PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
In 2003, the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education
adopted a long-range strategic plan, A
Blueprint for Excellence, following a planning process
that involved a broadbased group of educators, policymakers, business
leaders, and other stakeholders. The vision established as part of that
process is the foundation of the plan.
New Jersey and its colleges and universities
embrace their shared responsibility to create and sustain a higher
education system that is among the best in the world, enabling
all people to achieve their maximum potential, fostering democratic
principles, improving the quality of life, and supporting the
state’s success in a global economy.
A Blueprint for Excellence sets
forth the seven principal objectives below, which are still priorities
Achieve excellence in teaching, learning, and research
at all institutions
Educate more students across racial, ethnic, and
Assure affordability for students from all backgrounds
Invest strategically and enhance revenues to achieve
specific state goals
Enhance collaboration among all segments of the educational
Develop partnerships with business and other sectors
to meet workforce needs
Advance the competitiveness of public research universities
Despite significant challenges, progress has been made
in achieving the original seven objectives. There are also opportunities
The strategic direction for the 2007 update of New Jersey’s
plan for higher education, which embodies the original seven objectives,
is built around targeted state needs in four priority areas:
Access, Affordability, Excellence, and Partnerships
MADE AND TARGETED GOALS
Progress made within the original seven objectives
and targeted goals for the future are summarized under the priority
Increased access to
higher education will support growth in targeted areas and
ensure a well-prepared citizenry and the highly skilled workforce
necessary to maintain quality of life and economic competitiveness
of New Jersey.
EDUCATING MORE STUDENTS
There is a clear need to extend access to higher education to educate
the growing number of recent high school graduates, to provide ongoing
education and upgrade the skills of the current workforce, and to serve
more students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.
Forty-two of New Jersey’s
colleges and universities established enrollment growth targets for 2010,
and 37 of those institutions
have increased enrollment over the 2002- 2003 academic year. (Details
regarding progress in achieving this and other institution-specific goals
are available on the Commission on Higher Education’s website at www.state.nj.us/highereducation/lrp07data)
Headcount enrollment in New Jersey colleges and universities
has increased by 24,184 students, or 6.7 percent, since fall 2002, enrolling
a total of 385,941 students and exceeding projected growth through fall
Enrollment of African American, Hispanic, and Native
American students, all underrepresented groups in higher education, has
increased since fall 2002 by 4,833 (10.9 percent), 7,477 (18.5 percent),
and 197 (21.2 percent) respectively. As a percentage of total enrollment,
the number of African American students increased by 0.4 percent and
the number of Hispanic students increased by 1.2 percent; the percentage
of Native American students remained static.
Approximately 100 additional special needs students,
a 10 percent increase over fiscal 2003, received services through the
state’s Special Needs program in fiscal 2006, despite continued level
state funding for this program. Efforts are also underway to address
under representation of groups within degree program areas, such as
in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs.
Commission on Higher Education worked with the State Chamber of Commerce
to form and participate in an Engineering Consortium that has been
established among the seven engineering schools and the community colleges
pipeline needs and under representation in the field.
Student financial assistance
programs serve individual students but also serve the future
economic and social well-being of the state. Dollars for student
financial aid represent an investment in low-income students
to allow them to reach their full potential and enable them
to help meet the demand for a well-prepared workforce of lifelong
learners and responsible citizens.
MAKING HIGHER EDUCATION
A commitment to maintaining affordable higher education
opportunities for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds is critical
to meeting the needs of individuals and the state’s workforce and economy.
New Jersey has consistently been among the leaders
in the nation in providing need based student financial assistance. Since
fiscal 2003, despite extraordinary state budget constraints, need-based
aid to students has increased by $49 million.
Additional funding for the Educational Opportunity Fund
(EOF) and the Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) programs has provided larger awards
to qualifying students to cover increasing costs. In fiscal 2006, 6,566
more students received TAG awards than in fiscal 2003, and 41 additional
students received EOF awards. A total of 66,401 students received TAG
in fiscal 2006, and 13,783 students received EOF grants.
The number of students at New Jersey colleges and universities
who receive Federal Pell Grants has also increased, with 83,240 students
receiving grants in fiscal 2003 and 85,412 in fiscal 2006.
As tuition and enrollments increase,
expand state funding for need-based financial aid programs proportionately
each year to meet the need of an estimated additional 6,000 to
7,000 eligible students by 2010.
Decrease the share of family income
of low- and middle-income families needed to pay for college expenses
after financial aid is provided.
Priority Area: EXCELLENCE
Enhanced excellence in
teaching and learning, research, and service at the colleges
and universities will attract additional talented faculty; better
prepare individuals for the future; improve the state’s workforce;
draw and retain business and industry in New Jersey; and improve
research that is essential to educational, social, technological,
and economic progress and innovation.
