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Office of the Secretary of Higher Education

Ensuring Participation through Working Groups

In addition to the specific recommendations outlined in the state higher education plan, “Where Opportunity Meets Innovation: A Student-Centered Vision for New Jersey Higher Education,” a corresponding set of working groups was set forth through an Executive Order. These working groups helped develop strategies to increase support for students at New Jersey’s colleges and achieve the statewide goal for 65% of working-age residents to obtain a high-quality credential or degree by 2025.

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The On-ramps to College Working Group

The On-ramps to College Working Group worked to increase postsecondary access for all students in the state by developing innovative solutions for addressing the equity gaps in college attendance by race and socioeconomic status. Specifically, the group was charged with:

  • Creating a coordinated approach to offering fee-free dual enrollment and piloting other models for demonstrating college-level mastery, such as the Modern States Educational Alliance , which prepares students for College Level Examination Program exams.
  • Exploring, and then working to address, the factors affecting New Jersey student decisions to attend higher education institutions outside of the state .

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The Making College Affordable Working Group

The Making College Affordable Working Group was charged with examining potential new state funding models and exploring approaches to more meaningful collaboration among institutions to meaningfully reduce higher education prices for students and families. Specifically, the group focused on:

  • Identifying best practices and creating a guide for dealing with non-tuition costs faced by students.
  • Creating a reasonable and measurable affordability benchmark for all students, and working to ensure institutional pricing schemes align with this benchmark.
  • Proposing a completion-oriented funding model that prioritizes service to traditionally under-served populations.

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The Student Success Working Group

The Student Success Working Group focused on identifying evidence-based and otherwise promising strategies to boost college completion at New Jersey’s colleges. The group explored opportunities to strengthen student success by scaling and replicating academic, social, and financial interventions that are innovative and effective. In particular, the group was charged with:


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The Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment Working Group

The Safe and Inclusive Learning Environment Working Group focused on developing best practices to enhance safety and support services on campus, and giving students a voice in these important campus matters. In particular, the group was charged with:


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The Research, Innovation, and Talent Working Group

The Research, Innovation, and Talent Working Group focused on creating stronger ties between businesses and higher education by promoting industry-academic partnerships, experiential learning opportunities, and programs to meet market needs. In particular, the group was charged with:



Last Updated: Thursday, 10/15/20