Lincroft, NJ (December 19, 2013)—Brookdale Community College entered into an agreement with the Neptune Township School District (NTSD) tonight that will allow selected Neptune High School students to complete an associate degree and a high school diploma in four years. In a joint resolution and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the two institutions established Poseidon Early College High School (PECHS), a program for academically prepared students who are the first in their families to attend college.

During their four years of high school, students admitted to PECHS will take Brookdale college courses that concurrently satisfy requirements for their high school diploma and the college’s associate of arts degree in social science. During the first three years, they will take high school and college classes at Brookdale’s Neptune location. During the fourth year, they will also take college classes at Brookdale’s campus in Lincroft. PECHS students will be mixed in with traditionally enrolled Brookdale students in their college-level classes.

A cohort of approximately 25 Neptune High School freshman are expected to be admitted to the PECHS program beginning in fall 2014. Each September, a new cohort of 25 students will be admitted to the program until a capacity of 100 students is reached.

“Brookdale and Neptune Township High School share a common mission to provide access to quality, affordable educational choices to all in Monmouth County,” said Brookdale’s president, Dr. Maureen Murphy.  “By removing some of the financial barriers to completing a degree, this unique initiative will help students fulfill their dreams.”

“Brookdale Community College and the Neptune Township School District have shared a rich, academic partnership for many years, and this initiative expands on that partnership. Poseidon Early College High School is in alignment with state and national educational reform agendas. Neptune Township School District and Brookdale Community College personnel will work closely together to ensure that these students are successful and have appropriate support systems in place as they progress through the program. It is a wonderful opportunity for our students to earn college credit during their high school years,” said David Mooij, superintendent of schools, Neptune Township School District.

Funding for the program was made available through a donation of one million dollars to the Brookdale Community College Foundation from Robert and Joan Rechnitz of Red Bank. The grant is the largest contribution ever received in the college’s history. The Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that solicits and manages private funds and grants that support scholarships and projects that benefit students.

“We truly appreciate the superb work that Brookdale does in educating people of all ages, and we are delighted to support the Brookdale Community College Foundation and this exciting new initiative providing first-generation college students a new pathway to higher education,” Robert Rechnitz said.

“Dr. and Mrs. Rechnitz’s gift to Brookdale is another example of their dedication to the Monmouth County community,” Dr. Murphy said. “We are so grateful for their generous gift and their shared belief in our mission.”

High school classes in the PECHS program will be taught by the teaching staff at Neptune High School. Classes at the college level will be taught by full-time and adjunct Brookdale faculty.  PECHS will begin incorporating college level classes in the first semester of the students’ freshman year.

Students will have access to all essential academic services either face-to-face or remotely.  During the fourth year, PECHS students will be issued a Brookdale ID card and have access to library services and academic resources on the Lincroft campus.

The building that houses Brookdale at Neptune will be renovated in order to accommodate PECHS students.  Brookdale currently leases the building from the NTSD. The Neptune district will pay for the architectural costs and Brookdale Community College will pay for renovations. The expansion of the second floor will provide space for PECHS students, as well as traditional Brookdale students enrolled in credit and non-credit offerings.

###

About Brookdale Community College
An open access institution, Brookdale is committed to student success in a socially diverse environment. As the number one associate degree granting college in New Jersey, Brookdale provides students with opportunities to advance academically, pursue a career and enhance their professional skills. With six convenient locations throughout Monmouth County and access to bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the NJ Coastal Communiversity, Brookdale is committed to student success and development. Success starts at Brookdale.

About Neptune High School
Neptune High School is a public four-year high school in the Neptune Township School District that provides a comprehensive education for students in the ninth through twelfth grades. The mission of Neptune High School is to develop the academic and social skills of students by engaging them in challenging curricula resulting in high levels of achievement.