Video by: Isaiah Showell, Follow South Jersey Multimedia Journalist
Story by: Follow South Jersey Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. – Students at Camden Academy Charter High School will have multiple paths to complete two- and four-year college degrees under a new agreement between Camden Academy Charter High School, Camden County College, and Stockton University.
A signing ceremony for the Degree Path Partnership, attended by students and local dignitaries was held at Camden Academy on April 30.
“This event marks the beginning of an exciting new partnership that will provide an affordable and accessible path to a four-year college degree for our Camden Academy students,” said Camden Charter School Network superintendent Joseph Conway. “Camden County College and Stockton University share our commitment to promoting scholarship, character, leadership and service and we are thrilled our students will have the opportunity to continue their educations at these two institutions.”
The new partnership builds on the We Go To College (Now)! Program with Camden County College. Launched in the fall of 2020, 12 eleventh-grade students enrolled in the program taking college courses in their final two years of high school. Students who successfully complete the program will graduate with both a high school diploma and associate degree from Camden County College at no additional cost.
“Camden County College is continuously looking to create innovative partnerships with our local high schools and community members,” said CCC president Donald A. Borden. “This new agreement provides a unique opportunity for Camden Academy Charter High School students to earn an associate degree from Camden County College while in high school, and then seamlessly transfer into Stockton University to complete their final two years of a bachelor’s degree.”
Under the new agreement, there are three ways for Camden Academy students to be guaranteed admission to Stockton University.
- First, students can be automatically accepted to Stockton fulltime if they graduate from Camden Academy with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher and complete the admission application requirements.
- Second, students who complete the We Go To College (Now)! program and earn an Associate of Arts Degree from Camden County College will be admitted as juniors to Stockton and be considered first- time college students.
- If students don’t meet the previously listed paths to Stockton, they will be encouraged to initially matriculate into the Camden County College Transfer Pathways partnership with Stockton. That program allows them dual enrollment to Stockton and Camden County College, with a guaranteed admission to Stockton as juniors once they obtain their associate degree.
In addition to guaranteed admission to Stockton, Stockton will waive the admission application fee, provide on-site personal admissions advisement to prospective students and parents, provide on-site general college search and financial aid workshops and presentations, and will award competitive academic and partnership scholarships to qualified Camden Academy students.
Stockton president Harvey Kesselman said two graduates of Camden Academy are currently enrolled at Stockton, and four Camden Academy seniors, Michelle Soto Rodriguez, Hilarimar Fontanillas Difo, Dylan Santiago and Carla Alvarez, plan to attend Stockton in the fall.
“We are thrilled to offer this new opportunity to all Camden Academy students and hope to welcome even more Academy graduates to the Stockton campus in the future,” Kesselman said.
Academy Students in the We Go to College (Now)! Program said the program is giving them a head start on their college plans.
“What I like most about taking college courses is that I’m working at my own pace for the most part, and I don’t feel rushed,” 11th-grader Joscar Defrank said. “I was interested because it was kind of a head start in life.”
“Being able to complete two years of college before officially completing high school is a really big advantage that I could not pass up,” 11th-grader Giamani Nieves-Camacho “Both of my parents agree that it’s a great opportunity for any student.”
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