What We Want To Do…And Why

The College Career Ready Academy is a unique summer residential program for high-potential students that helps them prepare for college, work and life. It’s an initiative developed by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation (NJCCF) to support and improve New Jersey’s high-quality workforce.

Our goal for students who attend the Academy is to arm them with the “soft skills”, knowledge and motivation they need to succeed. Why is this needed? Well, take a look at some statistics:

  • Almost half of New Jersey’s college students take more than six years to earn a Bachelor’s Degree because they haven’t worked hard enough in high school.
  • Virtually every high school student who receives a New Jersey STARS scholarship is in the top 15% of his/her class – but needs remediation upon entering college.
  • Fewer than 7% of New Jersey students graduate with enough math and science to apply to schools like NJIT.

This last point is especially troubling. As of the end of 2013, the national unemployment rate was 7.0% – about 11 million people. Yet almost 4 million jobs went unfilled. Why? Employers indicated that they couldn’t find candidates with the skills needed for the existing positions.

Here’s another troubling statistic: Nationally, in just a few years, 2.4 million jobs will be available in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but over 90% of high school students – students from all walks of life – are not interested in those fields.

It’s not hard to see why these jobs will be available – think of all the new technologies emerging today, the drugs being developed, and so on. Traditional skills are less and less in demand, and globalization adds a new dimension to the job competition. Students need to make informed decisions about the career paths they’ll follow, especially in view of these trends.

Hence, the Academy. We want students to understand the educational and behavioral needs for their future success. We want students to learn life skills – how to budget their money, for example – to sustain and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Finally, we want to motivate them to perform at the best of their ability, starting in school and going forward, as this will be the key to their success.

If you are interested in sending your child, niece, nephew, grandchild to an Academy, you can find out more information at CollegCareerReadyAcademy.org or call Patty Cullinane at 609-789-5279.