The State of New Jersey has been a national leader in education for years, from our quality public schools to our nationally recognized universities. Not only has New Jersey had the #1 public school system in the U.S. for two consecutive years, we also rank #1 for early childhood education. In 2019, The U.S. Department of Education ranked 9 New Jersey schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools.
In addition, High Technology High School in Lincroft, NJ was named the “2021 Best STEM High School” in America by the U.S. News & World Report. Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison and Bergen County Academies in Hackensack also made the list, ranking 9th and 14th respectively.
K-12 Education and Training in New Jersey
The following are some of the recent efforts in New Jersey to keep the state as a leader in K-12 STEM education.
NJCU STEM Certification Program for K-12 Educators
In December of 2019, New Jersey City University (NJCU) received $400,000 from venture capitalist John Martinson to launch a groundbreaking STEM Certification Program for K-12 Educators. The STEM certification is a rigorous 4-course learning program that provides all K-12 educators, school leaders, and librarians with both the foundational STEM pedagogy and the hands-on experience to integrate STEM in their classrooms. The certificate is delivered primarily as a facilitated online program with a required initial two days of hands-on instruction and submission of a portfolio to evidence learning.
Why K-12 STEM education? Previously, there was no comprehensive STEM certificate program offered to provide foundational skills and experience to K-12 teachers for successful STEM implementation. The STEM Certification Program at NJCU immerses students in activities and readings designed to introduce them to computational thinking and increase their knowledge of STEM technology. Students have the option to complete the STEM Certificate for graduate credit or as non-credit through the Division of Professional Education and Lifelong Learning.
NJ STEM Ecosystems
The New Jersey STEM Pathways Network, established in 2014 by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education, is a strategic public-private alliance that aims to define and guide a statewide STEM vision for all learning levels. As part of their mission, the NJSPN oversees six STEM learning ecosystems representing ten counties within the State of New Jersey. Participants in the ecosystems include:
- Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance (Burlington County)
- HSMC (Hunterdon, Somerset and Mercer Counties)
- Liberty STEM Alliance (Hudson County)
- Newark STEAM Coalition (Essex County)
- NJ-NEST (Bergen County)
- South Jersey STEM and Innovation Partnership (Camden, Cumberland, and Salem Counties)
The goal of these ecosystems is to connect STEM stakeholders at a regional level, develop initiatives to support the education-to-workforce pipeline in their area, and engage in a national community of 84 STEM learning ecosystems across the globe.
New Jersey Research Universities & Technology
New Jersey is home to several top-ranked research universities, including the #1 university in the U.S., Princeton University, as well as Stevens Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Through partnerships with government, business, and industry leaders, these universities work to strengthen workforce talent and accelerate innovation within the State. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey is home to the New Jersey Big Data Alliance (NJBDA), which brings together expertise in data analytics and provides access to advanced computational technology to increase research competitiveness.
NJIT’s Cybersecurity Research Center forges collaborations with government, industry, and academia to address pressing cybersecurity R&D needs. The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) also works closely with Israel’s Hacker U for continued education, a major cybersecurity training resource established in Israel.
Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence (SIAI) is an interdisciplinary, tech-driven collaboration of experts working toward solving pressing global problems. SIAI is made up of more than 50 faculty members from engineering, business, and the arts that are researching a variety of applications in AI and machine learning.
Positioning the Talent Pipeline for Future Success
The rise of AI and automation poses a strong threat to job security for the next generation of workers. We are facing a reality where machines out-perform humans in a number of common work skills. Developing students’ technical, human, and data literacies, as well as their creativity, critical thinking, and entrepreneurship skills will be key components in staying ahead of future workforce requirements. New Jersey is taking a proactive approach, through collaborative partnerships that aim to support technological innovation across the State.
In March 2021, Governor Phil Murphy announced the development of the Institute for Future Technologies, a partnership between NJIT and Ben-Gurion University. Both powerhouse universities in the fields of cybertechnologies and environmental engineering, NJIT and BGU will come together to offer dual degrees and exciting research opportunities. The institute will operate out of NJIT’s two satellite campuses as well as its main campus in Newark. It will be easily accessible from both the World Trade Center and the Financial District in Lower Manhattan.
Jersey City, Hudson County, Hudson County Schools of Technology, and the Liberty Science Center announced a formal agreement in March to move forward with Scitech Scity High. This state-of-the-art high school will offer skill-centric science, technology, engineering, and math classes for 400 students in Jersey City, next to the Liberty Science Center. Referred to as a “mini city of the future,” Scitech Scity will be a technological hub for students, entrepreneurs, innovators, and scientists working together to create a community for learning and innovation.
Learn About Your Future Workforce in New Jersey
New Jersey’s thriving technology cluster will continue to lead the way for technological innovation. From K-12 to higher education, Choose New Jersey is committed to building a workforce of highly skilled individuals for many years to come. Our goal is to stimulate job creation and attract capital investment to our State by providing a range of free, confidential resources and tools to support companies in diverse industries from all over the world. To learn more about our services, contact us today to speak with a member of our team. We look forward to working with you.
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