RU-N and KIPP Foundation NJ Announce Plan to Expand Programs for College-Aspiring KIPP Charter School Students
Rutgers University–Newark (RU–N) and the KIPP Foundation New Jersey (KIPP) have announced a plan to deepen their working relationship, with the goal of expanding benefits for KIPP charter school students, especially those from low-income families who aspire to earn college degrees.
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RU–N Chancellor Nancy Cantor and KIPP Executive Director Ryan Hill signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on May 12 at Rutgers University–Newark.
According to the MOU, KIPP and RU–N will “develop programs, projects, and activities that will address college persistence challenges for students from low-income families who are also often first-generation college students.”
The MOU directly addresses multiple priorities articulated in the Rutgers University–Newark Strategic Plan, “Where Opportunity Meets Excellence,” particularly to substantially increase participation and success in the college experience by low-income, underrepresented minorities and adult students.
One manner of achieving this objective is by committing RU–N to collaborate with KIPP NJ faculty and staff in efforts to support their students navigating the college application and financial aid processes.
Another method, according to RU–N Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and Services John Gunkel, is by RU–N committing “to assist KIPP alumni in graduating from the colleges and universities at which they enroll, especially at higher rates than those at which students from the KIPP NJ demographic might otherwise be expected to graduate.”
In pursuit of those ends on a broader scale, RU–N has also signed agreements recently with Cooperman College Scholars, Hudson County Community College, and NJ PLAN. All of these efforts, as well as the new MOU, fall under the umbrella of the newly formed Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC), an initiative coordinated by the Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies that involves dozens of organizations across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors of Greater Newark working together to increase college attainment of City of Newark residents from 17 percent to 25 percent by 2025.
These agreements and working relationships strengthen NCLC’s growing portfolio of high-impact efforts and speak to RU–N’s vigorous investment in its role as an anchor institution in Newark, and its emphasis on improving the K-20 educational pipeline and pathways, explains Gunkel.
In addition to Cantor and Gunkel, the following attendees represented Rutgers at the May 12 MOU signing: Senior Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and Chief of Staff Peter Englot, Executive Vice Chancellor and Executive Vice Provost Shirley Collado, Assistant Provost and Dean of Admissions Latoya Battle-Brown, and Manager of Financial Aid Natalia Morisseau. In addition to Hill, the following attendees represented KIPP: Managing Director of KIPP Through College Eric Fisher, College Partnerships Manager Julian Forde, Director of Alumni Support Jessica Gersh, and KIPP Through College Director of Programming Amanda Gewirtz.
Photo credit: Shelley Kusnetz