Salem Community College partners with Salem High School for new course in health care
SALEM — The Salem City School District and Salem Community College announced an expanded partnership to increase opportunities for high school students to a get a jump on college courses.
SCC now offers a college-level “Introduction to Nursing” dual-credit course at Salem High School, allowing high school students a chance to be exposed to the rigors of college and begin studies in the health care field.
The nursing course joins a number of dual-credit programs already offered at the high school, which allow students to earn college credits while completing high school. Other courses include Environmental Science I, English Composition I, US History II, Pre-Calculus, Calculus I and Elementary Spanish I.
“My professional experience with Salem Community College has really been a joy,” said Salem City School District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel. “When it comes to opening doors for our graduates, engaging in important curricular work or program partnership, they have expressed a commitment worthy of emulation.”
According to college officials, the arrival of Michel as Salem’s superintendent in 2008 led the way for an outstanding and close partnership between the district and SCC, for the distinct purpose of offering students early access to the college experience and involvement.
With the support of New Jersey’s College Access Challenge Grant (CACG), more than 80 Salem High School students have earned a total of more than 300 college credits through the partnership with SCC, at no cost to the students.
Salem High School was the first high school in Salem County to partner with SCC for a comprehensive dual-credit program.
According to Kevin Catalfamo, executive director of enrollment management and marketing at SCC, as a result of the early college preparation efforts, 15 percent more SHS graduates attend SCC each year — demonstrating that early exposure to college-level material can benefit the number of high school students who continue on to college.
“The leadership at the Salem City School District and SCC know and understand the importance of exposing young adults to college readiness and career awareness, and they are proving that it’s never too early to start thinking about college,” said Catalfamo.
According to Charles Erhardt, assistant director of public relations at SCC, the college currently offers college courses at all high schools in the county, in some variety or another. SHS is currently the only high school with a course in nursing, though SCC hopes to begin offering a similar course at other schools in the near future, he said.
“We would like to offer a similar course ‘Introduction to the Health Sciences’ at other high schools next year and are just reaching out them now,” said Erhardt.