two women speaking to each other on Rowen College campus

Program for Community College Engagement will strengthen outreach partnerships

Natalka Pavlovsky (left), a Princeton graduate alum and music professor at Rowan College of South Jersey, chats with her teaching mentee and current Princeton graduate student Sophie Brady. Brady shadowed Pavlovsky and taught her own music class at Rowan College last fall as part of Princeton’s Community College Teaching Partnership.

As part of Princeton’s work to extend its academic outreach and strengthen relationships with New Jersey community colleges, the University has created the Program for Community College Engagement to oversee coordination of Princeton partnerships with two-year public institutions.

The program will bring together four existing initiatives under the leadership of the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning. They are: the Community College Faculty Program, the Community College Teaching Fellowship, the Prison Teaching Initiative, and the Teaching Transfer Initiative.

The Community College Faculty Program allows instructors at any of New Jersey’s 18 community colleges to take classes at Princeton.

The Community College Teaching Fellowship enables Princeton graduate students to shadow a community college faculty member for a semester and teach their own courses in a subsequent semester at Mercer County Community College, Rowan College South Jersey, Camden County College or Middlesex College.

The Prison Teaching Initiative seeks to bridge the University’s academic and service-driven missions by providing high-quality postsecondary education to incarcerated students in New Jersey.

The Teaching Transfer Initiative, a new pilot program, places Princeton visiting faculty fellows at Mercer County Community College to teach classes and advise community college students on transfer pathways to four-year institutions.

The goal in creating the Program for Community College Engagement is to strengthen and coordinate the University’s outward-focused academic partnerships in New Jersey. The program will support Princeton faculty and staff and colleagues at community colleges to engage with and learn from one another, find opportunities for greater collaboration and connection, and explore ways that Princeton’s partnerships with community colleges could be scaled for greater impact.

To accomplish its work, the McGraw Center will collaborate with other University departments, including: the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity; the Graduate School and the GradFUTURES program; and the Office of Community and Regional Affairs. Sarah Schwarz, previously a senior director at the McGraw Center, has been named to lead the program as director of community college engagement.

The Program for Community College Engagement is among Princeton’s many academic outreach programs, such as the new Transfer Scholars Initiative led by the Emma Bloomberg Center.