NJCU @ Fort Monmouth will bring 4-year public education options to the Shore

New Jersey City University serves the communities where it is based as well as any university in the country. This week, that community got a little larger.

The school officially opened its new location, NJCU @ Fort Monmouth, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony earlier this week at the historic former Army base.

As the educational partner in the revitalization of Fort Monmouth, NJCU’s new location will expand bachelor’s and master’s degree offerings along the Jersey Shore, giving the university the only four-year public higher education program in the area.

NJCU @ Fort Monmouth in the former Squier Hall. (NJCU)

The new location in Squier Hall — formerly the home of the Signal Corps — is renovated from its origins as a 1935-era administrative building and is now a state-of-the-art facility featuring 15 classrooms, a nursing education center, a cybersecurity computer lab and offices for faculty and staff in a 72,000-square-foot building located on more than 22 acres. Additionally, the facility includes a flexible event space that will host organizations and community events as a partner to the Monmouth County community.

NJCU @ Fort Monmouth is expected to serve hundreds of students per semester, with future expansions possible.

NJCU President Sue Henderson said the event, years in the making, was worth waiting for.

“The opening of NJCU @ Fort Monmouth is the culmination of our collective vision of expanding public higher education to the Jersey Shore,” she said. “This is a major milestone in the history of our institution.

“Through our investment in this multiyear project and our partnership with (the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority), many more students in the state will have the opportunity to complete their undergraduate studies and pursue master’s degrees close to home without incurring significant debt. This aligns with our mission of providing a diverse population with an excellent education as we continue to keep that promise for our next generation of students.”

New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan said the school will provide an economic benefit to the area, too.

“FMERA has worked tirelessly toward its vision of restoring Fort Monmouth to its place as a creator of jobs and reinventing it as a driver of economic activity centered around innovation,” he said. “Welcoming NJCU onto Fort Monmouth furthers two of Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s goals — increasing access to institutions of higher education and repositioning stranded assets to drive equitable and inclusive investment in our communities. A win-win by all accounts.”

NJCU has maintained a presence in Monmouth County for more than 15 years, as it has offered degree-completion programs in partnership with Brookdale Community College on the Wall and Lincroft campuses. This historic expansion at a new location will offer the only affordable, public, four-year option in the area.