US Based St.Kitts Professor Receives Award From New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education

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Dr. Irvin Sweney

On Monday November 20th 2017, the Honorable Rochelle Hendricks – Secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey presented the first NJ Equity Trailblazers Award to St.Kitts Professor Dr. Irvin Sweeney, Director of the Gateway to College program at Camden County College. The presentation ceremony was held at the 65 by ’25 Summit held at the Chauncey Conference Center, Princeton New Jersey. President of Camden County College Don Borden, Vice President David Edwards, Deans Margo Venable and Marilyn Martinez, along with Camden Gateway Testing Coordinator, Faith Grant were on hand to celebrate the occasion.
Secretary Hendricks acknowledged the Camden Gateway to College program as one of NJ’s successful programs, which has impacted the lives of many young people in the Camden and Pennsauken communities. “This is a moment to showcase some of our success, as we recommit ourselves to the goal of 65 by ’25,” she added. The state is committed to raising the percentage of New Jersey residents that have attained a post-secondary credential from the current 50% to 65% by 2025, helping to ensure an innovative, competitive, inclusive and prosperous future for the state.
Other recipients of the Equity Trailblazers Award included Dr. Alexander Gates of Rutgers University Board of Governors; Dr. Frederick Keating, President of Rowan College at Gloucester County; and Mr. Reginald Lewis, Executive Director of Newark City of Learning Collaborative Center of Rutgers University. The four award recipients delivered formal presentations highlighting the successes of their organizations and responding to questions from the delegates present, which included Commissioners from Departments of Labor and Education, College Presidents, Business Executives and specially invited guests.
The Camden Gateway to College program provides an opportunity for disengaged youth from Camden and Pennsauken cities, between ages 16 to 20 years, to return to school in a collegiate environment and earn their high school diploma and possible college credits (at the same time). In some respects it is similar to the CLEP system, and the clep study guides that come with it. Camden Gateway has maintained a 100% graduation rate for its seniors and received two consecutive Gateway National Performance Excellence Awards for having the highest graduation rate in the nation, and surpassing all the benchmarks established by the Gateway to College National Network for assessing the performance of Gateway Centers.

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