(TRENTON) – Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, Republican Leader Jon M. Bramnick, Assemblyman Daniel Benson and Assemblyman Jerry Green 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 76-0 Monday by the General Assembly.
“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 lifetime’s worth of knowledge about our political system and government process,” said Bramnick (R-Union/Morris/Somerset). “Young students deserve college credit for completing this challenging program to advance their education and leadership skills.”
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.
“As an alum of the American Legion Jersey Boys State, I know firsthand the benefits that these programs offer to young people who are interested in learning more about how our democratic government works,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “The education given and the level of work expected from participants is exceptional and worthy of college credits.”
“These programs give young people who may be interested in pursuing a career in politics a hands-on understanding of how our government works,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union). “Giving college credits for the intensive work completed during the programs rewards participants, and gives those interested in joining another incentive to participate in these valuable 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 bill now heads to the Senate for further consideration.