JERSEY CITY, N.J. | New Jersey City University (NJCU) Interim President Andrés Acebo testified on February 8 before the New Jersey State Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Public Schools on the importance of early childhood education. Acebo stressed the importance of NJCU’s commitment to educating the next generation of teachers who will be able to give back to the communities that they come from.
“This institution is uniquely poised to address the demands of expanding early childhood education,” said Interim President Acebo. “particularly in communities of color — communities like the one that I come from, the ones that shaped me and molded me.”
Ultimately, NJCU is serving a population that no other four-year public institution in the state serves. NJCU is the oldest minority and Hispanic-serving institution in the state, serving thousands of first-generation students. The undergraduate population is 45% Latino, 21% Black, and 54% first-generation, with a median household annual income of $42,200 — the lowest of New Jersey’s four-year public colleges by a considerable margin. The next closest peer institutions to NJCU in this metric are Kean University and William Paterson University at $76,300 and $85,000, respectively, according to the New York Times.
Acebo highlighted the important role that NJCU plays in preparing the next generation of educators who go on to reinvest their skills in local communities.
“These statewide investments in our population are critically important, and anchor institutions of higher ed like NJCU in particular are drivers of social and economic mobility,” said Acebo. “We can have lofty aspirations and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on physical structures on college campuses or we can invest in programs that invest in people."
After Interim President Acebo’s testimony, he was thanked by legislators for sharing his advocacy for early childhood education at NJCU, including the following:
“We look forward to working with you and hearing more from you. I think everything you said was very much on point and a good intro to this morning’s discussion.” - Assemblywoman Mila Jasey
“I think it’s safe to say that NJCU has found an advocate in the office. Good for you.” - State Senator Joseph Cryan
The full transcript of the New Jersey State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education hearing can be viewed here. Acebo’s testimony begins at the 6:04 mark and lasts more than 11 minutes.
New Jersey City University is an institution of higher learning dedicated to the development of our students, our city, our communities, and our state. We are a game-changing force for our students and have been recognized as one of the top colleges in the nation improving their upward economic mobility. Whether enrolled in one of our undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs at our three locations, NJCU students have access to an affordable, diverse environment, and an exceptionally supportive faculty. This prepares them to go on to become the next generation of workers and leaders who improve their communities and the State of New Jersey.