Federal Support Clears the Way for NJTC and New Jersey City University to Address the New Jersey Teacher Shortage By Building a Needed Pipeline for Education Workforce Talent

[New Jersey – May 29, 2024]—The New Jersey Tutoring Corps, Inc. (NJTC) announced today that the United States Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) has formally designated the organization as a Registered Apprenticeship Pathway (RAP), making it one of the first tutoring programs in New Jersey to receive the approval.

In 1937, the National Apprenticeship Act (NAA), also known as the Fitzgerald Act, was signed into law, establishing the creation of the registered designation that will now allow NJTC to qualify for a series of tax credits and apprenticeship grants.  Today’s announcement and its access to the new eligible funding will launch a long-planned partnership with New Jersey City University (NJCU), allowing NJTC to offer its eligible tutors the ability to earn needed academic credits for their work serving local schools across the state, providing a newly created partnership with the University that will offset costs and bring a more accessible pathway to increase the supply of educators for New Jersey schools.  Prior to the U.S. DOL designation, federal and state funding for this kind of initiative was not possible.

Now beginning its second year of non-profit status, NJTC was initially established as a public-private tutoring partnership by First Lady Tammy Murphy and anchor institutions such as the Overdeck Foundation, the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the Tepper Foundation, New Jersey Children’s Foundation, the Prudential Foundation, and the Debra and Kenneth Caplan Foundation, as a needed corrective response to the state’s dramatic learning gaps exacerbated by the pandemic.  In addition, the creation of NJTC provided New Jersey with a statewide focal point to promote and provide tutoring for all public school districts. During the last budget cycle, Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz and Senate Education Committee Chair Vin Gopal led the effort to prioritize funding for NJTC in the FY24 budget, enabling the massive scale of statewide tutoring to grow during the summer months and this school year.

In just one year, NJTC has grown from 19 locations in five counties to 79 locations in 18 counties. Its staff has increased from 70 tutors to almost 300, while its service has expanded from less than 500 scholars to over 3600.

“With an all-hands-on-deck approach and with great urgency and passion, the NJTC has created a tutoring and training infrastructure that is simply unprecedented.  In a very short period of time, we are changing the paradigm of how tutoring can best serve our communities.  Today’s announcement is a testament to the innovative thinking and hard work of the many involved in building this important new institution for the Garden State,” stated NJTC’s CEO Katherine Bassett.  “In about 18 months, we have built our team, continuously vetted and trained our tutors, developed partnerships with school districts throughout the state, and dramatically scaled throughout New Jersey.  Our success would not have been possible without a clear and aggressive strategic plan – and one of our top and early priorities was to receive the RAP designation from the Department of Labor.  As one of the first tutoring organizations to be provided this RAP designation, we are not only breaking new ground, but we are now helping to address the massive teacher shortage in the state.  We are thankful to the U.S. DOL, the legislators who have championed us in Trenton, and the many foundations who have offered their support.  Most of all, we are grateful for NJCU’s friendship and partnership.  Together, we will be able to access available funding, create this new teacher pipeline, and continue to lay the foundation that will serve families for years to come.”

“Governor Murphy has made Workforce Development a top priority for New Jersey, and NJTC followed his lead and directive,” stated NJTC’s COO Ashley Bencan.  “Thanks to this important designation by the U.S. DOL, NJTC is now more than just a centralized tutoring hub for New Jersey. In partnership with NJCU, we can now create a formalized and accredited pathway for future teachers.  With the tremendous shortage of teachers in New Jersey, NJTC tutors will now have a unique pipeline that increases the pool of highly trained education professionals, providing school districts that partner with us with direct access to this new talent pool while simultaneously supporting learning acceleration.”

“True to New Jersey City University’s core mission, the College of Education is always looking to create innovative ways to involve our students in real-life working experiences, which are in line with their academic goals and career aspirations,” stated Dr. Michelle Rosen, Director of the Teacher Intern Program, New Jersey City University.  “At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, our programs will only strengthen through partnership with New Jersey Tutoring Corp. We look forward to working to support all candidates they send our way.”

NJTC co-designs tutoring programs with schools and districts, ensuring that its research-based, evidence-rich program specifically meets the needs of individual partners. NJTC staff members provide responsive, personalized, hands-on instruction aligned to New Jersey state standards. School partners co-design each implementation. Tutors are often embedded throughout classrooms during the school day and receive support from instructional coaches and site coordinators. Tutors may also serve scholars in 30 to 60-minute sessions after school three times per week. The program strives to provide a 1:1 up to 1:3 tutor-to-scholar ratio for each tutoring session, with sessions held two to three times weekly for 30 to 60 minutes with the same tutor working with the same scholars throughout a program cycle.

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