(Trenton) – Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assembly Republican Leader Jon M. Bramnick to give students participating in the American Legion Jersey Boys State or the American Legion Auxiliary Jersey Girls State programs college credit for successfully completing the week-long course in government was approved by a legislative panel today.
“These are exemplary students and potential leaders in government,” said Oliver (D-Essex). “Chosen for their interest in civics and academic excellence, the students deserve credit for the intensive study and participation that is required of them while in this program. Let’s give them a head start as a reward for their hard work.”
“The Boys and Girls State programs provide high school students with a college-level curriculum that instills in them a greater understanding of our political system and government process,” said Bramnick (R-Union, Morris and Somerset.) “This week-long program may be brief, but it is intense and difficult. Colleges should be encouraged to consider granting college credits to successful participants.”
Under the bill, public and independent institutions of higher education would be permitted to grant up to three college credits to high school students who successfully complete the American Legion Jersey Boys State or the American Legion Auxiliary Jersey Girls State programs. The bill also would direct the Commission on Higher Education to encourage New Jersey colleges and universities to award students’ credit for successful completion of the programs.
The goals of Boys State and Girls State programs are to: develop leadership and pride in American citizens; educate participants about our system of government; instill in participants a great understanding of American traditions; and stimulate a desire to maintain our government process. The Jersey Girls State is currently based at Georgian Court College. Jersey Boys State is currently based at Rider University.
The Assembly Higher Education Committee approved the legislation in a Thursday meeting. The measure will now be considered for a floor vote.