Deptford Collegiate High School Opens Its Doors On RCSJ–Gloucester Campus

Photo: (left to right) Freeholder Jim Jefferson, Freeholder Deputy Director Frank J. DiMarco, Deptford Township Mayor Paul Medany, Deptford High School student Dana Sader, RCSJ Board of Trustee Member Benjamin Griffith, Deptford High School students Gianna McIntyre and Joseph Prettyman, RCSJ President Frederick Keating, Ed.D., Deptford High School student Lauren Ryder-Harris, and Deptford School District Supervisor of Instruction Danielle Lehman at the RCSJ Deptford Collegiate High School ribbon cutting. Photo credit: Gloucester County.

DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — The Deptford Collegiate High School celebrated its opening during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ)–Gloucester campus on Wednesday, Nov. 13. 

The Collegiate High School offers seniors college-level courses on the RCSJ campus. Deptford’s district employees have been approved as RCSJ adjuncts and are teaching courses for RCSJ and the high school. Participation among students and staff streamlines the transition from high school to RCSJ, and ultimately, to a four-year university.

“Deptford Township is our host community, and over the years has worked closely with the College and the school district to enrich the educational and financial opportunities available to students and the residents of Deptford,” Dr. Frederick Keating, president of Rowan College of South Jersey, said in a press release. “The Collegiate High School program offers Deptford High School seniors a unique advantage—providing them with a head start on their education and the chance to experience campus life, while also saving money on their education.”

“The opening of this Collegiate High School is the continuation of the partnership between the Deptford School District and RCSJ. This provides a fantastic opportunity for Deptford students,” Deptford Township Mayor Paul Medany said. “We thank everyone at RCSJ, especially Dr. Keating for guiding us to this day.”

Collegiate High School is a dual enrollment agreement that offers college-level courses on the RCSJ-Gloucester campus in the senior year of high school. All college-ready seniors from Deptford High School are eligible to participate and can accumulate up to 12 college credits. The program provides seniors with an alternative pathway to a quality education at significant cost savings. Course selection is based on individual and career goals, choice institution of higher learning, and the major/degree that they intend to pursue. Students who wish to earn more than 12 credits before high school graduation can enroll in RCSJ’s High School Option program, which provides a significant discount on tuition. There are also options to earn credit through Dual Credit and Customized Program Articulation agreements.

“Rowan College of South Jersey’s mission is to provide all students with access to higher education. By offering college-level courses to Deptford Township seniors, RCSJ is providing students with access to a unique opportunity, allowing them to get a head-start on their college education and the benefit of a campus experience,” Gloucester County Freeholder Deputy Director Frank J. DiMarco said. “It’s a wonderful partnership and a value to Deptford’s residents who are most impacted by the day-to-day activities of RCSJ.”

Deptford Township School Superintendent Arthur Dietz said that the program offers students great opportunities along with the support of the high school staff.

“The Deptford Township School District and community are proud to open the doors of the Deptford Collegiate High School this fall on RCSJ’s campus,” Dietz said. “This program is an amazing opportunity for our high school students to progress into the collegiate setting. Students are supported by Deptford High School and RCSJ staff to make strides toward their future. With the support of Mayor Medany, town council, School Board President Kryszczak and RCSJ’s President Keating, the start and implementation of this program was long in the making.”

Deptford School District Supervisor of Instruction Danielle Lehman has played a pivotal role in establishing the new program, serving as the Deptford Township RCSJ liaison and working closely with Megan Ruttler, the College’s executive director of the Center for College and Career Readiness.

“This opportunity for our students will allow them to take several college courses while in their senior year of high school. It will open doors for our students who weren’t sure if they wanted to attend college, while also accelerating opportunities for our students who were already headed there,” Lehman said. “We have the best and the brightest students in our district, and knowing that we are able to support them on their continued journey toward success is what it’s all about. Local sponsors donated funds for the first set of college textbooks. With the support of the school district, the College and the community, we can ensure our students will be provided a path in the right direction.”

Jeffrey Lebb, Deptford High School principal, said that the program reflective of the quality education available at Deptford schools.

“We are happy to offer the opportunity for our students to grow beyond our four walls,” Lebb said.  “Providing our qualified staff and resources to teach as adjunct professors on RCSJ’s campus is another example of the quality education Deptford Township Schools have to offer. Working with RCSJ, Deptford Township Schools continue to foster an environment of high expectations, which empowers all students to succeed and contribute in a rapidly changing and competitive global community.”