A Stimulating Discussion on Higher Education

The Secretary of the New Jersey Department of Higher Education and representatives from prestigious institutions contributed to an important discussion on higher education during the Meadowlands Education Summit at Ramapo College on February 5, 2019. It was a pleasure to meet Zakiya Smith Ellis, the Secretary of the New Jersey Department of Higher Education. I admired that she seemed very confident and that her message was straightforward. When she spoke about her college experience, I found that I could relate to many of the things she said. Secretary Smith Ellis said that if students need help to achieve their objectives in college, they need to ask questions so others can help them. She also said internships are important, and that they will align with what a student learns in his or her courses.

The event featured panelists who came together to share their ideas and observations about higher education. Among these were the presidents of Bergen County Community College, Eastwick College, Felician University and Ramapo College, along with administrators from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Saint Peter’s University, and our very own President of Berkeley College, Michael Smith.

The panelists discussed the kinds of programs that are offered to students returning from military service, as well as what efforts are being made to place students in internships best suited for them. The panelists shared the resources offered by their colleges, such as Career Counselors who can assist students in preparing for interviews and guiding them to internships related to their fields of study. I was honored to be present for this informative discussion, and feel that the perspectives that were shared by these leaders will have a profound impact on the future of higher education in New Jersey.