The Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC), in partnership with the Newark Public Schools (NPS), hosted the first annual District-Wide College Fair for NPS high school students and their parents at the Rutgers University-Newark Golden Dome Athletic Center earlier this month.
More than 600 NPS students, ranging from grades 9 through 12, from high schools throughout the city, had the opportunity to interact with college admissions representatives from around the country. Nearly 40 colleges and universities participated, including Centenary College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, Morgan State University, Pennsylvania State University, Clark Atlanta University, Harvard University, Princeton University, the United States Naval Academy, University of Pittsburgh, and several community colleges and vocational programs. Several branches of the United States Armed Forces and Wells Fargo Bank also participated.
Throughout the day, students from 9th to 12th grade were able to meet face-to-face with various college representatives to ask questions about each program.
NCLC is an ambitious effort to help Newark become a more economically vibrant city by increasing the number of residents that have education or training beyond high school. Working with a cross-section of 60 partners throughout the city, NCLC aims to increase Newark’s post-secondary attainment rate from the current 18.1 percent to 25 percent by 2025.
“We’re working to expand the college-going culture throughout the city,” says NCLC Executive Director Reginald Lewis. “We want to make sure that every student in Newark receives the information and knowledge needed to make informed decisions about choosing a college.”
“College and career readiness opportunities allow our students, who have a multitude of interests and wide-range of goals, to be proactive and plan a meaningful future for themselves,” said Christopher D. Cerf, superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “Thanks to the strong partnerships that have developed between NPS, the Newark City of Learning Collaborative and others, students across our city are able to explore the many collegiate and professional opportunities that are available in order to successfully compete in a 21st century global economy.”
“It is exhilarating that hundreds of high school students engaged in gathering information, conversing with university representatives, and taking a very proactive part in determining their own futures. These students will go to college, and hopefully many of them will go to college in Newark,” stated Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, whose office co-sponsored the fair. “We also expect that many of them will return to Newark after college with additional skills and knowledge to help improve our city.
“I wish to thank NCLC, the Newark Public Schools, the Newark Municipal Council and the five Newark-based colleges that co-sponsored this successful college fair for Newark students,” said Baraka. The college sponsors were the five NCLC higher education partners: Essex County College, Pillar College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Bloomfield College, and Rutgers University-Newark.
Photo by Brian Ray