Rowan partners with national charter school network

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New Rowan partnership is expected to bring greater learning opportunities to generations of school kids in Camden.

Rowan University has partnered with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), a nationwide network of charter schools in underserved communities.

The agreement between Rowan and TEAM Schools, KIPP’s regional network in New Jersey, calls for Rowan to recruit six to 10 KIPP students per year and to provide resources addressing challenges faced by their students from low-income families, many of them first-generation college students.

TEAM Schools presently operates six schools in Newark and plans to open its first school in Camden in 2014, the first “renaissance school” in New Jersey. Authorized by the 2013 state Urban Hope Act, renaissance schools are charter-type schools in traditionally underperforming, economically disadvantaged communities run by non-profit entities in partnership with local districts.

“Rowan has a long history of working with Camden's public and charter schools," said Rowan President Ali Houshmand. “KIPP provides an added dimension to the educational opportunities in the city. We are pleased to partner with them and provide students the experiences that will help them succeed.”

Students in the new Camden program will have access to Rowan’s academic resources on the Camden Campus, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden and the College of Education in Glassboro.

KIPP officials noted that in 2013 TEAM's 11th graders outperformed state averages on the High School Proficiency Assessment with 94 percent proficient in language arts and 82 percent proficient in math.

The organization is finalizing plans for a temporary home for the new school in Camden until a permanent facility is built.

Rowan joins Rutgers-Camden and Montclair State University as KIPP’s third college partner in New Jersey.

TEAM Schools Executive Director and Founder Ryan Hill said the partnership with Rowan could help generations of students from underserved communities expand educational opportunities and earn their college degree.

“Rowan has been building programs for years that not only help students make the transition to college academically, socially, and financially, but support them through graduation,” Hill said.

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