INCREASING THE NUMBER
OF DEGREES EARNED
Intellectual capital is the foundation of the state’s future prosperity
in an economy that is driven by knowledge, information, and technology.
Higher education is called upon to efficiently and effectively prepare
people of all backgrounds to contribute to society. In addition, more
highly skilled graduates are needed, particularly in high-demand areas,
such as nursing, engineering, and teaching.
Degrees Awarded: Overall, New Jersey
colleges and universities awarded 6,828 more degrees in the 2005-2006
academic year than they did in 2002-2003.
Degrees in High-Demand Areas: Institutions
have made significant efforts to address the need for more graduates
in high-demand areas. Examples of high-demand workforce areas for which
the number of degrees increased include nursing, engineering, and teaching.
|Nursing Degrees Increased by 63.8%
|Total Engineering Degrees Increased by 11.8%
|Biomedical/Medical Engineering Degrees Increased by 141%
In the area of teacher preparation, institutions recommended
4,970 graduating students for initial teacher certification for 2005-2006,
an increase of 9 percent over the number recommended in 2002-2003. Increases
in specific high-demand teaching areas were especially significant, as
|# of students recommended for P-3 certification
|# of students recommended for special education certification
|# of students recommended for certifications with math or science
Prepare significantly more
graduates in high demand areas to meet the most critical workforce
needs identified for New Jersey as high skill occupations with the
highest demand between 2004 – 2014:
Accountants and Auditors
Computer and Information
Computer Software Engineers,
Computer Systems Analysts
General and Operations
and Financial Services Sales Agents
Graduation rates provide an important indication of quality, efficiency,
and effectiveness in higher education. As the demand for a highly skilled
workforce continues to grow, the importance of preparing students for
the workforce in a timely manner is critical. Timely graduation is also
a factor in efficiently using limited facilities and resources to educate
growing numbers of students.
Graduation Rates:A total of 42 institutions
are focused specifically on improving graduation rates, including two-
and three-year graduation rates for first-time full-time degree-seeking
freshmen at the community colleges and four- and six-year rates at baccalaureate
institutions. In 2005, 20 of these institutions had increased overall
cohort graduation rates over the base cohort established in 2003.
The Achievement Gap: EOF programs across the
state are beginning to narrow the gap in graduation rates between low-income
students and the total student population. The state college and university
sector has decreased the gap by 25 percent, and the public research university
sector has closed the gap by 11 percent.
Increase by 2010, New
Jersey’s average four-year and six-year graduation rates for
full-time undergraduate students by a minimum of 5 percent over
Increase by 2010, New
Jersey’s average two-year and three-year graduation rates for
full-time undergraduate students at community colleges by a minimum
of 5 percent over 2002 rates.
Increase average retention
and graduation rates of low-income and minority students by at
least 10 percent by 2012.
Improve high schools
and student readiness for college for all students and decrease
the need of recent high school graduates for college-level remediation
statewide by a minimum of 20 percent by 2012.
RESEARCH TO SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVE QUALITY OF
The quality of institutional research, particularly at
research universities, is critical to the competitiveness of both the
institutions and the state. Strategic efforts to increase academic research
and the amount of federal and other research dollars coming to colleges
and universities in the state can significantly improve the economy and
quality of life in New Jersey.
The state’s recent $270 million investment in stem cell
research centers is critical to strategic efforts to enhance research
and increase the amount of federal and other research dollars coming
to colleges and universities in the state. In addition, since fiscal
2005, the state has appropriated $35.7 million for stem cell research
at the research universities, which has begun to enhance institutional
competitiveness in this area.
New Jersey increased its amount of federal research
dollars for higher education by nearly $146.5 million since 2002, and
the total amount of external research dollars increased as well.
Examples of new federally funded research in 2006 include:
A five-year, $19.2 million grant to UMDNJ-Robert
Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University to develop a new
center for excellence aimed at measures against chemical terrorism
A four-year, $1.25 million award to UMDNJ from
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to understand
and find ways to protect future space travelers from harmful radiation
A $2.7 million award to NJIT from the US Army
to study hybrid and energetic advanced fuel cells
A $1.7 million award to Rutgers University from
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for anti-HIV drug research
A $17 million award to Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson
School of Public and International Affairs from the National Institute
of Child Health and Human Development to support a new round of data
collection for the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study
Focus state and private
sector resources on a few targeted areas that offer the greatest
potential for increased federal funding, commercial development,
and enhancement of knowledge.
Expand existing R&D
programs at each of the research universities.
Improve New Jersey’s
ranking in aggregate share of federal research dollars for higher
education from 21st to 15th by 2012.
Achieve national recognition
in stem cell research and at least two other targeted areas by
Increase the number of businesses created
as the result of university research and development spending.
