Rowan University and Camden City School District (CCSD) announced on June 23 an expanded Pathways to College program that will allow 11e and 12e grade-level students to earn free college credit toward a four-year degree.
Under the agreement, Camden High School juniors and seniors will complete up to four semesters of college coursework with faculty at Rowan’s Camden Academic Building, 129 N. Broadway, earning up to 18 credits while graduating. of high school. Students will enter the program as a cohort or group and take up to three Rowan courses each semester in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or Humanities and Social Sciences fields.
Pathway program offerings will also expand opportunities through professional and technical training in a variety of fields, including allied health, biomedical sciences, education, theater, broadcast communications/broadcast journalism, and computer science.
“Pathways” to university
SDCC State District Superintendent Katrina T. McCombs said the Pathways to College initiative builds on established pre-college programs by creating opportunities for high school students to not only earn credits academics before graduating, but also to learn from professors in an academic setting.
“We’re offering an incentive to students who, upon graduation, will have a head start and will be motivated to complete their college degree,” McCombs said. “We’re also expanding career and technical training offerings for students looking to enter the workforce as soon as they graduate from high school.”
The Pathways program began as a pilot project in 2021-22 and is expected to triple enrollment for the 2022-23 school year.
“We expect that starting this fall, at least 30 students will participate,” McCombs said.
Building on history
Glassboro-based Rowan has maintained a campus in Camden since 1969, working closely with district educators to provide a network of pre-college and dual-credit programs for high school students.
Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand noted that the new Pathways program is important because it not only continues the University’s presence in Camden, but expands it.
“The Camden City School District rightly prides itself on having some of the brightest and most talented students in the area,” Houshmand said. “The new Pathways program is part of a network of resources that we, in partnership with the district, are building so that these same students have the opportunities, resources, and support they need to succeed in college.”
For the benefit of students and Parents
The expansion of the Pathways program is the latest between Rowan and CCSD, a relationship that dates back more than 50 years, to support pre-college students and their families.
As part of Rowan’s Center for Access, Persistence & Achievement (CAPA), an office formed to expand opportunities for historically underrepresented students, the University last year established The Launch Pad in Camden, which provides courses and dual-credit and early-college resources as well as recruitment and financial aid advice for high school students seeking a college degree.
Through CAPA, Rowan also offers ASCEND, which focuses on academic and social development; CHAMP/GEAR-UP, which supports middle and high school students in their preparation for university; and Upward Bound for English Language Learners, which targets students from low-income families who are first-generation in college.
Vocational and technical training
Camden High School’s new campus opened last fall with over 1,200 students and focuses on four learning communities – Brimm Medical Arts, Creative Arts High School, Big Picture Learning Academy and Camden High School.
Rowan and the district seek to further develop their partnership by exploring connections between Camden Creative Arts Academy and the University’s College of Performing Arts, as well as between Brimm Medical Arts High School and the health professions programs at the Cooper Medical School at Rowan University in Camden and the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford.
The establishment last fall of the Martha F. Wilson Parent Academy, led by Rowan, completed the partnership to support students.
Ms Wilson, who died in 2020, was a longtime student champion for Camden City and served in a variety of roles, including Vice-Chair of the School Board, Chair of the Advisory Council and Chair of the Communications and Technology Committee and parental involvement.
The Parent Academy helps parents and guardians manage career and college opportunities for their children, including offering advice on financial aid and college admissions processes.
Seven parents participated in the inaugural year program, which featured activities to help support first-generation students entering college. Among them, parents learned how to help complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the required document for students seeking college loans and grants.
Through the Martha F. Wilson Parent Academy, parents learn about the college planning and application process and the importance of gaining early college credit. Rowan’s counselling, admissions and financial aid staff work with parents to provide support to move their children forward through college and parents, in turn, become ambassadors in the community for expand the program each year.