Monroe College Marks 15 Years of Saturday Morning “Jumpstart” Program for Ambitious High School Students

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High School Seniors and Juniors Take College Courses and Earn Transferable Credits at No Cost

As part of its efforts to increase college access, affordability, and completion, Monroe College, a national leader in educating urban and international students, today announced that its Saturday morning Jumpstart program for high school seniors and juniors will start its 15th year tomorrow, January 19.

Started in 2004, Jumpstart offers ambitious high school students the opportunity to explore a major of interest by taking one of the introductory courses often taught by a dynamic faculty member who has worked in the field. James Ferguson, the former Commissioner for the New York State Board of Parole, for example, is teaching the Introduction to Criminal Justice course.

Jumpstart is offered free of charge, including textbooks, to selected students from local participating schools in New York City and surrounding communities. More than 120 students from 30 area schools are participating this year. To date, more than 10,000 students have participated in Monroe’s Jumpstart program.

Students who successfully complete their course earn three transferable college credits that may be applied toward a degree program at Monroe College or elsewhere. One recent study calculated that the average cost per credit hour at U.S. institutions is $594, which suggests that families of Jumpstart students can save up to $1800 off the total cost of a college education for each three-credit Jumpstart course.

“I am so proud of this program, which has given thousands of urban students a chance to earn college credits free of charge and get a head start on their college education,” said Marc Jerome, President of Monroe College.

He added: “In addition to helping make college more affordable, Jumpstart provides an important opportunity for these students to truly challenge themselves in a college classroom and prove they have what it takes to be successful. The experience leads to heightened study skills, a boost in self-confidence, and a stronger sense of personal responsibility. These traits will serve them well wherever they choose to go to college.”

Classes are taught by Monroe faculty and run for 11 consecutive weeks following an initial orientation and testing session on the first Saturday. This year, orientation and testing will take place this Saturday, January 19, with the first day of classes scheduled for January 26. Classes will end this year on April 6.

Among the Jumpstart courses offered this year: Fundamentals of Communication; Introduction to Business; Introduction to Contemporary Health Issues; Introduction to Criminal Justice; Introduction to Information Technology; Introduction to Hospitality; Introduction to Human Services; Introduction to Psychology; Marketing Foundations, and Principles of Accounting I.

Jumpstart is just one of several initiatives that Monroe College has implemented to increase college access and affordability for local families. Through its Presidential Partnership Program (PPP), for example, more than 900 students from area high schools are attending Monroe on a generous scholarship that enables the vast majority of recipients to earn their Bachelor’s degree with zero student loan debt for tuition. Enhanced mentorship and special programming are also key components of the program.

Similarly, its Dreamers Initiative grants a full tuition scholarship to 20 academically gifted undocumented students each Fall; many more earn partial scholarships. There are currently 80 “Dreamers” at Monroe as a result of this progressive program.

Founded in 1933, Monroe College is a recognized leader in urban and international education. The College is proud of its innovative programs to increase college access, affordability, and completion outcomes, especially among first-generation students. The strength of its warm, supportive culture is reflected in the personal connections fostered among students, faculty, and staff.

Monroe educates close to 8,000 students each year, offering Certificate, Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree programs from campuses in the Bronx, New Rochelle, and St. Lucia. Students may also take courses online.

Programs are offered through seven academic schools, including the Schools of Allied Health Professions, Business & Accounting, Criminal Justice, Education, Hospitality Management and the Culinary Institute of New York (CINY), Information Technology, and Nursing, as well as through King Graduate School. Liberal arts and continuing education programs are also available. For more information and admissions criteria, please visit

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Jacqueline Ruegger