Increase the number of patents issued
to university research laboratories in New Jersey.
FURTHER ADVANCING THE
EDUCATION OF STUDENTS FOR CIVIC AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Colleges and universities have the opportunity to reflect the
value of service in their teaching and research and engage students,
faculty, and staff in public service on and off campus. The implementation
of strategies to further advance public service is critical to improving
the relevance of academic courses, promoting democratic principles, maximizing
human potential, and improving the quality of life.
According to a recent report by the Corporation for
National and Community Service, New Jersey ranks 45th in college student
volunteer rates, with a 25 percent rate. Greater promotion of civic and
community engagement on New Jersey college campuses is necessary.
Through initial efforts, the Commission on Higher Education
has linked colleges and universities with the state service commission
and participated in a statewide service learning conference.
Strengthen the statewide
college service learning network.
Organize a statewide
policy forum to create a state agenda.
Increase student participation
in community service by a minimum of 5 percentage points by 2010.
Joint efforts among government, educational
institutions, business, and the nonprofit sector provide a
competitive advantage in achieving shared workforce and economic
development goals. Such partnerships will provide opportunities
to attract a broader base of human and financial capital necessary
to realize economic goals.
AMONG EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, STATE AGENCIES, AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR
TO ACHIEVE STATE GOALS
Increased state agency and institutional collaboration and government,
institutional, and industry partnerships are essential to help meet the
state’s most pressing education and workforce needs and to create nationally
competitive research and development programs.
A new statewide transfer agreement has been developed,
and a task force is working on policy and procedures for implementation.
Efforts are underway to align high schools with the
workplace and higher education and to convince students, parents, educators,
and employers of the need for more rigorous middle and high school courses.
For example, the New Jersey High School Redesign Committee completed
its review of high school courses and completed a plan to design curricula
with business and higher education needs; the “LearnDoEarn” website of
the Business Coalition for Educational Excellence at the New Jersey Chamber
of Commerce focuses on understanding how to get ready for life after
high school; and the Department of Education is working to align policy,
standards, and assessment to the American Diploma Project.
State Innovative Partnership Grants were awarded recently
for three high-demand industry sectors - Financial Services, Information
Technology, and Bio-Technology/Pharmaceutical - to encourage substantive
partnerships between the state’s business community and the educational
GEAR UP and College Bound programs served 361 more students
in fiscal 2006 than in fiscal 2003, working to prepare middle and high
school students in disadvantage areas to enter and succeed in college,
with a focus on math and science. A total of 2,991 students were served
in fiscal 2006.
The Governor’s School has been restructured and is proceeding
with a renewed vitality to provide gifted high school students with rigorous
experiences in the arts, the sciences, engineering and technology, environmental
studies, international studies, and public issues.
Fully implement the higher
education transfer agreement by September 2008.
Continue to make the
case for more rigorous high school courses, and make the necessary
investments of time, effort, and money to improve the preparation
of students for college and the workplace.
Make targeted state,
federal, and private sector investments to advance state economic
growth goals through collaborative efforts.
Develop additional partnerships
and enhance collaboration among higher education and the business,
nonprofit, and public sectors.
POLICY TO GUIDE STATE SUPPORT AND ACHIEVE STATE GOALS
Higher education institutions have a variety of responsibilities,
and each of those responsibilities is dependent, to varying degrees,
on a partnership with the state for fundamental financial support. Clear
predictable funding policies and practices are essential to guide state
The Commission on Higher Education worked with presidents
and other stakeholders to develop funding principles and recommendations
for consideration by the Governor and Legislature in two areas – annual state
operating support for the senior public colleges and universities
and support for higher
education capital needs. Strategic investments in each of these areas
are necessary to achieve many of the key goals and objectives in A
Blueprint for Excellence.
(The two sets of recommendations are available at http://www.nj.gov/highereducation/reports.)
Adopt and implement the
recommended policy for operating support for senior public colleges
Move toward full funding
for operating support of community colleges and public mission
Develop a capital plan
using the principles enumerated in the capital funding recommendations.
Vision to Reality
for Excellence is
a plan to make New Jersey stronger, more competitive, and
a better place for all to live, work, and go to school. The
entire higher education community, state policymakers, private
and public sector leaders, and other stakeholders all have
a role to play.
We have made advances in achieving
the objectives in the Blueprint, but
advances have not been significant enough to remain competitive
in today’s global information economy.
All are invited to support the
broad-based, collaborative efforts to build on success and shape
the future of New Jersey and all of its citizens by continuing
to work toward the shared vision and goals.
To learn more about A
Blueprint for Excellence or to obtain
detailed descriptions of the progress made to date in implementing
the state higher education strategic plan, visit the New Jersey
Commission on Higher Education website at http://www.state.nj.us/highereducation