Brookdale Meets SJV with the Early College Academy

Brookdale Meets SJV with the Early College Academy

Kelly Garcia , Writer

Most seniors graduate with their high school diploma, but imagine having the opportunity to graduate with not only a diploma, but also an Associate’s Degree.

The Early College Academy is a program offered at Saint John Vianney High School that gives students the opportunity to leave high school with an Associate of Arts Degree in Social Sciences from Brookdale Community College. The Class of 2018 was the inaugural class for this program, and Saint John Vianney is the only Catholic high school in New Jersey that works in conjunction with a public college to create a program like this.

The nine juniors in the inaugural class have many positive things to say about the program. One of the students, Gabriella Amaturo, shared, “I am excited for the future to see where this program takes me with my college degree.” Victoria Shaw, a member of the Class of 2019 ECA, said, “Although there is a heavy workload, the teachers assist the students to the best of their abilities and clear up any confusion that there may be. No one is left behind.”

The Early College Academy is available to incoming students at Saint John Vianney High School who received outstanding grades in middle school and scored above average on the High School Placement Test. Students in the ECA are required to take several college courses throughout their high school career. During their first three years, the ECA students will remain on the SJV campus and take their Brookdale courses there. The teachers that instruct these courses are eligible to teach at Brookdale Community College as well, since they all have their Master’s Degree.

During their senior year, the ECA students will take the Brookdale courses at the college campus in order to receive the required credits for their Associate’s Degree and get a better feel for the college environment. The Early College Academy students will still have to go to SJV every day during their senior year in order to take Theology 12 and an elective of their choice. With that being said, they will still be involved in the SJV community during their senior year.

Not only does this program offer an Associate’s Degree to the students, but the Class of 2018 students in the ECA have also raved about it, and they said it has brought them closer with the other students. Theodora Ekeocha says, “I feel like I have created such a close bond with other members of this program over the past two years.” It will be great to see what comes of the inaugural class, the Class of 2018, in the next couple of years.