The New Jersey Presidents’ Council (NJPC), in cooperation with government and business leaders, has recently launched a higher education public affairs campaign for publicizing the outstanding qualities of New Jersey’s higher education institutions.
The NJPC represents all sectors of New Jersey’s higher education community (two year, four year, research, public, private, proprietary colleges and universities). One year ago, member presidents appointed a task force to work on developing a public affairs campaign that would feature a website and video. Upon a recommendation from the task force, NJPC hired a media consultant to produce the infrastructure for the project. Based on a survey of a demographically representative group of New Jersey parents and students, the consultant created and tested a video that communicates the desired message about higher education in New Jersey. NJPC now is engaged in a statewide distribution of the video and webpage.
“In New Jersey, students can receive an education that prepares them for an abundance of success. Those attending colleges and universities in our state benefit from an array of outstanding institutions, proximity to major financial market centers and growth industries, unsurpassed diversity and culture, as well as post-graduation earning power that places them ahead of their peers from other states. Our K-12 education system in New Jersey often is recognized as the best in the nation, and it now is time for people to understand that higher education in New Jersey is equally strong and worthy of being recognized as such,” said NJIT President Joel Bloom, who serves as president of the Presidents’ Council.
Choose New Jersey, a privately funded economic development organization, is supporting the NJPC initiative by hosting the Be More video and webpage www.BeMoreinNJ.org and is also providing the data collection for visits to the Be More webpage.
“Governor Murphy’s proposed 2021 budget reflects our commitment to bring New Jersey’s quality higher education to as many residents as possible, regardless of their income. One of the Murphy Administration’s goals is for 65 percent of working-age residents to obtain a high-quality credential or degree by 2025. We are excited to share that we now have a vehicle to communicate the value of higher education now and into the future,” said Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis, secretary of Higher Education whose Office is a member of the NJPC Task Force. “Through programs such as the Community College Opportunity Grant, the proposed Garden State Guarantee and the state’s student-focused plan for higher education, we are making college more affordable, accessible, and relevant to our residents and sending a compelling message to students about why they should attend college in New Jersey.”
“This communications campaign will reach students and families with important messages about the high-quality postsecondary education options available right here in the Garden State, where students can build their skills and achieve career success. This information will reinforce the State’s initiatives to make college more affordable by reducing the financial barriers faced by New Jersey students.,” said David Socolow, executive director of the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA).
NJBIA president Michele N. Siekerka, Esq., who served on the NJPC task force, sees multiple beneficiaries to this project – students, parents, taxpayers, and employers who value and rely on New Jersey’s skilled workforce. “This campaign is an investment in retaining students in the state and bolstering the quality of the workforce,” she said.