Two New Jersey career-focused high schools were recognized as the top Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) high schools in the nation U.S. News and World Report’s annual ranking of high schools in America.
High Technology High School, located on the Brookdale Campus in Lincroft, NJ and run by the Monmouth County Vocational School District, and Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies, operated by Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, took the first and second spots nationally on the Top STEM schools list.
High Technology High School is a pre-engineering career academy that emphasizes the interconnections among mathematics, science, technology and the humanities. According to the High Technology HS website their mission is to “prepare students to become proactive and creative problem solvers, effective communicators, and tomorrow’s leaders through a rigorous, specialized curriculum and collaborative partnerships.”
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Union County Magnet High School was ranked 25, Academy for Health Sciences was listed 70 and Academy for Information Sciences was ranked 75 on the STEM list. All are operated by Union County Vocational-Technical School District. Several local districts in New Jersey also made the national list of top STEM high schools.
“These career-focused high schools give high achieving students with a strong interest in math and sciences a head start in preparing for careers in engineering, technology and other STEM fields that drive New Jersey’s high-tech economy,” said Judy Savage, the executive director of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools.
The rankings are based on a number of criteria, including college readiness, breadth of college-level curriculum, math and reading proficiency, performance of “underserved” students, such as minorities and students from low-income families, and graduation rate. Both Middlesex County academies have 100 percent graduation rates.
High Technology High School, located on the campus of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, draws students from more than 40 local sending districts in Monmouth County.
“This is the sixth year in a row that High Technology High School has been ranked the No. 1 STEM school in the nation. This distinction affirms the mission of the school which offers a pre-engineering curriculum that emphasizes the interconnection of math, science, technology and the humanities, said Timothy McCorkell, superintendent of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. “The ranking is a credit to the hard work of the students and staff. The distinction is shared with all of the elementary and middle schools in Monmouth County that prepare our students for this rigorous high school curriculum.”
The Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies, on the campus of Middlesex County College in Edison, prepares students with the workplace readiness skills they need to succeed in the future. Career interests are concentrated on science, mathematics, and engineering technologies that include civil, mechanical, electronic and computer engineering.
“The outstanding achievement of the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering is the result of the hard work, dedication and talents of our students and staff, said Dianne Veilleux, superintendent of Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools. “We in Middlesex County could not be more proud of the national ranking of our school as second in the nation as a STEM high school.”
Principal John Jeffries said the academy, which has 160 students, has added a number of programs that might have influenced the higher ranking this year, including a mentorship program in which students team with professionals in their field to work on year-long projects.
“It’s a testament to all that our students and staff work together to do,” Jeffries said. “It’s a great accomplishment. It’s a testament to the learning community as a whole.”
U.S. News and World Report also recognized the overall top high schools in New Jersey. Among the top 10 ranked schools in the state are Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies, Bergen County Academies, High Technology High School (Monmouth), Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health, Biotechnology High School (Monmouth), Bergen County Technical High School – Teterboro, Academy for Information Technology (Union), Union County Magnet High School, and the Academy for Allied Health Sciences (Union).