In this edition:
Stockton Board Votes to Petition for Change to be Recognized as Comprehensive University
Members of Stockton's Board of Trustees and the community applaud the move to seek a change in the college’s status to that of a university.
On Sept. 17, Stockton took a historic step toward changing its official designation and name to Stockton University, to more accurately reflect Stockton’s current status.
The Board of Trustees voted to authorize President Herman Saatkamp to petition the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to officially classify Stockton as a comprehensive university, a designation for which the college has met the requirements for the past five years.
“Stockton’s mission stresses excellence in teaching and dedication to learning, and that will continue to be the heart of the distinctive Stockton experience,” said President Saatkamp. “Stockton’s tradition of community service will also remain strong as we transition into our next phase as a pre-eminent institution of higher education.”
Comprehensive universities emphasize teaching, and offer master’s degrees in a variety of academic disciplines and professional fields, as opposed to research universities, which place more emphasis on faculty members’ research publications in refereed journals and books for promotion and tenure.
“The college already has comprehensive university status in its classifications by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review,” said President Saatkamp.
Curtis Bashaw, immediate past chair and ex officio of the Board of Trustees, said the board is pleased with the Stockton community’s support for the change. “Alumni, faculty, staff, students, and of course, we board members, are enthusiastic about taking this distinctive step in Stockton’s impressive academic evolution.”
Whether to seek a change had been the subject of research and internal discussion for nearly two years. Faculty, staff, students, prospective students and parents, alumni and over 1,400 members of the public in South Jersey were surveyed, and “town hall” discussions were held for the Stockton community.
The results of the surveys, independent research and other feedback led the Pan-College Task Force on University Status, comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the community, to recommend on Sept. 3 that the president ask the Board of Trustees to pursue the change.
There are many more steps to changing a college’s name.
President Saatkamp will submit a petition for the change to the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks for review by the state Office of Academic Affairs staff, with the assistance of external consultants.
Secretary Hendricks would provide the New Jersey Presidents Council, which represents the state's public, private, religious and community colleges and universities, with all materials related to the petition for a name change, seeking a recommendation.
After reviewing the Presidents Council recommendation, the Office of Academic Affairs staff and consultants’ findings, and all reports and recommendations related to the petition, Secretary Hendricks would make a determination.
A special web page has been designed to keep the community up-to-date on the latest information regarding Stockton’s transition from a college to a university. Click here to access FAQ, the Pan-College Task Force’s report and next steps.
Stockton Ranked #9 in Public Regional Universities of the North
Stockton is in the Top 10 public Regional Universities of the North, ranked at #9 by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015 edition of “America’s Best Colleges” released on Sept. 9, 2014.
Stockton also was ranked overall at #41 out of 135 public and private Northern universities by U.S. News & World Report, one of the nation’s top sources of information on higher education. Stockton advanced in both categories since last year, when it was ranked at #14 in the top Regional Universities of the North and #60 overall among private, as well as public, northern regional universities.
“Stockton’s recognition as a top tier public institution for the seventh straight year is truly a remarkable achievement of which students, faculty, staff, alumni and the region can be proud,” said President Herman Saatkamp. “New Jersey’s Distinctive Public College has attracted the most students in its history this fall, to be taught by a record 310 full-time faculty members, 96 percent of whom hold the highest degrees in their fields. Our distinguished faculty offers students the personal attention and hands-on opportunities of an elite, private college, at a public price.”
Stockton is ranked with universities offering both undergraduate and master’s programs in the northern region of the United States.
The annual report considers factors such as graduation and retention rates, assessment by peers, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving. Stockton’s graduation and retention rates have been rising impressively, with 87 percent of the freshmen who started in 2012 returning in 2013, the most recent year for which figures are available. Eighty percent of Stockton’s recent graduates are either employed or in graduate school.
Stockton was also recognized as one of the “Best Colleges for Veterans” by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked it as #15 out of the 49 schools ranked in the Regional Universities of the North. Stockton’s program, founded in 2008, serves over 400 veterans and service members.
