Workforce Development Initiative 'Gateway U' Aims to Provide Affordable Online Degree Programs for Newark Students

Gateway U is now open with an in-person study space temporarily located at Newark Foundry on 569 Martin Luther King Blvd. As New Jersey’s largest city, Newark is one of the most dynamic and connected urban centers in the country. The city is home to leading New Jersey companies, including: Audible, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, Prudential Financial, Panasonic North America, PSEG, among others.

Newark is made up of a diverse workforce that serves as a pipeline for companies in the city. As the city rebuilds and recovers from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gateway U is aimed to be an integral part of helping Newark grow and thrive by educating the city’s future workforce for the careers of tomorrow.

By partnering with SNHU, a private, accredited non-profit institution, Gateway U plans to help students access one of the largest providers of online education in the country. SNHU’s flexibility allows students to earn a bachelor’s or associate degree at their own pace so they can continue to work full-time or care for their loved ones.

Additionally, SNHU’s career-focused, project-based curriculum is designed to help students earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as two to three years. Gateway U also supports enrolled students through their SNHU degree journey by providing personalized academic and career coaching and other support services.

“South Ward Promise Neighborhood is one of a handful of organizations nationwide to receive a second U.S Department of Education grant to continue our groundbreaking work to enhance the lives of families in Newark’s South Ward,” said Nichelle Holder, chief program officer of South Ward Promise Neighborhood. “Gateway U is part of our work to uplift children and families by giving them access to quality schools from cradle to college and career. By offering a flexible, affordable education through Gateway U that prepares our families for a meaningful career, we are creating a brighter future for Newark’s young people.”

Helping Newark's underserved youth gain access to an affordable college education will also be pivotal to the initiative.  

After the pandemic drastically increased the number of opportunity youth (16 to 24-year-olds that are disconnected from school and the workforce) in the city, local organizations that currently help link underserved residents to career pathways like Newark Opportunity Youth Network are commending the new initiative at Gateway U.

"Having post-secondary pathways like Gateway U that are affordable, flexible, and directly connected to jobs will ensure that all young people have the chance to be successful," said Robert Clark, CEO of Newark Opportunity Youth Network.

Hire Newark, a signature workforce development program of Newark Alliance, will also support Gateway U students by providing access to internships, career opportunities, and high-performance career coaches.

“Low-cost tuition equates to better economic footing and the ability for Newark residents to start their careers with a clean financial slate," said Della Walker, Jr., director of Hire Newark. "Students who graduate with less debt will have more money to build an emergency fund, save and invest. We believe that hybrid college programs like Gateway U, which minimizes the cost of tuition and increases access to post-secondary education, play a vital role in urban communities."

Gateway U also offers an affordable experience that allows students to earn a degree for no more than $7,000 per year. Students are planned to receive a high-quality, real-world learning experience that prepares them for a meaningful career in the future.

Gateway U is currently offering three unique SNHU degree programs in the following areas:

Business Management

  • Bachelor of Arts in Management
  • Associate of Arts in General Studies

Healthcare Management

  • Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management
  • Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management

Communications

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communications

Gateway U will also partner with Newark's KIPP charter schools to help provide the school's alumni with affordable higher education opportunities.

“Many of our students have expressed to our KIPP Through College & Career team a desire for more flexibility, affordability, and a more personalized approach in higher education,” said Diane Adams-White, managing director of KIPP Through College NJ. “We also know the importance of high-quality AA/BA programs that are committed to closing our nationwide degree attainment gap. Enter Gateway U. We are thrilled to work with their team and offer another option to our alumni that will help them achieve their goals.”

Gateway U is part of a $30 million one-to-one matching U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods Program grant that SWPN received earlier this year. The grant will help SWPN continue its groundbreaking work to improve the lives of Newark’s South Ward families and expand its reach to two additional South Ward neighborhoods for an additional five years.

The Promise Neighborhoods Program grant supports organizations like SWPN that are dedicated to breaking down barriers to access by providing academic and social support for children in underserved communities. The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that the department awarded over $40 million in grants to seven organizations across the nation. 

Enrollment is ongoing, and the next term begins Jan. 3. To learn more, visit: https://www.gatewayunewark.org/.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-11-18 03:29:26 -0800