The newest members of the Poseidon Early College High School program officially joined the Brookdale community on Aug. 20 during a college orientation program on the Lincroft campus.
The students, all high school freshmen from the Neptune Township Public School District, took a guided tour of Brookdale’s facilities before receiving their official college IDs in the Student Life Center.
The orientation began with a welcome address from Dr. Matthew Reed, Brookdale’s new Vice President for Learning.
“I have been here all of a month, so you are almost as new as I am,” joked Reed. “But I think you will find your time at Brookdale to be a wonderful experience. We are excited that you are here, and we hope you come to feel that you are part of the college. Because you are. So welcome to Brookdale, and welcome to college.”
The class also met with Student Life and Activities Director Robert Quinones, who explained the various resources, services and opportunities available to them as Brookdale students.
From campus clubs and events to discount tickets for movies, Quinones encouraged the students to make the most of what the college has to offer. He also hosted a brief Brookdale trivia game with the class, explaining everything from the school mascot to the college’s unique name.
The students then took a guided tour of the Lincroft campus, visiting the Main Academic Complex, Bankier Library, Center for the Visual Arts and the Student Life Center, where they each had their photos taken for a new Brookdale One Card.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Poseidon student Joe Sarambo, of Neptune. “I mean, it’s weird knowing that I’m 14 and I’m in college now, but I’m excited. I know it’s a lot of work, but I don’t mind.”
The Poseidon program is the first of its kind in the state of New Jersey, offering first-generation college students the opportunity to earn an associate degree by the time they graduate high school. Students take college courses offered by Brookdale faculty at the college’s newly renovated Neptune Higher Education Center, located across the street from Neptune Township High School.
The free program, administered by Brookdale and the Neptune Township School District (NTSD), is funded by an unprecedented $1 million endowment to the college from local education advocates Dr. Robert and Joan Rechnitz.
Poseidon welcomed its first class of 25 students in the fall of 2014. The second cohort – featuring 27 students – will join the program this September.
“It has been amazing so far,” said Tara Stephenson, site administrator for the Poseidon program. “In addition to the coursework, the first class has gone on field trips, met with some truly impressive guest speakers and even got some hands-on career training at Jersey Shore University Medical Center … We’re excited to welcome in a new class and offer them the same opportunities.”
The campus visit was part of a week-long orientation program for the new Poseidon class, which also featured team-building activities, skills workshops and seminars on college etiquette and classroom technology.
Learn more about the Poseidon ECHS by visiting the program’s website.
Check out more photos of the Lincroft campus visit here.