Newark School Initiative
The Newark School Initiative (NSI) is a project sponsored by the Office of University Community Partnerships (OUCP) at Rutgers Newark in collaboration with the Newark Public Schools. NSI is specifically designed to increase the number of Newark high school graduates who matriculate at Rutgers University-Newark. NSI offers a range of activities and special events that target students in elementary, middle and high school and their parents. Among them are a series of special on-campus events hosted annually that provide forums for participants to gain information about RUN, meet RUN students, faculty, staff and alumni, learn about academic and student life, and acquire information about financial aid and applying to RUN. NSI also utilizes multiple strategies that provide a continuum of activities and services designed to promote camaraderie among matriculated Newark high school graduates and to cultivate a shared commitment among them to become educated social change agents who are committed to transforming their communities. NSI capitalizes on OUCP partnerships with external entities such as the Rotary Club to offer holiday gifts and books to Newark children and with Program for Parents to sponsor the annual teen parent summit. These are examples of innovative programming that engage multiple constituencies to encourage academic attainment and promote RUN as a committed and invested resource for the Newark community. Newark students are also targeted for participation in OUCP sponsored and partnership youth development and career readiness initiatives, including RU Ready For Work and its Public/ Healthcare Services Career Immersion Track, Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) BizCamp, Future Business Computer Instituteand the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom School.
Newark Student Outreach and Recruitment
The Ambassadors Program has been a cornerstone of NSI and engages a select group of RUN students (most of whom are Newark high school alumni) who visit Newark high schools and attend community programs and college fairs during the Fall and Spring terms. They serve as role models and emissaries and enlighten students regarding the importance and advantages of pursuing a college education, in general, and at Rutgers, in particular. There is also a series of special on-campus partnership events, hosted annually, such as All Juniors Day, Male Empowerment Conference, and Job Shadow Day to provide Newark school students direct interaction with RUN faculty, staff, students, and key stakeholders.
Students who have participated in NSI outreach and recruitment activities and who elect to apply to Rutgers, are guided by NSI student ambassadors and staff members in navigating the application process and are connected to professional school, special program, and institutional staff. The NSI staff also collaborates with Admissions, Financial Aid and EOF personnel to facilitate the admission of and funding for the students.
Newark Student Matriculation and Retention Support
Once Newark students enroll, NSI undertakes to support their transition from high school and assimilation into RUN. They are invited to special receptions, luncheons, and programs to introduce them to key support personnel and encourage networking with other Newark students on campus. They are solicited to participate in NSI/OUCP partnership activities and events, on- and off- campus and are offered school year and summer employment opportunities. NSI also hosts the Newark High School Alumni Reception for Newark high school alumni who are graduating from RUN. The reception provides an opportunity for family, friends, local civic and community leaders, alumni and key university and campus personnel to share in celebrating their achievements.
NSI undertakes the task of cultivating a greater appreciation for Newark via participation in a variety of community engagement initiatives. Participating in campus-community partnership events and faculty partnership programs, as well as serving as tutors and mentors offer Newark students impactful venues for engaging with members of their community. By developing further their appreciation for the city where they are residing and pursuing higher education, the students will be more inclined to remain in Newark to continue their education, and to live or work there following graduation as productive members of the community.
In sum, NSI seeks to support a continuum that educates Newark students, enriches their experience at RUN, engages them in the Newark community and cultivates proactive citizens and connected alumni.
For more information about NSI, contact
Office of University Community Partnerships