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Back to School: Montclair Receives Grant to Help Students Return and Finish College

“Project Restart” will create comprehensive support for students who stopped attending to earn their degrees

Posted in: Admissions, Homepage News, University

Continuing Education Students

Montclair State University has received a $199,442 grant from the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE) to fund “Project Restart: Coordinated Care for Students with Some College, No Degree.”

The grant is part of a package of funding made available by OSHE to help address projected workforce needs, with the goal of 65% of working-age New Jersey residents earning a high-quality degree or credential by 2025.

The funding will help to create a comprehensive, University-wide support system at Montclair for a critical population: students who have previously attended college but stopped before earning their degrees.

“We are grateful the state is partnering with us to prioritize the kinds of student-facing supports we know these students need to ensure they resume their academic journey and stay the course,” says Danielle Insalaco-Egan, the acting associate provost for undergraduate education and acting dean of University College at Montclair.

How Will Project Restart Work?

Project Restart will focus on two primary activity areas to help this student population:

  • Building Institutional Capacity and a Coordinated Care Network: Montclair will expand available on-campus resources by developing a three-pronged support team of Enrollment Navigators, Academic Success Coaches and Academic Advisors. The enhancements will allow for increased follow-up with students returning to school, as well as professional development for faculty and staff to help support the population.
  • Financial and Reacclimation Support: In addition to a customized reorientation program that will be developed for returning students, they will also have direct access to increased financial support to help them finish their degrees. Enrollment Navigators and Academic Success Coaches will help eligible students apply for and secure funding including:
    • Child-care voucher: Eligible students will receive funding under the State of New Jersey’s child-care assistance program.
    • Book Stipend: All students will be eligible for assistance with purchasing course books. Enrollment Navigators will assist with the application and book purchasing processes.

Helping More Students Go Back To School

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, only 62% of students nationwide who enroll in college complete their degree or certificate program in six years or less. In addition, more than 40 million Americans have completed some college but have not finished their degrees as of July 2021.

Montclair offers a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program, designed around the busy lives of working adults over the age of 25 who are looking to continue their college education but need the support and flexibility of a non-traditional undergraduate degree program.

Students can complete their degrees in as little as 18 months and receive personalized guidance from an Academic Success Coach on their journey to graduation.

“Montclair State University’s mission of access includes removing the barriers to entry for students of all ages to achieve their educational dreams,” says Vice President for Enrollment Management Wendy Lin-Cook. “We are honored to receive this support from the State of New Jersey, and cannot wait to create an even more inclusive, supportive environment for these students as they change the trajectory of their lives.”

For more information on Montclair’s academic offerings, visit