New Jersey Institute of Technology (DISCLAIMER: It is where I work) is not immune from the economic taint that has infected public and private enterprises since the near global collapse last September 18th. Though our undergraduate applications have increased more than any other state school in New Jersey, it is unclear if the prospective incoming students will be able to afford the discounted tuition that is available to in-state residents.
NJIT has a long history of academic excellence. We graduate top-notch engineers, architects, programmers and information management professionals, but because of our narrow geographic recruitment area, many potential students don't even know who we are.
That changed yesterday.
NJIT is taking its fundamental strengths and areas of expertise --excellent academic instruction and distance learning-- and we are offering them to the world.Online.njit.edu
was launched, yesterday, as a comprehensive recruiting tool to attract master level and graduate certificate candidates across the country. Available online, this new initiative offers the expertise and excellence of NJIT's graduate programs to students all across the country. From the web site's main page:
"If you’re searching for an online master’s program or a “hot topic” graduate certificate, you should know this about NJIT:the university pioneered distance learning. Working in the late 1970s,two NJIT professors created the software, and the teaching methods, used to support some of the first distance-learning classes. In fact,the phrase, Virtual Classroom® was coined and registered as a trademark at NJIT"
Tuition and fees for out-of-staters have historically been a major impediment to cross-country recruiting for any of the NJIT programs, but that is expected to change, too:
"Know, also, that NJIT has affordable tuition. This year, the Princeton Review named NJIT one of the nation’s Best Value Colleges. And this spring, NJIT is introducing an online tuition rate that,pending approval in April by the NJIT Board of Trustees, will help online students who live outside New Jersey save on tuition. So if you’re considering an online master’s program or a graduate certificate, know this: NJIT will give you the skills you’ll need to work successfully in the 21st century global marketplace."
The University Vice President and visionary for this new initiative, Dr Gale Tenen Spak
, has emphasized programs which lead directly to jobs in the unsettled marketplace:
"We offer short term, graduate level certificate programs and fully accredited, fully online master degree programs that can make you more employable and help you advance your career and give you a leg-up on your competition"
The entire thrust of this new initiative is to target areas of study which lead directly to existing, high-paying jobs all across the country. While funding for professional studies has become harder to obtain, the proposed reduced tuition rates will make those training dollars spend further towards an advanced degree. More from the web site:
"The majors that NJIT offers -- majors in engineering and science, technology and management -- are those most sought after by employers. Every year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers publishes a list of majors that attract the highest salaries. And every year the majors offered at NJIT top that list. "
Does this mean that the trend in graduate education will pave a new road to advanced degrees and professional excellence? No one wil know the outcome of this initiative until the Fall, 2009 semester begins. Does this impact the undergraduate applicants ability to afford the tuition required to attend NJIT? No, that is a problem to be solved in some other way. But to the swarm of new applicants that hope to attend NJIT as undergraduates in the Fall, the prospect of enrolling in a school in which they can affordably continue their education through their bachelor degree while receiving the excellent support that their graduate studies might require, the innovative environment that the university provides at all levels, is a fundamental reason to enroll.