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|Passaic College Knowledge Project Overview:
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grant, the Passaic College Knowledge project is an ambitious effort to make post-secondary education more accessible to students in the Passaic-City School District.
In order to accomplish this, the general level of academic performance of Passaic students must be raised in order to increase the rate of acceptance into post-secondary educational programs as well as to prepare them to succeed in that environment. Also, students and their families need to be made more aware of what post-secondary education options exist, the preparation necessary to pursue those options, and how to handle the daunting task of financing.
It is envisioned that the successful execution of this program will result in an increase in the rate of high school graduation along with a greater participation in post-secondary education.
The College Knowledge program works by tracking a cohort of students from one class - the 7th grade of the 2005-2006 school year - all the way up through their graduation from high school. By focusing solely on these students, the academic support structure (teachers, environment, technology, tutoring, guidance counseling, etc.) can be enhanced and upgraded one grade level at a time. This will also have the benefit of leaving a better system in place for those students of subsequent grade levels.
Two significant partners in this program are the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) at Stevens Institute of Technology and William Patterson University. Each will provide professional development for the teachers of the cohort of students, as well as the teachers of the next grade level.