Newark City of Learning Collaborative Unveils Proposals To Increase College Attainment Rates from 17% to 25% by 2025

The Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) is a citywide effort to increase the percentage of Newark residents with postsecondary degrees from 17% to 25% by 2025—or, in raw numbers, from 29,000 to 50,000.  Rutgers University – Newark (RU-N) hosted a Jan. 9 launch event, “Newark Achieves! Building Postsecondary Attainment in Newark through the Newark City of Learning Collaborative,” that gathered together stakeholders in the collaborative to  address program goals and implementation, including how to build and support partnerships, ways to link college and the workforce, and how to effectively navigate students in and through college.  RU-N is a partner in NCLC, and is NCLC’s  coordinating hub, through RU-N’s Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies. NCLC comprises more than 60 organizations; list of partners follows. 

NCLC and RU-N are working toward their attainment goals through actions that include creating 10 new college centers in high schools, community-based organizations and higher education institutions; expanding articulation agreements with two-year schools, including reverse transfer; strengthening early college high school programs to develop jointly-approved English and math courses; expanding pipeline programs such as Rutgers Future Scholars to increase the number of low-income academically promising Newark students who completed high school and apply to post-secondary institutions; partnering with the Newark Public School district and programs such as Grad Nation to reach and re-enroll “disconnected youth;” identifying adult residents of Newark who have completed some college, then building pathways for them to complete high-quality degrees; and doubling the number of students attending summer internship programs.

Media contact: Carla Capizzi,

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  • City of Newark, New Jersey
  • Essex County College (ECC)
  • New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
  • Rutgers University – Newark (RU-N)
  • Bloomfield College
  • Pillar College
  • Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS)
  • Newark Housing Authority (NHA)
  • Newark Public Schools (NPS) & Public Charter Schools; Private Schools
  • Newark Workforce Investment Board (NWIB)
  • Newark Youth Policy Board (NYPB)
  • Audible Inc.
  • Council of NJ Grantmakers/Newark Philanthropic Liaison
  • Prudential Foundation
  • Victoria Foundation
  • College readiness program providers (over 30+ local, state and national organizations to date)
  • United Way of Essex and Hudson County (UWEH)
  • Panasonic Corporation
  • Schools that Can
  • Workforce Opportunities Services (WOS)

AGENDA for “Newark Achieves! Building Postsecondary Attainment in Newark through the Newark City of Learning Collaborative”
Rutgers University-Newark, Paul Robeson Campus Center

Friday, January 9, 2015, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.      Registration & Breakfast

9 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.       Welcome

Dale Anglin, Senior Program Officer, Victoria Foundation
Arcelio Aponte, Vice Provost-Budget & Administration, Rutgers University – Newark

9:10 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.              Building a City of Learning through Collective Impact
                                                Mahako Etta, Program Manager, Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies

9:20 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.              Lumina Video Presentation, “Will to Change”      

9:25 a.m. – 10 a.m.      Transforming Communities through Higher Education
Introduction of Guest Speaker

           Irene Cooper – Basch, Executive Officer, Victoria Foundation 

           Jeanna Keller Berdel, Senior Strategy Officer, Lumina Foundation

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.  Panel 1: Learning to Innovate: Building Partnerships and Programs for Postsecondary Success
Moderator: Jeremy Johnson, Newark Philanthropic Liaison, City of Newark & Council of New Jersey Grantmakers


Postsecondary degrees, certificates and credentials

  • Jill Stein, Chair, Biology and Chemistry Division, Essex County College
  • John Gunkel, Vice Provost, Academic Programs and Services, Rutgers University – Newark


  • Sarah Keh, Program Officer, Prudential Foundation

College Readiness and Success

  • Junius Williams, Director, Abbott Leadership Institute
  • Levelle Burr-Alexander, Interim Executive Director, The Center for Pre-College Programs, New Jersey Institute of Technology


  • Twinkle Morgan, Executive Director, Cooperman College Scholars
  • Nicole Fields, Project Manager, Office of College and Career Readiness, Newark Public Schools
    11 a.m. – 12 p.m.  Panel 2: Linking College to Workforce
    Moderator: Roland V. Anglin, Director, Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies


  • Arcelio Aponte, Vice Provost-Budget & Administration, Rutgers University – Newark
  • Art Langer, Founder and Chairman, Workforce Opportunity Services 
  • Amina Bey, Executive Director, Newark Workforce Investment Board, Inc.
  • Kathy Weaver, Vice President of Programs, Newark Alliance

12 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.              Lunch Break

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Introduction of Keynote Speaker by Robert Johnson, Dean, Rutgers NJ Medical School
Keynote Speaker: Honorable Ras Baraka, Mayor, City of Newark

1p.m. – 2 p.m.   Panel 3: Navigating through College: Challenges and Lessons Learned

Moderator: Traymanesha Moore, Assistant Dean for Precollege, Rutgers University – Newark, Academic Foundations Center

Panelists: Student Panel (students from a range of pre-college and college support programs)                          

2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.                  Closing Remarks

* Panelists represent the NCLC learning teams