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Office of Education
It is the mission of the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) to provide students in all of its programs, which include secure facilities, residential community homes, and day programs, with equal access to high quality educational instruction. This educational experience focuses on student-centered learning environments grounded in rigor, relevance, relationships and real world problem solving applications. It is firmly believed that all students have the ability to learn, given the proper instructional environment.
The JJC’s Office of Education has the challenging task of ensuring that residents are provided with an educational program that is not only compliant with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, but also meets the needs of its unique student population and settings.
Most of the young people who enter JJC programs come with poor school attendance records and varying abilities. Each juvenile is tested and placed in appropriate classes depending on his or her skill levels. Individualized Education Plans are developed for each student. Small class sizes and individual attention often allow students to progress quickly, with the aim of reaching their proper grade level. The JJC coordinates each student’s curriculum with his or her local school. This often enables students to return to school at the same point as their classmates or to receive their diplomas from their home high schools.
Historically, the JJC’s education program and service delivery system focused on building a foundation of academic basic skills and trades acquisition. Today, its mission, vision, and goals are aimed at raising the bar for students and teaching faculty alike. There is a concentration on applied academics in career and technical education for the vast majority of JJC students, as well as opportunities for post secondary education for those students who have obtained a high school diploma or GED. At the core is an emphasis on the integration of the curriculum through project-based learning activities and technologies.
This paradigm shift is in keeping with the "new high school redesign" standards and graduation requirements of the NJ Department of Education. More importantly, it is to assure that students leave the JJC equipped with both the short and long-term skills needed for success in their choice of college or career.
The JJC’s program of study is designed to lead each student to obtain a high school diploma, GED, enrollment in a community college, or a recognized credential, including an industry-based certificate, college transcript and/or associate of arts degree.
The JJC offers an academic educational program that is aligned to the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in core subject areas such as Mathematics, Language Arts Literacy, Health and Physical Education, Fine, Visual and Performing Arts, Science, World Languages (Spanish) and Social Studies.
An array of career and technological programs are available to students. These programs include: Equine Science, Audio and Visual Broadcast Technology, Audio Technology, Bookkeeping and Accounting, Carpentry, Computer Science Technology, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Graphic Arts, General Business Studies, Horticulture, and Plumbing and Pipefitting.
The vocational curriculum is divided into a variety of occupational and career areas. These offerings are aligned to labor demand occupations allowing students to pursue areas that are likely to lead to employment opportunities.
In addition, the JJC offers some post-secondary educational opportunities, which are detailed below.
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