About the Academic Foundations Center



The Academic Foundations Center provides academic opportunities, resources, and support programs primarily for underrepresented students to achieve success through education.


The Academic Foundations Center empowers participants to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams. As educators, we recognize that students in urban communities must have opportunities to develop competencies essential to being future leaders in society. We commit ourselves to providing the academic and leadership skills necessary to build pathways to success for every individual who enters our learning community. The Academic Foundations Center will take a vigorous leadership role in identifying and addressing the issues which are pivotal in making educational opportunity a reality for K-20 students at academic institutions.


The Academic Foundations Center (AFC), which is comprised of Undergraduate Support Programs and the Institute for Pre-College Programs, provides academic and service programs that ensure the academic success of students ranging from the sixth grade through college graduation. AFC combines strong instruction and tutorial services with the personal, financial and career counseling support necessary for academic and social advancement. These features are integral to the success of our students.

Additional pillars supporting our success are strong partnerships with academic departments, the Rutgers Learning Center (RLC) and student support units at the University. A deeply committed faculty at all levels within the AFC ensures the academic integrity of our programs and an equally committed counseling staff ensures appropriate high quality support for our students. By any measure our students achieve at all levels within the University or in the school districts from which they come to us. The students, staff and programs of the AFC enrich and enliven the Rutgers-Newark campus and the surrounding community.

Undergraduate Support Programs

The AFC's undergraduate support programs include the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program and the Student Support Services (SSS) Program.

The EOF program has supported the aspirations of thousands of young men and women from Newark and its surrounding communities for 37 years. The statewide EOF was formally launched by the New Jersey Department of Higher Education in July 1969. The program is designed to provide opportunity and support for the higher education aspirations of students who, because of economic or educational disadvantaged, might not have access to a college degree. Currently, we serve over 500 Rutgers-Newark students. Our support initiatives include a strong counseling component, parallel support courses in Biology and College Algebra, ongoing tutoring support and workshops that address the career aspirations of our students.

The SSS program is one of the federally grant funded TRIO programs. The purpose of the SSS Program at Rutgers-Newark is to increase the retention and graduation rates of low-income, first-generation college program participants at Rutgers-Newark. The focus of the program is to increase the retention and graduation of program participants through a coordinated array of Rutgers-Newark EOF program services, campus based services, and SSS Program services. SSS program services are directly focused on enhancing and increasing participants' persistence, graduation, and academic performance.

The SSS program will provide participants with five core services: (1) comprehensive support activities coordination, (2) extensive instructional support, (3) writing assessment skills development, (4) intensive one to one tutoring, and (5) computer training and support.

Pre-College Programs 

AFC has taken a leading role on the Newark campus in reaching out to the community with collaborative programs designed to serve the needs and aspirations of students in Newark and surrounding communities. AFC provides programs for urban middle and high school students designed to help them develop the skills, knowledge, confidence, and aspirations needed to thrive in college. AFC serves approximately 400 urban students through a broad array of summer, after-school, and Saturday programs using a wide variety of teaching strategies, including: special course content areas, summer enrichment, tutoring, counseling, peer and adult mentoring, college visits, parental involvement, and cultural site visits. Within this structure we deliver math, science and English courses aligned with the New Jersey core curriculum standards, elective courses such as Japanese and law, and SAT preparation. Beyond helping students develop the academic skills needed to bridge the transition from secondary to post secondary education, our programs help students develop the vision to see themselves bound to do great things in college and beyond.