Newark Collegiate Academy Leads in College Entrance[December 17, 2014 – Newark, New Jersey] KIPP New Jersey announced today that 89 African American students who graduated from its Newark Collegiate Academy High School in 2014 enrolled in college. This is nearly double the amount of students than any other high school in Newark. The high school’s enrollment closely mirrors the average district high school with 85 percent of students qualifying for free or reduced and a higher percentage of students with special needs (18 percent versus the district’s 17 percent). Ninety-three percent of the high school’s students are African American and 6% are Latino. Over the past 5 years, KIPP NJ has matched Newark students to schools such as Swarthmore, Smith, UVA, Duke, Brandeis, Haverford, Barnard, George Washington University, Boston College, Howard, NC State, and Rutgers along with many other key state and local institutions throughout New Jersey. Anchoring these results has been the expansion of a new innovative program called “KIPP Through College” (KTC), providing every student with highly personalized support to ensure each student is prepared to attend college and supported once are enrolled in an academic institution.
The KTC program includes college application support, organized trips to visit colleges, interview preparation, SAT prep, personal mentoring, transition planning for students with special needs, financial support to participate in study abroad programs and unpaid internships, and over 60 special partnerships with colleges and universities across the country to promote Newark students. In addition, KTC extends beyond K-12 and supports students throughout their college years, providing book stipends, care packages, on campus visits from KIPP staff, apprenticeship and trade development opportunities, and personal mentors to ensure the student’s transition to college is as successful as possible.
The KTC program also provides needed financial assistance for students who face extreme financial challenges to ensure they are able to attend and stay in college as well as a “Pathways Scholarship” that supports students who are interested in building a sustainable career through licensing and trade options that don’t offer financial assistance. KTC also helps students take full advantage of Newark’s “Youth Transition to Work program,” where students can earn a 2-year degree while receiving technical training or and professional certificates.
“KIPP kids are our kids for life. As soon as they are admitted to our school, we visit each student’s house and make a solemn promise to help them get to and through college. And we stay with them until they have that diploma in hand or have begun a career that will enable them to be self-sufficient. KIPP NJ believes that every Newark parent, every Newark student, should have a choice, that they should be empowered to change their life and should not be forced to accept the status quo,” stated CEO of KIPP NJ Ryan Hill.
“African American and Latino students attending Newark Collegiate Academy are going to 4-year colleges at the same rate as some of the top college-going communities in the country and outpace the national college-going rate for low- income families by 40%” stated Eric Fisher Director of the KIPP Through College Program. “Our students don’t come from backgrounds any different than students in other Newark schools, but they have worked hard and taken advantage of the tools and network of support KIPP teachers and staff have created. The KTC program we developed gets Newark students into college, and we do not rest until they have actually earned a 4-year degree as well. KIPP NJ is working hard each day to create innovative programs that work for all of our students. Certainly we can, and should, celebrate their impressive achievements as well as what we’ve learned and what is working to completely close the college completion gap.”
Nationally, just over a third of all young adults earn a college degree by their mid-20s. For students who are raised in low-income families, the odds are stacked much higher, with fewer than 1 in 10 graduating from a 4-year school within 6 years of high school graduation and almost 80% of low-income students who actually enter college do not earn a degree. By comparison, college graduation rate for students in top income brackets is 54 percent, more than 8 times higher than the graduation rate for students in the lowest income bracket.
"KIPP was my first experience with higher education in Newark,” stated former KIPP Newark student Kim Gibbons. “I graduated from KIPP in eighth grade and went to attend a private boarding school and then Occidental College, where I will graduate this fall. After I left KIPP, I was not forgotten. I utilized the KTC program, which helped me through some extensive health issues and a difficult situation at home. I am now one of 500 students who have gone through the KIPP’s system and found real opportunities. Without this support, I would never be receiving my college degree.”
“I did not want to go to college,” stated KIPP Newark Collegiate graduate Roderick Chavis. “I wanted to be a truck driver, but couldn't pay for the training and licensing. My teacher at KIPP Newark Collegiate listened to my dream, encouraged me and worked with me to achieve it. Through the KTC program, KIPP helped me find a great truck driving school and provided me a scholarship to pay for it. I cannot speak for all Charter Schools, but I know that I wouldn’t have had this kind of life-changing opportunity without KIPP.”
In 2002, KIPP NJ first opened its door in Newark as a single class of 80 fifth graders and has since created a network of school in Newark that serves over 2,700 students in grades K-12 and 100 students in Camden. By the year 2020, TEAM will have 10 schools in Newark and five schools in Camden, providing needed world-class college preparatory education to over 4,900 students in Newark and 2,300 in Camden – representing 10% of the children in Newark’s public schools and over 20% of those in Camden. By offering Newark students effective teachers, leaders and administrators, and with a laser focus on closing the achievement gap, college readiness, and college completion, over 500 alumni are currently attending or have graduated from college.