’s Center for Pre-College Programs, which will lead the student activities, and the College of Science and Liberal Arts, which will be responsible for the mathematics-centered professional development for teachers.
“These two STEM-focused programs will change the lives of thousands of Newark students,” said Superintendent León. “The initiatives will allow us to move our agenda for education and student scholarship forward. We are redefining our high schools and Dr. Bloom and NJIT and Mayor Baraka are providing a pathway to progress and success for our students and for that I am grateful.”
“Math is the foundation for success in the STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] disciplines, and STEM is where the greatest career opportunities exist. We will continue to partner with Mayor Baraka and Superintendent León to make math proficiency less of a barrier for Newark students, so they can take advantage of having one of the nation’s leading polytechnic universities right in their own hometown,” President Bloom explained. “In addition to the programmatic aspects of this effort, NJIT will work to assure that none of these students leave our university because of financial need by investing more than $1 million per year to support their success.
“The door’s open, but you’ve got to do the work and we will help you succeed,” said President Bloom to students in attendance from the participating high schools.
The Mayor’s Honors Scholars Program and the NJIT/Newark Math Success Initiative are the latest collaborations among many between NJIT and the City of Newark, some of which include an expansive pre-college program, 60,000+ hours of community service annually, teacher training, curriculum development and many more educational as well as economic and community development efforts.