New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) will discontinue the electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, and information systems on-site undergraduate programs at its Mt. Laurel location at the end of the Spring 2004 semester. NJIT concerns regarding the long-term fiscal viability of its Mt. Laurel operation (it incurs an annual deficit of over $500,000) as well as accreditation considerations, led to this decision.
To ensure the level of programmatic quality commensurate with NJIT’s high standards, as well as with accreditation requirements, NJIT would be required for its affected Mt. Laurel programs to double the number of instructional staff, at a further cost of $400,000 to $500,000 a year (above the $500,000 current annual deficit), which would lead to a total annual deficit of approximately $1 million per year.
In order to accommodate the educational needs of full-time undergraduate students currently enrolled in baccalaureate programs at Mt. Laurel, these students will be offered the opportunity to transfer to NJIT’s Newark campus or complete their coursework through NJIT’s highly acclaimed distance learning program.
Currently enrolled freshmen and sophomores who choose to transfer to the Newark campus after the Spring 2004 semester will receive on-campus residential housing at no cost. Special tuition grants that are now provided to Mt. Laurel students will also be continued for these academic years.
It should be noted that the Newark campus has been, and continues to be highly attractive to students from southern New Jersey counties. NJIT now draws three times as many entering freshmen from southern counties to its Newark campus as compared to its current operation in Mt. Laurel. The decision to provide opportunities for enrollment in Newark to currently enrolled Mt. Laurel students would therefore only augment a trend already well under way.
NJIT began offering courses of study at Mt. Laurel in 1995, with a peak enrollment of 346 students and a current enrollment of 312 students. An enrollment of 500 students had originally been the projected goal.
Prior to the initiation of the Mt. Laurel baccalaureate program in 1995, NJIT and Burlington County College (BCC) signed a Joint Facility Agreement in 1991 to operate a Technology Education Center (TEC) at the Mt. Laurel campus of BCC. The purpose of the TEC was to meet “the recognized need and a student demand for lower division, upper division and graduate programs of study to serve the needs of the residents of Burlington County and southern New Jersey.” This agreement predates the establishment of Rowan University and its creation of an engineering program in southern New Jersey.
“BCC has been a great partner with us in our initiative at Mt. Laurel. I’d like to thank BCC President Robert Messina and his staff. We look forward to working with BCC in the future in dual admissions, continuing professional education (CPE) and other ways,” said NJIT Provost William Van Buskirk, Ph.D.