“We are honored to be recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top veteran friendly colleges in our region,” said Thomas J. O’Donnell, assistant dean of Students and interim director of Student Development & Veteran’s Affairs. “With the leadership and support of President Saatkamp, our program has provided educational support for our veteran students, which has translated into a success rate for graduation and employment.”
Stockton’s Enrollment Hits Record High
This fall, Stockton welcomed its largest freshman class ever.
More students are enrolled at Stockton this fall than at any time in the college’s history.
Stockton’s overall enrollment is at a record high, with undergraduate and graduate students combining to reach the full-time equivalent (FTE)* of 8,115, up 2.37 percent from 7,926 in Fall 2013.
The Class of 2018 is the largest ever, with first-time freshmen up 10.94 percent over the number of Stockton students entering college for the first time in 2013. This fall, 1,186 first-time freshmen are enrolled, compared with 1,069 in Fall 2013.
“We are pleased to welcome so many outstanding students seeking a distinctive Stockton education,” said President Herman Saatkamp. “Stockton’s highly accomplished faculty and world-class facilities offer exceptional opportunities for students to build on their knowledge, skills and relationships, so they will thrive in our global economy.”
“The college’s growth is part of a very positive trend - this is the fourth straight year that Stockton has had its largest freshman class in history,” President Saatkamp noted.
The number of students attending Stockton this year is also the largest in history, with a headcount of 8,570, up from 8,458 in Fall 2013.
Stockton, which traditionally draws a majority of its students from southern New Jersey, is attracting more students from northern New Jersey, said Dean of Enrollment Management John Iacovelli. He said a marketing awareness campaign in the northern part of the state has yielded significant increases in the number of freshmen from North Jersey in each of the past four years.
While enrollment is increasing, the academic profile of Stockton’s regular admission freshmen remains consistently high, Iacovelli said. The average freshman’s high school class rank is in the 78th percentile and their average SAT score for critical reading and math is 1110.
The number of Stockton undergraduates has increased 2.60 percent, to 7,568 FTE as compared with 7,375 FTE in Fall 2013.
The only minor decrease was in the number of graduate students, with 547 full-time equivalent students enrolled this fall, as compared to 551 FTE last fall.
*Part-time student hours are totaled to determine how many full-time students that would equal. That number, added to the number of full-time students, equals FTE.
Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center Hosts Seminar for Educators
More than 40 staff and trainers attended a seminar for Holocaust educators.
In August, the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center at Stockton hosted a seminar for Echoes and Reflections: Leaders in Holocaust Education.
More than 40 staff and trainers attended the professional development seminar. Echoes and Reflections is a multimedia program that provides U.S. secondary educators with training and resources to teach the Holocaust. The program is sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League, USC Shoah Foundation and Yad Vashem.
“Those three organizations are the leading world-wide organizations in Holocaust education, so there were participants from all over the world,” explained Gail Rosenthal, director of the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center. “The three organizations collaborated to produce a multi-disciplinary teaching method by using oral history testimonies from Holocaust survivors and integrating the history of the Holocaust and World War II with these life stories.”
The lectures and demonstrations, which took place at the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center and The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage, were led by Holocaust education leaders.
Topics included anti-Semitism and Nazi racial ideology, and the role of the Holocaust in America today. Participants learned about the nature of historic testimonies and how to incorporate testimonies into across-the-curriculum classroom instruction.
“This was a validation that we are leaders among Holocaust resource centers because we were selected as the first college to host the seminar," said Rosenthal, adding that the participants were impressed by Stockton’s facilities and programs. “President Saatkamp gave an introductory address. The participants were so pleased to be welcomed and to know that one of the goals of the college is to learn about the past to make a better future.”
Fall enrollment at Stockton has steadily increased over the last 10 years. In Fall 2004, the total headcount was 7,002, with 6,579 undergraduate students and 423 graduate students. Compare that number to this fall’s record-breaking headcount of 8,570, including 7,714 undergraduates and 856 graduate students.
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