Jason Jones, president of the Neptune Township Board of Education, presented Brookdale President Maureen Murphy with a surprise gift at Thursday night’s Board of Trustees meeting. The gift, a statue of the Roman god Neptune, signifies the unique partnership between Brookdale and Neptune High School in creating Poseidon Early College High School (PECHS). The miniature statue is a replica of the nine-foot version on display in the high school.
“When you look at the statue, Neptune’s arm is stretched outward, pointing to the future. It is symbolic of how far we can take the relationship between Brookdale and Neptune High School,” Jones said.
The College entered into the agreement December 19 at a special joint meeting with the Neptune Township School District. PECHS will target academically prepared Neptune Township High School students who are the first in their families to attend college. The program will make it possible for selected students to complete an associate degree and a high school diploma in four years.
During their four years of high school, students admitted to PECHS will take Brookdale college courses that concurrently satisfy requirements for their high school diploma and the College’s associate of arts degree in social science. They will take their first three years of classes at Brookdale’s Neptune location and complete their final year at the campus in Lincroft. PECHS students will be mixed in with traditionally enrolled Brookdale students in their college-level classes.
A cohort of approximately 25 Neptune High School freshmen are expected to be admitted to the PECHS program beginning in fall 2014. Each September, a new group of 25 students will join the program until a capacity of 100 students is reached.
Funding for PECHS was made available through a grant of one million dollars to the Brookdale Community College Foundation from Robert and Joan Rechnitz of Red Bank.
“We truly appreciate the superb work that Brookdale does in educating people of all ages and we are delighted to support the Brookdale Community College Foundation and this exciting new initiative providing first-generation college students a new pathway to higher education,” Robert Rechnitz said.
“Dr. and Mrs. Rechnitz’s gift to Brookdale is another example of their dedication to the Monmouth County community,” said Dr. Murphy said. “We are so grateful for their generous gift and their shared belief in our mission to help students achieve their dream of earning a college degree so they can build better futures for themselves, their families and our communities.”
High school classes in the PECHS program will be taught by the teaching staff at Neptune High School. Classes at the college level will be taught by full-time and adjunct Brookdale faculty. PECHS will begin incorporating college level classes in the second semester of the students’ freshman year.
Students will have access to all essential academic services either face-to-face or remotely. During the fourth year, PECHS students will be issued a Brookdale ID card and have access to library services and academic resources on the Lincroft campus.
Visit the photo gallery to view photos from the Board of Trustees Meeting.