NJ'S COLLEGE ACCESS CHALLENGE
“ TOOLS FOR COLLEGE ACCESS”
Aim High Academy Grant Program
As part of the federally funded College Access Challenge Grant, for the last five years the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education provided high-achieving high school students with exposure to college through an intensive summer experience. These precollege programs, titled Aim High Academy (AHA), have provided an array of education enrichment activities for high-achieving, low-income and/or first generation students with the primary goal to better prepare students and motivate them to attend college. The AHA programs were campus-based, residential, and offered for at least three consecutive weeks during the summer.
The colleges and universities that hosted an AHA program have designed and developed their own curriculum based on their different institutional characteristics which emphasize problem solving, leadership training, and team interaction. The programs were structured around a specific discipline or disciplines (e.g., math) and provided students with exposure to higher level learning, such as the ability to participate in research and to interact with faculty outside the classroom. Each program is unique but included the common goals of focusing on secondary school graduation and increasing college admissions and retention.
The Office of the Secretary of Higher Education provided funding for five rounds of the AHA programs during the summers of 2011 to 2015. The hosting institutions were:
- Caldwell University
- Kean University
- Rowan University
- Rutgers University, Camden campus
- Rutgers University, Newark campus
- William Paterson University
A study on the AHA program conducted by Dr. Bernadette Tiernan, William Paterson University, can be obtained here.