The transition from high school to the university is
often difficult at best for the academically prepared student and can
be disastrous for the economically and academically disadvantaged
student. As a result, many capable students become disenchanted with
the university and therefore fail to realize their dreams. The Office
of Special Programs (formally Educational Opportunity Program-EOP) is
designed for students with potential for success in college. This
office, with funding from the state and the college, provides students
with a network of academic and student support resources that are
essential for success at college.
The Cook College Office of
Special Programs provides the opportunity for these students to gain
access to the university and the opportunity to experience, maybe for
the first time, academic success in a competitive environment. The
office represents three distinct programs: the Summer Institute, the
Academic Year Program, and the Solid GEMS (General Education in
Mathematics and Science) Program.
The Summer Institute is a
six-week, residential, academically intensive assessment and
orientation program for admitted eligible incoming first-year students.
All students who are admitted to the Academic Year Program are required
to attend. During this six-week period, students participate in a
series of academic and counseling activities. The aim of the program is
to diagnose students' academic and nonacademic problem areas. In
addition, the program seeks to prepare students to accept and cope with
the realities of a competitive college environment. Students take a
rigorous course load of English, mathematics, computer applications and
operations, and a skills seminar.
This program is free for
those who qualify. Failure to attend the Summer Institute for students
admitted to Cook College through the Office of Special Programs may
result in the student being denied admission to the college. Students
who wish to apply to this program must fill out the New Jersey
Financial Aid Form (NJFAF). The form is available in the guidance
offices of most New Jersey high schools.
The Academic Year
Program consists of two 16-week terms. This support program offers
individual counseling, tutoring, career information, diagnostic
testing, and additional services needed for success at college. Equally
important is that students learn to view themselves realistically: to
understand their strengths, limitations, defensive styles, and adaptive
Solid GEMS is an academically intensive summer
program that takes place prior to the student's second year in college.
Building on the Summer Institute and the Academic Year Program, Solid
GEMS aims to improve performance in entry level science courses. The
program works to discourage students from changing their science major
before they have established a sound academic foundation and experience
from which to make that decision. Participants successfully completing
the Solid GEMS summer program earn 4 credits in the 01:160:161 General
Chemistry (Solid GEMS) course. Solid GEMS sections of General Chemistry
are offered in the fall-to-spring terms. Activities are designed to
generate questions, curiosity, and a "feel for the subject."
The program is open and available to all students who qualify. Costs
for students who qualify for the Solid GEMS summer program are financed
by grants that are received by the Office of Special Programs.
Inquiries about the Office of Special Programs at Cook College should
be addressed to Dean Frager Foster, Assistant Dean for Special
Programs, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 88 Lipman Drive,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525 (732/932-3000, ext. 530).