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Kean University

Kean University Offers New Faster Path for Adults Returning to College

Photo of Kean's Union campus

Innovative new program will enable the approximately 1 million New Jerseyans with some college credits to finish their degree through Kean University

Kean University has opened a new streamlined path to a college degree for students with prior credits through the University’s online Global Education and Resource Campus tailored specifically toward returning students.

The online campus offers students ages 25 and older who are not currently enrolled in college the chance to earn credit for professional or military experience and industry credentials, reducing the time and cost of earning their degrees.

“Kean offers a new beacon of hope for those seeking a second chance to fulfill their academic dreams with the introduction of the Kean Global Education and Resource Campus,” said Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. “This initiative will uplift individuals, families and communities, including historically marginalized communities of color, by giving students a way to finish what they started. Education is the great equalizer. Through this new program, everyone gets a shot at unlocking their potential.”

Kean’s new program connects with the Some College, No Degree initiative launched by Governor Phil Murphy, which aims to bring thousands of New Jerseyans back to college to complete their degrees. 

Statistics show 43 million Americans have accumulated some college credits without graduating, a societal issue that particularly impacts communities of color, and poor and rural communities that have historically faced systemic barriers to college access and completion.

Underscoring the societal value of higher education are economic impacts: a 2019 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed college graduates, on average, earn $1.2 million more than non-college-completers.

“Kean University is driven by a commitment to access and equity, and our mission as New Jersey’s urban research university inspires and equips us to address disparities that have historically kept underrepresented groups from achieving their college degrees,” said Joseph Youngblood, II, Ph.D., senior vice president for transformational learning and external affairs. “We know that valuable, college-level learning takes place outside of the classroom so we’re also offering students the chance to receive credit for those experiences, which will be a game-changer for them.”

The University will launch the first cohort of the program in March with former Kean students and others affiliated with the University, including qualified Kean employees. A full launch with students from across New Jersey and beyond is set for Fall 2024.

The program will offer a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts degree to start with more degrees to be added as it grows.

All classes will be conducted through Kean’s award-winning Kean Online platform, which means returning students can learn from the comfort of home on their own time. Discounted tuition rates will apply.

Recognizing the critical importance of flexibility and adaptability for working adults, utilizing the University’s prior learning assessment process allows Kean to review each applicant’s professional and academic record to determine what credits might be received for  professional and/or military experience; industry credentials; certifications; transfer credits, and other forms of college-level learning. Kean’s student advising team will work with qualified applicants to review and ensure the quickest path to completion. 

John Francis O’Callaghan, Jr., vice president for transformational learning and the University’s Chief Online Officer, said students will have a customized experience. 

“Leaving college is a sacrifice often made to focus on work or family, and each student’s journey in returning to school is different and complex, ” O’Callaghan said. “Kean recognizes that for many New Jerseyans, the path to a college degree may not be a straight line. This new program allows working adults an opportunity to complete their degree in a way that prioritizes what these students need most: an affordable, flexible, and accelerated path to a degree that works with their schedules and their families.”

For more information, visit the Kean Global Education and Resource Campus website