Northern New Jersey Bridges to Baccalaureate (NNJ-B2B)


Welcome to Northern New Jersey Bridges to Baccalaureate (NNJ-B2B) at HCCC. The Northern New Jersey Bridges to Baccalaureate (NNJ-B2B) Alliance is a partnership of five, public, associate-degree granting, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in northern New Jersey committed to assisting more than 900 underrepresented minority students in successfully transferring into a baccalaureate STEM degree program. The partner colleges will include Hudson County Community College, Passaic County Community College, Bergen Community College, Middlesex County College, and Essex County College.

NNJ-B2B will form a synergistic partnership with the GS-LSAMP, a highly successful NSF funded project headed by Rutgers University-Newark and including eight largely public four year colleges and universities in the region to develop a transformative model for streamlined transitions from 2- to 4-year institutions. As part of this project, GS-LSAMP will share with the community colleges a minimum of five high impact practices that have proven effective in engaging underrepresented minority students in their STEM learning. In fact, using these practices, GS-LSAMP met its 5-year goal of doubling the number of underrepresented minority students earning baccalaureate STEM degrees in only 4 years. The high impact practices include undergraduate research, peer led team learning (PLTL), Math Bridge programs (including online enrichment), peer mentoring both within the institution and to the GS-LSAMP institutions, and career and transfer seminars both internally and GS-LSAMP hosted. Each of the partner colleges will replicate the five high impact practices on their respective campuses. As a result of the project activities, over the 3-year project period, the partners will increase the enrollment of underrepresented minority students in STEM by 10 percent across the Alliance (from 3,834 to 4,217); increase the 1-year retention rate of underrepresented minority students from 60 to 65 percent; and ensure that at least 900 underrepresented minority students successfully transfer into baccalaureate STEM degree program, greatly exceeding the current level of transfers.

Five High Impact Activities

  • Math Bridge Program. This initiative will help improve math performance by utilizing the ALEKS online system (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces). Students who are registered to take introductory college-level math courses, such as College Algebra, will be tested using the ALEKS system to determine their areas of weakness. Once this diagnostic has been completed, ALEKS will customize an online program to re-mediate those weaknesses to help move students through the academic STEM pipeline.
  • Peer Led Team Learning. This nationally recognized model of teaching and learning utilizes students who have previously done well in STEM courses and who then become “peer-leaders”. These peer leaders facilitate small-group learning as an integral part of gateway STEM courses. Each week, peer leaders meet with their “student group” to engage in problem solving activities and discussion of course material. The PLTL model has been adapted to many institutions and has demonstrated its effectiveness in improving student learning.
  • Undergraduate Research Experiences. This program is based on the premise that students who participate in undergraduate research experiences within their first two years of college are more likely to complete their associates STEM degree and transfer to a four-year college or university. B2B scholars in good standing will apply for research internships at GS-LSAMP four-year institutions. Once selected for participation, community college students will be sponsored by four-year school faculty in existing four-year research programs. Students will then have the opportunity to present their research at the annual GS-LSAMP Research Conference.
  • Peer Mentoring. Research has demonstrated measurable results for college and university peer mentoring programs, including increased grades and reduced attrition. In addition to serving as positive role models, peer mentors are an invaluable source for reviewing STEM concepts, discussing academic and social issues related to college success, and for helping community college students make a smooth transition to four-year schools. GS-LSAMP scholars will be paired with B2B scholars who will meet frequently throughout the year – in person, virtually or by phone. In addition, advanced 2nd year B2B scholars will mentor 1st year B2B STEM majors to offer specific advice on studying for exams and other day-to-day issues.
  • Career Seminars and Transfer Activities. Because underrepresented minority students are often the first in their family to attend college, they often lack access to positive roles models and therefore benefit from information on career opportunities and the process of transitioning to a four-year school. GS-LSAMP faculty will give regular seminars at NNJ-B2B institutions, while B2B schools will host transfer days for students to obtain transfer and application information to four-year institutions. Other collaborative efforts will include internships, career counseling, field trips and campus tours

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Contact Information

Fidelis Foda-Kahouo
Assistant Professor, Mathematics | Coordinator, Bridges to the Baccalaureate (B2B)
263 Academy Street, Room S505A
Jersey City, NJ 07306
(201) 360-5348