Academic boot camp prepares first-generation college students

January 11, 2019

By most measures, Sabrina Vasquez is smart. The Kearny, N.J., native earned 1330 on her SAT and took AP classes in high school. So when the 18-year-old began the summer Educational Opportunity Program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, she thought she knew what she was in for. She was wrong.

The program, designed to prepare students for their first year in college, subjects them to 15-hour days full of classes and study sessions. Vasquez was overwhelmed and got sick almost immediately. “I thought it was the worst thing ever, that there was no point to it,” she said of the program’s long days and strict rules.

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