High School Students Can Earn College Degree

A program for North Arlington High School students will open at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands this fall.

PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College and the North Arlington School District have signed an agreement that will provide students with a tuition-free opportunity to earn an associate degree while enrolled at North Arlington High School. Students who successfully complete the program will have access to a transfer agreement with New Jersey City University, which will streamline the students’ admission into its bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

“This agreement establishes an innovative relationship between Bergen Community College and the North Arlington Public School District to create new pathways for student success,” Bergen President B. Kaye Walter, Ph.D., said. “I look forward to congratulating the inaugural class members who will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time, prepared to enter the workforce or to transfer to a college or university, including New Jersey City University.”

“We are excited for the entire community now that this partnership is in place because it will provide our students the opportunity to broaden their educational horizons, while still being able to participate in all high school-related activities at no cost to their families,” North Arlington School District Superintendent of Schools Stephen Yurchak, Ed.D., said.  “All Bergen Community College representatives, along with our Board of Education and staff have been extremely supportive of this venture since its infancy and we look forward to the successes we know our students will achieve.”

A memorandum of understanding signed by College and district officials established the Early College Program, which will reside at Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands, 1280 Wall Street West, Lyndhurst. Students in their junior and senior years will take classes approved to fulfill both high school and college degree requirements at the facility. Upon successful completion of coursework, students will graduate from North Arlington with a Bergen A.A. in liberal arts, an A.S. in criminal justice or an A.S. in business administration.

In addition to the transfer agreement offered with New Jersey City University, which will allow program graduates to enter the institution with junior-year status, numerous scholarship opportunities await students as well.

“This Early College Program is truly a win-win-win initiative,” NJCU President Sue Henderson, Ph.D., said. “We are excited to be part of this forward-looking program that will give North Arlington High School students the opportunity through Bergen to complete secondary school studies, accelerate their higher education by two full years, and then transfer seamlessly into NJCU baccalaureate programs. NAHS students will have a jump on launching professional careers and will save thousands of dollars they would have spent on tuition.”

Students must register for the program by June 15 in order to begin Sept. 1. A Tuesday, May 30 open house will take place at 6 p.m. in the North Arlington High School gym. For more information on the open house, please contact Supervisor of Guidance Alyce Cusano at (201) 991-6800, ext. 2052 or email [email protected].

Under the terms of the agreement, the school district will pay the salaries for all faculty employed as part of the program and purchase all student books. Students will not pay any tuition or fees to participate in the program.

The Early College Program joins the Applied Technology High School as the second on-campus high school at the College. In 2015, the Applied Technology High School, a collaborative effort of the College and the Bergen County Technical Schools, opened at the main campus.

The initiatives represent an extension of the College’s dual enrollment program, which features 1,200 students from 40 high schools currently taking Bergen classes while still in high school. More than two million students enroll in similar programs nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls 15,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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