New Jersey Health Professions Pathways to Regional Excellence Project (NJ-PREP)

The healthcare industry is a major source of employment in New Jersey and is expected to grow in the foreseeable future. To better prepare students for careers in the health professions, a collaboration of 12 New Jersey community colleges received a $14 million federal grant to strengthen their ability to meet workforce needs.

The grants focused on the following strategies to meet this goal:

  • Develop career pathways by offering competency-based education and implementing prior learning assessments
  • Increase opportunities for hands-on learning through the purchase of new equipment and the integration of simulations in instruction
  • Improve student preparation through adaptive learning technology
  • Enhance student career awareness and advising by revising curriculum and hiring career success coaches
  • Expand employer engagement through a statewide leadership council and local collaborations.

The Rutgers Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) evaluated the implementation of the grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. EERC assessed the outcomes of the project through site visits; surveys of colleges, employers and workforce partners; and analysis of student completion and employment outcomes.