Kean University Partners with County Colleges on Pathway to Kean Program

Kean University has launched a new dual admission program, Pathway to Kean, in partnership with county colleges that gives students who don’t initially meet University admissions standards a clear path toward earning a bachelor’s degree. (Photo Credit: Kean University)

Kean University Partners with County Colleges on Pathway to Kean Program

Dual admission program offers alternate pathway for student access and affordability

UNION, N.J. —  Kean University launched a new dual admission program called Pathway to Kean that gives students who don’t initially meet University admissions standards a clear path toward earning a bachelor’s degree. The initiative increases accessibility for an affordable four-year college degree in New Jersey.

Kean will offer qualified students conditional acceptance to the University as long as they complete their associate degree at one of Kean’s partner county colleges. The University will provide advising and support services while the students are attending those county colleges.

“This idea of Pathway to Kean is very simple,” said Kean President Dawood Farahi, Ph.D. “It’s to create a more formalized system for the students who don’t meet our admission criteria. Rather than sending a rejection letter, we’ll put them on track for a four-year Kean degree and pledge to support them throughout that process.”

The program will launch in Fall 2020 in coordination with Essex County College, Middlesex County College, County College of Morris, Ocean County College, Union County College and Warren County Community College. It will expand to include more New Jersey county colleges over the next two years.

The presidents of the participating county colleges joined Farahi and the head of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges in announcing the program this month.

Students who opt in to the program will have their application data sent to their respective county colleges. Kean will work with each county college admissions office to ease their enrollment into the dual admission program. Once enrolled, Kean will provide support services on the county college campuses and remotely for students in the program.

Before the students graduate from the county college, their educational records will be shared with Kean for a smooth transition to the four-year degree program. Upon completion of their associate degree, students can opt to enroll at Kean’s main campus in Union as well as the new Kean Skylands campus in Jefferson, New Jersey and at Kean Ocean in Toms River and Manahawkin.

Union County College President Margaret M. McMenamin, Ed.D., noted the Pathway to Kean program aligns with Union’s mission of educational access, affordability and excellence.

“The Kean mission is really our mission,” she said. “Our students know when they go to Kean they’re enrolling in an institution focused on their success. Pathway to Kean is going to help ensure that our students know there is a pipeline for them to get a great education at a great college at a great price.”

Warren County Community College President William Austin, Ed.D., said the program offers advantages beyond affordability in an era of civil unrest nationwide.

“The best way to deal with today’s crises is to get people learning, working and living together,” Austin said. “Kean is one of the most diverse institutions in the state. That’s a great benefit to the people of Warren County.”

Kean is recognized as a transfer-student friendly institution and has been named to the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Transfer Honor Roll for several years. Students who transfer to Kean benefit from the most affordable tuition rates in the state among four-year colleges, combined with additional affordability from low tuition rates at the county college level.

“We’re thrilled to be part of that next generation of pathways to Kean,” said Mark McCormick, Ed.D., president of Middlesex County College. “Many of our students go on to Kean and do very well.”

“We are proud to partner with Kean University on its Pathway to Kean dual admission program,” added Anthony E. Munroe, Ed.D., president of Essex County College. “Access to affordable education provides important student opportunities. Kean University provides a quality education at a world-class level. Our partnership is a win-win for our students.”

Kean has a nearly 15-year partnership with Ocean County College, Kean Ocean, where OCC students can receive their associate degree, and Kean bachelor’s and post-baccalaureate degrees on OCC’s Toms River campus. The initiative deepens that partnership.

“The Pathway program is a great opportunity to further strengthen our partnership with Kean University. It provides a platform to engage the students at the very beginning stages of their program in knowing that they are committed to the Kean/Ocean partnership,” said Jon H. Larson, Ph.D., president of OCC.

The Pathway program will grow in the coming years to support student success.

“On behalf of all 18 of our community colleges, we are inspired by the commitment,” said Aaron R. Fichtner, Ph.D., president of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges. “At this moment in our state’s history, we need to continue these kinds of partnerships.”

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