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4 + 1 Degree Program

What Is An Action?


An Action is an individual policy, project, program, partnership, study, or advocacy position that the City and the community must execute to support an initiative. They are the smallest level of recommendation made in the Master Plan. They are also the most concrete, implementable elements.

What Is An Initiative?


An Initiative is a coordinated effort to achieve a Goal. Initiatives contain Actions that, when executed together, will help the City achieve one or more of its Goals.

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Mercer County Community College’s Trenton Campus currently operates several programs with the Trenton Public School system, including Talent Search and the Upward Bound Program. These partnerships could potentially be expanded or enhanced to offer greater opportunities for high school students to learn about higher education, access mentors, or enroll in college level courses. By expanding educational offerings at MCCC’s Trenton campus, including its connections to high school students, Trenton youth will have more easily accessible opportunities for higher education and occupational training and be better prepared to meet employer demands. 
The School Board should investigate a partnership with Mercer County Community College to offer a 4+1 curriculum for occupational certifications and/or associates degrees. This program would allow students to complete 4 years of secondary school and then receive an occupational certificate or associates degree after completing only one more year of post-secondary education. The School Board may begin this investigation by first studying similar partnerships in other school systems. Trenton Public Schools could then develop its own 4+1 curriculum, modeling itself after successful programs nationwide . The School Board should choose a single academic focus, aligned with target industries, to pilot their 4 + 1 program. By focusing on a singular academic track, the School Board can ensure the success of the program by tailoring students’ focus of study with a reliable industry. This pilot program would be most successful if created in close partnership with Mercer County Community College and if it  taps the resources of local community based organizations that can provide supportive services and guidance while students go through the program and after when they are entering the job market. 

Case Study

The P-TECH 9-14 model, launched by IBM, started with a school opened in Brooklyn, NY in 2011. It has now gone on to expand to over 40 other cities across the US. The P-TECH 9-14 model enables students to obtain a high school diploma and associate degree, while simultaneously gaining relevant work experience in a thriving field. The goal of P-TECH schools is to “create a seamless program for students to acquire the academic, technical, and workplace skills and knowledge that employers need.” 


Details of 4 + 1 Degree Program



Supporting Departments:

Department Of Housing And Economic Development

Partnering Organizations:

Mercer County Community College


Staff Time




West District

South District

East District

North District

Downtown District

Topic Focused Report:





Trenton Public School Board