New Jersey City University Announces First Strategic Enrollment Plan

April 5, 2024
Strategic Enrollment Plan Cover

JERSEY CITY, N.J. | New Jersey City University (NJCU) has announced the introduction of the institution’s first Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP) as the next critical strategic planning phase of the university’s commitment to its refreshed mission and vision, with a keen focus on addressing the enrollment challenges facing higher education institutions across our state and nation. The entire 36-page plan can be reviewed at

The SEP is a product of NJCU’s commitment to shared governance. Designed by the Division of Academic Affairs, the SEP was authored by the Office of the Provost with collaborative input provided by hundreds of members of the university community coming together during the Fall 2023 semester to articulate guidelines and goals for recruitment, admission, and retention of NJCU’s students. The Division of Academic Affairs is the university’s parent unit which oversees Enrollment Management and University Admissions.

Similarly to the Academic Master Plan (AMP), NJCU’s Strategic Enrollment Plan is driven by four (4) new institutional strategic pillars: (1) Student Success and Retention, (2) Community Engagement, (3) Culture of Continuous Improvement, and (4) Financial Stewardship and Responsibility.

Key measurable organizational actions (KOAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) were developed to achieve the following 10 SEP goals:

  1. Be the Bachelor’s Degree Completion Institution of Choice for Hudson County Residents.
  2. Be the Most Transfer-Friendly Public University in New Jersey.
  3. Consistently Increase Completion Rates Year-Over-Year for All Students.
  4. Provide the Most Labor-Market Relevant Graduate Programs For Underrepresented Professionals In New Jersey.
  5. Provide Relevant and Engaging Workforce Development Programs Focused on the Needs of a Global Workforce.
  6. Understand and Analyze the Higher Education Marketplace in Terms of Competing University Program Offerings.
  7. Strategically Respond to Market Forces for Undergraduate, Graduate, and Noncredit Programming.
  8. Strengthen Our Identity by Providing Student Support Services Throughout the Student Life Cycle.
  9. Drive Program Investment Decisions According to Program Return On Investment (ROI).
  10. Increase and Diversify Non-Credit Programming to Respond to Workforce Needs in New Jersey.
NJCU Spring 2024 Pathway

NJCU Interim President Andrés Acebo praised the importance of the introduction of the Strategic Enrollment Plan, saying: “At NJCU, we are best positioned to tackle higher education’s challenges of a shrinking enrollment market and often limited resources, by developing programs that stabilize or increase enrollment, dismantling traditional obstacles for transfer students, and improving retention rates of our existing students. The Strategic Enrollment Plan guides our work through strategic, data-driven decisions around our students’ entire enrollment life cycle — from recruitment and admission, to retention, and ultimately graduation. At the same time, the SEP focuses on our institution’s critical role in the region and in the local community as a beacon of aspiration and hope. Like our Academic Master Plan, the development of the SEP is truly unique because it was intentionally and deliberately driven by motivated and committed stakeholders in our university community—faculty, staff, and students—and I am appreciative of the dedication and commitment to fulfilling this significant objective. We are marshaling and leading a transformational approach to the delivery of a regional comprehensive public higher education.”

Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Donna Breault said: The entire NJCU community is working together to address the challenges of declining enrollment. Our Strategic Enrollment Plan was built upon our shared commitment to the mission of the university, while being guided by strategic use of data. The Strategic Enrollment Plan captures this work and our commitment to continue to grow the NJCU community. It represents the vision and insights of the hundreds of faculty, staff, and community members who helped draft it.”

José Balda [B.A. `00; M.A. `06], NJCU’s Assistant Vice President for University Admissions added: "We're thrilled to unveil our Strategic Enrollment Plan, marking a pivotal moment for our institution. This plan outlines our vision and objectives for attracting, retaining, and supporting students as they embark on their educational journey with us. It's a testament to our unwavering commitment to student-centered excellence. With this plan as our guide, we are confident that our institution will continue to flourish and make a lasting impact in the lives of our students and the communities we serve." 

The plan will serve as a basis for budgeting decisions. The plan also discusses historical enrollment challenges with applications and transfer students, and two, four, and six-year graduation rate improvements, while presenting data surrounding each area. It also offers opportunities to engage with the university’s largest sending districts and reviews the demand for NJCU’s most attractive academic programs.

Like the Academic Master Plan process, the goals of the SEP were identified according to the results of the Mission Refresh Survey conducted in the Spring 2023 semester. Throughout the Fall 2023 semester, the university community was then invited to complete a survey responding to the degree of priority for each of the goals as well as an opportunity to provide an open-ended response to each goal. Participants completed the survey, and the majority of those responding ranked all goals as either highest or high priority. 

The Strategic Enrollment Plan is the third of four major components of NJCU’s renewed, long-term, strategic, mission-driven planning. Phase one was the release of the New Jersey City University Recovery and Revitalization PlanA Framework for Long-Term Financial Sustainability, Mission Focus, and Student Success in April, 2023.

In February, 2024, the second phase of planning resulted in the university unveiling its first Academic Master Plan (AMP), using the same process that was engaged in creating the Strategic Enrollment Plan. The AMP was announced shortly after the introduction of the university’s refreshed, bilingual Mission Statement and first Vision Statement. The fourth phase will be the Strategic Plan for Student Development and Community Engagement, which is currently being studied, and expected to be implemented in Fall, 2024.

About NJCU: 
New Jersey City University is a comprehensive public regional institution of higher learning located in Jersey City, N.J., 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. In fact, NJCU has been ranked No. 1 in New Jersey and Top 10 in the nation in the CollegeNET Social Mobility Index for 2023. 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.

Ira Thor, Associate Vice President for University Communications | | 201-200-3301