A remedial program offered by Atlantic Cape Community College was recognized by Gov. Chris Christie in his State of the State address Tuesday.

The College Readiness Now program is a statewide effort by the 19 community colleges to help at-risk students graduate from high school ready to attend college without having to take a lot of remedial courses. More than 60 high schools across the state partnered with the county colleges, allowing students to take the Accuplacer college placement test while in high school.

Christie noted that 97 percent of the students who completed the program in Atlantic and Cape May counties enrolled in Atlantic Cape as freshmen.

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In 2014 and 2015, Atlantic Cape sponsored summer boot camps that allowed incoming freshmen to improve their math skills so they would be ready for college-level math in the fall. Students entering the program took a first-day diagnostic test and only worked on the concepts where they needed improvement. This eliminated the need to complete entire courses in the fall.

In 2015, almost 100 graduates of area high schools participated in the boot camp. Of that group, 68 students were able to start their freshman year in college-level math, and only 13 were considered not college ready. The rest were able to move up at least one developmental level.

“We are extremely happy with the results of our College Readiness II program and thank Governor Christie for his recognition of a program that is helping a number of entering freshmen quickly become college-ready in the subject of math, ” Otto Hernandez, vice president of academic affairs, said in an email.

Addressing high rates of remediation and low graduation rates has been a statewide project of the county colleges for the last several years.

Larry Nespoli, president of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, said he is very pleased the governor recognized the efforts and success of programs to help students succeed.

“This tells parents and students that if you are struggling, we can go in and make good things happen,” he said.

He also credited Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks and Education Commissioner David Hespe for their support in providing federal funds for the program, as well as private foundations that have awarded grants to help support the programs.

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Senior copy editor

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

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