More than 250 students, prospective students and family members got a close look at Brookdale’s new 37,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art classroom facility in Wall Township on July 12 during the inaugural open house for Brookdale’s newly christened Wall Campus.
The open house featured a variety of information booths, welcome addresses, refreshments, giveaways and guided tours of the new classroom building, including its technologically enhanced nursing simulation labs, professional-grade science labs, glass-walled study rooms and sprawling Student Success Center.
“We saw this building in our minds 17 years ago,” said Anita Voogt, Brookdale’s executive dean of regional locations and K-12 partnerships. “To stand here today and have you all here, to know the programs that we are going to be offering and to know how we are going to be serving the members of our community here, it is simply a dream come true.”
Only a week prior to the open house, Brookdale at Wall was declared an official branch campus of the college by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The designation, which had previously only been bestowed on Brookdale at Freehold, will allow the Wall Campus to offer complete associate degree programs in a variety of disciplines, including business, health science, social science, humanities and criminal justice.
Other students will be able to complete half or even most of their degree program at the Wall Campus, depending on their major.
The campus will also serve as the home of the Brookdale-New Jersey City University (NJCU) Partnership, allowing students to earn NJCU bachelor’s degrees without leaving Monmouth County. Exclusive transfer and enrollment services will be offered to Brookdale graduates as well.
“We are thrilled that we are now officially a branch campus, which means that we are able to offer programs that we have never been able to offer in the past,” said Wall campus director Allison Fitzpatrick. “We could not be more excited to bring this to the Wall community.”
The Wall Campus will also serve as the home of two new early-college high school partnerships with the Asbury Park and Wall Township school districts. Students from the Asbury Park Dream Academy Early College program will begin studying at Wall in the fall of 2018.
Beginning this year, the center will also offer continuing education and workforce development programs to local teachers and businesses.
“This is Brookdale’s 50th anniversary year, and our official birthday is actually coming up next week, on July 18,” said interim Brookdale president David Stout.
“From our very beginning, we have had an intimate connection with the Monmouth County community. Our original president used to say that all of Monmouth County is Brookdale’s campus, and that is one of the reasons we have worked hard to establish regional centers like this. On behalf of all of us at Brookdale, I want to welcome you to the new Brookdale at Wall.”
Madelyn Curtis, a Spring Lake Heights resident and a 2017 graduate of Communications High School, will be among the first freshmen to study in the new Wall building when she joins the college this fall. While she will enjoy having a seven-minute commute to and from class, Curtis said she is equally excited to be studying in such an engaging, modern setting.
“It’s very impressive, I have to say,” said Curtis, who plans to major in psychology at Brookdale and ultimately earn a master’s degree in special education. “I was actually taken aback by how nice the building is. I expected it to be nice, but not this nice. I’m so pumped now, and you can quote me on that.”