Going to College in New Jersey. A magazine for college-bound students in New Jersey. Features colleges and universities in New Jersey.
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8 GOING TO COLLEGE IN NEW JERSEY • WWW.HESAA.ORG • 1-609-584-4480 CHOOSING A COLLEGE IS AN EXCITING DECISION. Since your final choice will greatly impact your future, you should take time to figure out what you expect to learn and gain from your college experience. First, consider yourself. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS AND INTERESTS? What are your aca- demic strengths and weaknesses? Then consider the school, including its academ- ic characteristics, admissions policy, costs, student aid programs and student body. Determining what you want most and what a college can offer you will help you reach a decision about where to apply. You can also NARROW DOWN YOUR CHOICES by attending college fairs, visiting college websites, reviewing college planning guides (found in the library and on the web) and taking campus tours. Your high school guidance counselor can advise you on college preparation, planning and selection. You can also seek personal advice from friends and family. In New Jersey, students have access to a variety of postsecondary institutions, including two-year community colleges, four-year colleges and universities and career schools. These institutions provide highly diversified programs of study to meet the individual needs of students as they prepare for future careers. AFTER HIGH SCHOOL TWO-YEAR COLLEGES Two-year colleges offer students the opportunity to earn an associate degree, including the Associate in Arts, the Associate in Science and the Associate in Applied Science. Your education at a two-year school can provide you with specialized training that can be immediately applied to a job following graduation. It can also prepare you for transfer to a four-year institution where you can complete your bache- lor's degree. New Jersey's county and community colleges primarily serve the residents of their respective counties. In most instances, students enroll in the institution that serves their county. However, if you live in a county without a commu- nity college, or if your college doesn't offer the program you want, you can attend one of the other community colleges. FOUR-YEAR COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES New Jersey's four-year colleges grant a bachelor's degree, which is also called a baccalaureate. A few offer an associate, and most have graduate degree programs. Four-year col- leges generally offer a broad curriculum, unless the school specializes in a certain area of study, such as music. Graduates typically receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Some New Jersey colleges offer degrees with specialized titles such as a Bachelor of Science in Engineering or a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Some colleges offer programs leading to a master's or doctoral degree. TRANSFERRING FROM A TWO-YEAR SCHOOL In 2008, the New Jersey Presidents' Council approved the Comprehensive State-Wide Transfer Agreement. Under the provisions of this Agreement, an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree from a New Jersey commu- nity college will be fully transferable as the first two years of a baccalaureate degree program and will be considered to have completed all lower division general education require- ments. For additional information visit njtransfer.org, a joint initiative between the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the New Jersey Presidents' Council. CAREER SCHOOLS Career schools train students for a specific vocation. Programs of study are usually, but not always, shorter in duration than traditional colleges — ranging from 6 months to one year. Programs range from automotive repair to culi- nary arts, from electronics to paralegal, from gaming to health care. Career schools can also serve as a stepping stone to entry into a two-year or four-year degree program. For a list of career schools in New Jersey, visit www.careerschoolsinnewjersey.com CHOOSING A COLLEGE