Program Overview
The Rutgers University-Newark Empowers eXceptional Talent (RU-NEXT) provides academic enrichment and social development for sixty (60) first generational college bound rising juniors and seniors referred to as NCLC Scholars.
RU-NEXT seeks to:
1) Increase the number of academically promising scholars from the city of Newark who complete high school and apply to Rutgers University-Newark
2) Implement an ambitious transformative pilot program that models the junior senior year Rutgers Future Scholars-Newark program curriculum and operational structures
3) Identify, support, and prepare scholars for college success beginning the spring semester of their junior year, and ending when the students graduate from high school.
The RU-NEXT program includes academic enrichment Saturday Academy seminars, and a 3-4 week Summer Academy and academic enrichment. In collaboration with the Rutgers Future Scholars Program, NCLC Scholars participate in ongoing tutoring and academic advisement sessions, and each cohort receives hands-on tailored academic and social development support. The curriculum consists of academically rigorous college to career courses, and cultural enrichment activities events all designed to help transition high school students into post-secondary education. The program mirrors the RFS program which includes: SAT/ACT prep, academic advisement, tutoring, near peer mentoring and leadership development.
The RU-NEXT Program seeks to accomplish the following objectives:
  • To improve college readiness skills
  • To increase scholar self-efficacy
  • To increase high school persistence rates
  • To increase scholar knowledge and interest in attending college
  • To administer baseline assessment of academic skill level
  • To improve scholar academic performance in high school
  • To improve scholar academic skill level i.e. improved BASI score
  • To increase SAT/ACT scores by the scholar’s senior year in high school
Strategic Plan
The RU-NEXT strategic plan encourages NCLC scholars to complete high school and enroll in and complete their postsecondary education at Rutgers University-Newark. The RU-NEXT strategic plan provides:
  • An academically rigorous educational enrichment/college readiness program curriculum
  • Access to mentors, tutors, academic advisors and other support staff that will provide academic and social development resources and services to scholars.
  • Advice/assistance in secondary course selection through Smart Thinking online program
  • Assistance preparing for college entrance exams and completing college admission applications.
  • Information on the full range of federal student financial aid programs/benefits, resources for locating public and private scholarships, and assistance in completing the FAFSA
  • Guidance on and assistance in entry into postsecondary education at Rutgers University-Newark
  • Connection to resources designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of the participants or the participants' parents, including financial planning for postsecondary education.
  • Three practice standardized test that will be infused into the SAT/ACT prep course. Students will also be required to take the actual SAT or ACT at least twice before high school graduation.
  • Standardized social media use and communication to increase marketing and visual identity recruitment for RU-N amongst RU-NEXT program participants (RU-N Strategic Priority 8. Tell the Rutgers-Newark story more effectively)
  • An increase in collaborations with other AFC programs to share creative program ideas, ways to engage constituents, staff training/concerns, navigate external partnerships, etc. (RU-N Strategic Priority 1. Invest in collaboration in academic and research programs
  • An increase in interaction/info-sharing with target community stakeholders to strengthen target school partner reciprocity in program practices (RU-N Strategic Priority 5. Invest in the spaces and places where we live, learn, create, and engage the world)
  • An increase in staff professional development opportunities for continued leadership growth of RU-N SPAA graduate student interns. (RU-N Strategic Priority 2. Invest in our students; 4. Value our professional and support staff as key to our success)