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TESU Awarded $849,000 NJ PLACE Grant

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Thomas Edison State University (TESU) has been selected by the New Jersey Department of Labor for a career-forward initiative that will merge apprenticeship training with higher education. The University is the sole higher education institution in the state to be awarded a NJ PLACE grant in the amount of $849,000 from the N.J. Department of Labor to support 100 student/apprentices in completing their associate degrees, all at no cost to the student apprentice.

The NJ PLACE grant is an innovative approach by the state to seamlessly blend apprenticeship training, on-the-job training and college learning into a degree pathway, saving students time and money while actively building the New Jersey workforce. The state’s goal is to create a broader and more transferable skill set for working adults in New Jersey. Student apprentices will be able to simultaneously fulfill the requirements of an apprenticeship program and the requirements for an associate degree while still earning a living. TESU is no stranger to enabling students to leverage their prior learning, on-the-job training and other types of learning experiences to promote degree completion and acceleration. TESU annually awards more than 65,000 credits to students for prior learning.

“TESU is very excited to work with the state of New Jersey as we increase options and opportunities through integrated apprenticeship and college experiences,” said Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president, Thomas Edison State University. “Our expertise with prior learning will be at the heart of the program and benefit the student apprentices and their employers. Students will be able to earn and learn as they build their resume and their academic transcript. Thomas Edison has evaluated workplace training programs through prior learning review for decades, across a multitude of industries, and we are proud to play such a significant role as more and more employers and their employees are finding the value in this win-win approach.”

The University has partnered with four USDOL apprenticeship programs in New Jersey: Northeast Carpenter Apprenticeship Training Fund, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 269, Eastern Millwork and the National Elevator Industry Education Program to kick start this initiative and aims to bring on additional partners in the near future.

For more information, contact Jeff Harmon, vice provost for Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness at Thomas Edison State University. Harmon can be reached at or 609-984-1120, ext. 2310.