Stockton, Ocean City School District Sign Agreement to Accelerate Pathway to College

Stockton, Ocean City School District Sign Agreement to Accelerate Pathway to College

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From left, Ocean City Schools Superintendent Kathleen Taylor, Stockton University President Harvey Kesselman and Stockton staff members Robert Heinrich, Robert Gregg, Claudine Keenan and Heather Medina announce the new agreement. (Photo courtesy of Stockton University)

The Ocean City School District and Stockton University on Tuesday signed a Dual Path Partnership agreement that will give Ocean City High School students the opportunity to graduate from both Ocean City High School and Stockton University in six years.

This is the first time Stockton has entered into such an agreement with a school district and demonstrates the commitment of both institutions to provide students with a high-quality education and seamless access to an affordable four-year college degree, officials said.

“This agreement recognizes Ocean City’s rigorous college preparatory curriculum that more than adequately prepares students to make the transition to college,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman said in a news release. “We have welcomed hundreds of Ocean City High School graduates over the years and are confident this agreement will help even more students earn their college degree in a timely and affordable manner.”

Ocean City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor said, “A few short months ago, even as we were navigating the challenges of this school year, we approached Stockton University with a vision to help students achieve their dreams of college, careers and a fulfilling life.”

She continued, “Together, we combined the colors of hope, achievement and aspiration on a palette that will enable us to create a canvas that is the Accelerated Pathways to College Program. The next school year will turn that canvas into a painting of hope and new beginnings.”

The terms of the Dual Path Partnership agreement include:

  • Students who earn their high school diploma in three years at Ocean City High school with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or better are guaranteed enrollment at Stockton University;
  • Stockton will work with the administration at Ocean City High School to increase the number of dual credit offerings so that OCHS students can also complete as many as 32 college credits during their first three years of high school and transfer those credits to Stockton.
  • Students who complete 32 credits at Ocean City High School may enter Stockton as sophomores.
  • Stockton agrees to waive the undergraduate admission application fee for eligible students;
  • Stockton will provide on-site personal advisement and college admissions and financial aid workshops in Ocean City for prospective students and parents;
  • Stockton will provide academic and merit scholarships to eligible student renewable for up to four years of undergraduate coursework to those who maintain a 3.0 or better GPA;
  • Students who complete Ocean City High School in four years with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are also guaranteed admission to Stockton.
  • Students who do not meet the minimum admissions requirements can be conditionally accepted to Stockton and encouraged to initially enroll at Atlantic Cape Community College under the existing Stockton Transfer Pathways partnership.
  • Ocean City High School will publicize the agreement and provide regular arrangements for Stockton admissions and financial aid counselors to visit Ocean City High School.

Ocean City School Board President Joseph Clark called the opportunity being offered to the students “phenomenal” and said he was pleased that the two schools were able to make it a reality.

Taylor also presented Kesselman with a “Heroes of Hope” award for Stockton’s efforts in working with the school district to “help our students fulfill their dream.”

State Assemblyman Antwan McClellan, a graduate of Ocean City High School, presented a proclamation from the New Jersey Legislature.

Ocean City High School Principal Dr. Matthew Jamison introduced members of the Class of 2021 who will be attending Stockton in the fall.

Charles Baker of Shore Clean Express, donated $100 awards to each of those seniors, including his son, Cody.

Cody, who plans to major in business studies and wants to go into real estate development, said his brother and uncle also attended Stockton.

“It’s a good school, and not too far away,” he said.