The second largest freshmen class in the history of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) - approximately 775 freshmen - arrived on campus Sept 1. for the first day of classes. “Many people worked hard all summer to improve our campus to welcome this impressive class,” said William Anderson, PhD, associate vice president for enrollment services.
The most popular majors chosen by the freshmen were architecture, mechanical engineering and computer engineering. A quarter of the students ranked in the top tenth of their high school classes and most had composite SAT scores between 1020 - 1220.
Alfred Dorman Honors College at NJIT, which enrolled 143 freshmen, has even higher standards. Dorman freshmen average 1305 on the SAT and ranked in the top 15 percent of their high school classes. Seventeen are enrolled in the accelerated medical or dental programs.
Dorman offers a demanding and rigorous curriculum. The college offers enriched coursework and seminars as well as real-world projects with respected faculty researchers and industry leaders. It is the college’s mission to attract highly motivated scholars and to prepare them for professional careers, graduate studies and leadership positions.
Students in the freshman class are from 11 states and from foreign countries such as Brazil, Romania, Spain, India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
The freshmen, in addition to all students, arrived at a campus that has been revitalized, with a redesigned campus green, a resurfaced athletics field and the completion of an $83.5 million building project. That project includes the 190,000-square-foot Campus Center, the six-story East Building and a 12,000-square foot piazza.
“The Campus Center is the focal point of student life,” said Anderson. “And the upgrading of our athletic program to NCAA Division I status will significantly enrich the NJIT experience for the entire university community.”
The upgrade to Division I began in the fall of 2003, when NJIT received NCAA approval to move its men’s soccer program to Division I; the soccer team played its first Division I schedule last year and will continue that schedule this year, with its first game of the season yesterday against Boston University.
Going Division I has been a goal of the university’s since 1997, when the athletic program was elevated from Division III to Division II.
“When in 1997 we moved up to Division II it was with the intent of becoming a Division I university,” said Joel Bloom, dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College and vice president for academic and student services, to whom the athletic department reports. “The move was to parallel the planned growth of NJIT in enrollment, graduates, facilities, research and the transition from a predominantly commuting campus to a residential one.”
Reflecting that transition, more than half of the freshmen class will live in NJIT residence halls.
“We are very excited about the coming year and we have planned a lot of exciting activities – ranging from barbecues to formal convocations - planned for freshmen as well all students,” said Jack Gentul, PhD, dean of students. “All of the changes – the new campus center, the new landscaping, the piazza, the sports upgrade – help transform NJIT into a residential campus, where students have a greater sense of place and thus become a community.”