New Jersey Bill Expands Access To Dual Enrollment In The State
NEW JERSEY – This past month, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Bill 2076, enacting the Twelfth Grade Postsecondary Transition Year Pilot Program. This bill, co-sponsored by Senators Zwicker, McKnight, and Greenstein and Assemblymember Lampitt, establishes and funds a statewide pilot program whereby at least six school districts can partner with institutions of higher education to offer seniors the opportunity to take credit-bearing college courses while they are still in high school, at no or low-cost.
First developed in a working group of New Jersey-based higher education institutions and education foundations, the bill represents a small but significant expansion of dual enrollment throughout the state. Coupled with the administration’s own dual enrollment pilot last year, the transition year program demonstrates the state’s focus and investment in expanding college in high school opportunities for students like it never has before, and further cements the state’s commitment to provide all New Jersey students early exposure to college.
Bard College is proud to have been part of the working group and to have helped advocate for the bill’s introduction and passage over the past several years. The bill’s passage represents another step in Bard’s continued presence and impact in New Jersey. Since 2011, Bard has partnered with Newark Public Schools to operate Bard High School Early College (BHSEC) Newark, a public high school that serves approximately 380 students every year, and graduates them with up to 60 college credits and a Bard AA degree, all at no cost to students and their families. Bard also currently operates three Bard Sequence partnerships in New Jersey. The Sequence program provides tuition-free college courses to public high school students in the Orange, Camden, and Plainfield school districts. Last year, students in the Bard Sequence program earned over 400 transferable college credits and the program is projected to serve over 260 students starting in the 2024 school year, with the ability to expand and grow further after passage of bills such as Bill 2076.
As a pioneer in dual enrollment both in New Jersey and across the nation, Bard applauds the state’s efforts to expand these programs and offer thousands more New Jersey students the opportunity to take and succeed in college coursework in high school. Bard is grateful for the partnership of New Jersey higher education institutions and foundations who continue to advocate for greater post secondary access for young people and push the conversation regarding dual enrollment forward. Bard would especially like to thank Governor Phil Murphy, as well as the bill’s cosponsors Senator Andrew Zwicker, Senator Linda R. Greenstein, Senator Angela V. McKnight, and Assemblymember Pamela R. Lampitt.