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Bloomfield partners with Knowledge is Power Program

By:  Andrew Mees, Director of College and Athletics Communications                  communications@bloomfield.edu

BLOOMFIELD, N.J. - Bloomfield College announced on Mar. 27 a formal partnership with KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program), a national network of open-enrollment, college preparatory public schools. Bloomfield and KIPP have joined forces in an effort to increase college completion rates for underserved KIPP students in New Jersey and nationwide.  The partnership makes Bloomfield the first private school in the state of New Jersey to formally align with the organization.

“The KIPP relationship is one that continues the long tradition of Bloomfield College bringing resources and opportunities to our broader community, including students from our major neighboring city, Newark,” Bloomfield President Richard Levao said. “We look forward to the many programs and modalities of cooperation and growth this relationship will foster.”

With this partnership, Bloomfield seeks to recruit and enroll between 10-to-15 qualified KIPP alumni for the 2014-2015 academic year and each year thereafter, providing support to enrolled KIPP alumni throughout their time at the institution.  KIPP and Bloomfield will work together to create a College Ambassadors program to establish a supportive cohort of KIPP students so they can work together and mentor one another to persist in and graduate from college.

The relationship is Bloomfield's second major partnership announced this month, as the institution recently created an agreement to work in conjunction with the Bloomfield, N.J. School District to help provide resources for special education, prekindergarten and student teaching for college students.

“We are excited to partner with Bloomfield, which is our first private college partner in New Jersey,” said Ryan Hill, Executive Director of TEAM Schools in Newark. “This partnership will give students the opportunity to continue to climb the mountain to and through college, graduating well-prepared for the competitive world beyond.”

TEAM Schools is a region of KIPP Schools in Newark, N.J., now expanding to Camden in partnership with George Norcross and the Cooper University Hospital.  Currently, TEAM Schools serves more than 2,200 students in Newark from underserved neighborhoods in six schools. The region is part of a national network of 141 KIPP public charter schools educating over 50,000 underserved students in 20 states and Washington, D.C.  In 2013, ninety-four percent of TEAM’s 11th graders were proficient in language arts literacy and eighty-two percent were proficient in math; both above the statewide average. 

According to 2010 U.S. Census data, 31 percent of Americans aged 25-29 have earned a college degree. For students in the bottom economic quartile, only 11 percent complete college by their mid-20s. As of February 2014, 44 percent of KIPP students have earned a four-year college degree after finishing eighth grade at a KIPP middle school 10 or more years ago. KIPP’s college completion rate is above the national average for all students and four times the rate for students from low-income families nationwide. KIPP's goal is to reach a college completion rate that is comparable to that of the nation’s highest-income students.

Bloomfield College is KIPP’s third college or university partner in New Jersey, joining Rutgers University-Camden and Rowan University.  A complete list of KIPP’s college partners can be found at KIPP.org

A diverse institution in Bloomfield, N.J. that features a student body of 2,145 students, Bloomfield College has recently been named among the best National Liberal Arts Colleges in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2014 "Best Colleges" rankings. Offering over 60 majors and concentrations, the four-year institution will welcome a new state-of-the-art, 84,000-square-foot residence hall in the summer of 2014, doubling the school's on-campus resident population to nearly 600 students.