Brick Resident Named Executive Director of New Jersey Center for Student Success

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) has named Dr. Yesenia Madas, of Brick, executive director of the New Jersey Center for Student Success.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Madas join our team. Her work at Brookdale Community College and knowledge of community colleges throughout New Jersey lend her instant credibility with our community college faculty and staff members engaged in student success initiatives, and will make her a tremendous asset to our collective statewide efforts,” NJCCC President Dr. Lawrence Nespoli said.

The New Jersey Center for Student Success aims to foster a collaborative process in which students, faculty members, administrators, and staff members work together to develop a culture of academic and personal success for community college students across the state. Consistent with the mission of New Jersey’s 19 community colleges, the Center aims to promote a community in which students are encouraged to succeed and excel as they work towards achieving their goals of degree and certificate completion. The Center has offices in Trenton at the NJCCC and at Middlesex County College in Edison.

“I am looking forward to working with the New Jersey Center for Student Success.  I believe there is a lot of potential for us to make a difference in the lives of community college students throughout New Jersey,” Madas said.

Madas’ hiring is made possible by a $500,000 grant provided by the Kresge Foundation, a $3 billion private national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities. New Jersey now joins Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas as part of the national network of Student Success Centers. Other partners of the New Jersey Center for Student Success include The Fund for New Jersey, Jobs for the Future, the New Jersey Education Association, the Office of the New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education, the PSE&G Foundation, the State Street Foundation, and New Jersey’s 19 community colleges.

Prior to joining the New Jersey Center for Student Success, Madas served as an associate professor at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. She was an academic advisor at Mercy College before joining Brookdale. A graduate of Mercy College with a bachelor’s in psychology, Madas went on to receive her master of science in counseling from Mercy as well, before receiving her doctoral degree in educational leadership from Rowan University.

A first-generation college student herself, Madas is passionate about education and is well aware of its importance in today’s society. For the past 10 years, she has been actively involved with the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Program, which provides financial assistance and support services to students from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds who attend colleges and universities in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Council of County Colleges is the state association representing New Jersey’s 19 community colleges. As an independent, trustee-headed organization that joins the leadership of trustees and presidents, the Council is the voice of the community college sector before the state legislature and other branches of government. The Council is also the state coordinating organization for all community colleges in New Jersey.

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