A new grant-funded program at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey is reenrolling adult learners by lifting the financial and academic barriers that have prevented students from obtaining degrees.
The R.E.A.L. program, which stands for ReEnrolling Adult Learners, was established at Stockton College with funds from a one-year, $65,000 grant. The grant was awarded to the College by the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education through the Disengaged Adults Returning to College (DARC) Grant program. This July the renewal process will begin.
Those who are eligible for the program must be age 20 or older, have been out of school for between one and 10 years, have at least a 2.0 GPA and at least 64 credits from any New Jersey institution.
Peter Hagen, director of the Center for Academic Advising and Planning, said, “Degree completion and alleviating student debt are at the forefront of our latest initiative. The R.E.A.L. program is our response to the call by President Obama to help students leave college with degrees, which puts them in a better position to pay off their student loans.”
The program works by identifying qualified students and then sweeping away academic and financial limitations that have kept them from graduating. This semester 50 students have reenrolled in courses at Stockton and are now receiving benefits from the program.
New online courses and online versions of existing courses are being created to make coursework more accessible to students. A new version of the Liberal Studies major has been developed to accommodate students wishing to customize a major to graduate as soon as possible.
Exceptions on a case-by-case basis to the residency requirement will be made for students who have moved and cannot complete the last 32 credits of their degree at Stockton.
To ease financial barriers, the program can help to cover certain outstanding fees that have been unpaid and have prohibited students from taking additional courses. Instructional materials and textbooks are also provided to students in need.
The R.E.A.L. program has 10 iPads that can be lent to students without access to a computer. This semester, five of the iPads are on loan.
Three information sessions are scheduled for students who have completed half of their degree at a New Jersey institution and are interested in returning to finish their degrees.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 5-7 p.m.
Manahawkin Instructional Site, 712 East Bay Avenue
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 5-7 p.m.
Kramer Hall, 30 Front Street, Hammonton
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 5-7 p.m.
Main campus, Galloway