As part of its commitment to prepare students from the city of Newark for higher education, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has developed the Rising Scholars mentoring program, effective this fall semester. The program, a collaboration of the university’s Offices of Persistence (under Enrollment Management), Financial Aid and Dean of Students, will provide guidance in navigating the college experience, as well as paid employment through Federal Work-Study. Rising Scholars will support up to 20 students annually, enrolling eligible Newark students first and then inviting other qualified incoming freshman if space permits.

“NJIT recognizes and understands that many of our students require additional support outside the classroom, as well as financial assistance,” said Wendy Lin-Cook, associate provost for enrollment management and academic services. “As many of them are also first-generation, minority students, there is a greater need for guidance in acclimating to the nuances of college both in and outside the classroom.”

“Research shows that students thrive on intentional relationships with someone who cares about their individual success. With Rising Scholars, we can exhibit to our students their value to NJIT by providing caring staff who will be committed to each individual student’s academic, developmental and career success,” added Marybeth Boger, dean of students and campus life. “Most importantly, this will allow us to assist students from our community with persistence for the goal of graduation completion and valuable career experience to help with future employment.”

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Students must apply for Rising Scholars and then, once accepted, sign a contract stipulating they maintain good academic standing and eligibility for Federal Work-Study in order to continue in the program in future semesters. The weekly time commitment for participants will be 10 hours for Federal Work-Study and five hours for mentoring activities. Campus jobs will be made available in the following offices: Admissions, Financial Aid, Registrar, Student Persistence, Student Life and Residence Life.

For the program’s mentoring component, students will be paired with an NJIT staff member for the entire semester, meeting once every two weeks to discuss academic progress along with issues and concerns that may affect their success at NJIT. They will receive tutoring, one-to-one counseling, tips for effective studying and tools for time management, stress management and more. Additionally, they will attend workshops, presentations and group events that promote adjustment to college life.

“The Rising Scholars program is the most recent effort to build upon NJIT’s deep and close relationship with the city of Newark while serving its students. Collaborations between NJIT and the city also include the Mayor’s Honors Scholars Program, the NJIT/Newark Math Success Initiative, an expansive pre-college program, 60,000+ hours of community service annually, a Smart City program, teacher training, curriculum development and many more educational as well as economic and community development efforts,” said NJIT President Joel S. Bloom. “The relationship between NJIT and Newark is one that should be a model for universities and the communities in which they reside.”

For more information about Rising Scholars, contact Lynn Pawlowski at lynn.m.pawlowski@njit.edu.