More than 200 area students and parents filled Brookdale’s Freehold campus on Feb. 2 for the first ever Brookdale-Rutgers Partnership Open House.
Faculty, staff and administrators from both Brookdale and Rutgers University were on hand to meet with interested families and answer questions about the partnership, which allows Brookdale graduates the opportunity to earn a Rutgers bachelor’s degree without having to leave Monmouth County.
The unique program, hosted out of Brookdale’s Freehold campus, offers four-year degrees in 10 academic programs: liberal studies; labor and employment relations; public health; business administration; criminal justice; social work; psychology; journalism and media studies; political science; and nursing.
Brookdale graduates who are accepted into Rutgers can seamlessly transfer into their bachelor’s program, studying under Rutgers faculty in Freehold and taking advantage of all the services and support offered to traditional Rutgers University students.
“This is not a Rutgers University degree with an asterisk. Your degree will say ‘The State University of New Jersey,'” said Joe Walsh, assistant director of off-campus programs for Rutgers University, during a welcome address prior to the open house.
“We are here to serve the residents of Monmouth County, so you can access a four-year degree here in a reasonable amount of time without being lost in traffic on Route 18 for much of your life. We try to make this really simple… So please, come talk to us. Find out how we can help.”
Following welcome addresses by Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy and Freehold Campus Dean Richard Pfeffer, the attendees were able to talk one-on-one with college officials from a wide range of offices and disciplines, including admissions, student services and many of the academic programs offered through the partnership.
The event also allowed students to officially declare their interest in the program and compete in prize raffles for select Rutgers University merchandise.
For current Brookdale students like Mohammed Abuaysha, of Long Branch, the open house was a unique opportunity to ask specific questions about his educational goals and learn the quickest – and most affordable – route to achieving them.
“My two biggest concerns are money and travel. I am not a big fan of commuting,” said Abuaysha, who is approaching graduation with a 3.9 GPA and considering pursuing a Rutgers bachelor’s degree in public health.
“My ultimate goal is to be a physician’s assistant, which requires a master’s degree. So I don’t want to carry a lot of debt just to get my bachelor’s. I know there are a lot of different options and programs out there, and it can be a little confusing at times. So it helps to be able to ask those questions in person.”
For local high school seniors like Travis Maydish, of Howell, and Ian McElligott, of Colts Neck, the open house was an opportunity to begin planning their future.
“People are excited,” said Maydish. “If you can do all four years here and get a Rutgers degree, that’s a win-win. Brookdale on its own is good enough. It allows you to transfer to a good four-year school. But to do it all here? That’s amazing.
“Rutgers is a really good school,” Maydish added. “And this partnership allows you to get a Rutgers degree without piling up a lot of debt. To us, that’s beautiful.”
Visit the Brookdale-Rutgers Partnership website to learn more about the program and its unique bachelor’s and master’s degree options.
Check out more photos of the Brookdale-Rutgers Partnership Open House here.