Essex County College’s (ECC) full accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The Commission voted on June 21 to continue ECC’s full accreditation.
MSCHE’s action removes the probationary status Essex had been under since November of 2017. The College remained fully accredited during its probationary status.
“I want to thank the students that entrusted us with their education,” said ECC President Anthony E. Munroe. “Never was the quality of the education provided at ECC called into question. I am appreciative of our dedicated faculty and staff for working tirelessly in fulfilling our mission. And, I thank the Board of Trustees for believing in and supporting my leadership of Essex County College at such a time as this. “This is fantastic news and I am extremely pleased with the Commission’s vote.”
“We all know how critical this has been for the future of our institution,” said College Board of Trustees Chair Thomas C. McDermott, Jr. “Speaking for the entire Board, I commend Dr. Munroe, the College administration, faculty and staff have all done an outstanding job in leading us to this point.”
The news comes as Essex County College embarks this year on its 50th anniversary of service.
It also follows the College’s most recent partnership with a four-year institution. Essex County College is the newest medical education partner of St. George’s University, located in Grenada, which has a fully accredited medical program. The agreement, signed in March, will allow Essex County College, Biology, Pre-Med graduates to transfer to a five-year medical program at St. Georges, where students can earn an MD degree upon completion of all coursework and rotations.
The program includes two years of clinical rotation at any medical center in the United States to which St. George’s has an affiliation, including facilities in Newark, NJ. The partnership, the first such between a New Jersey two-year college and St. George’s University, is a dual admission program.
The accomplishments of Essex County College are many. For example, College Choice named Essex one of the top 50 of community colleges for 2017, out of more than 1,400 community colleges in the United States. The College has the lowest cost in Essex County for higher education. After earning their Associate degree, ECC graduates transfer with full junior status to many four-year schools.
ECC graduates transfer to many of the top colleges and university throughout the nation. Also, Essex sends more transfer to Rutgers University, NJIT and Montclair State University than any other two-year school in New Jersey. Nearly half of the Class of 2018 majored in one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Associate degree programs. The College offers more than 50 Associate degree programs and 26 Academic Certificate options.
Essex County College is also one of the 150 community colleges nation-wide (and one of only two in New Jersey) eligible for the $1 million 2019 Aspen Institute Prize for Community College Excellence.
The final two Middle States standards which the College met were Standard 3 (Institutional Resources) and Standard 4 (Leadership & Governance). In March, Middle States conducted a Small Team visit to the College. At that time, the Small Team interviewed a total of 32 administrators, faculty, staff, and trustees.
The exit report indicated that ECC appeared to be in compliance with the final two standards and the institution was commended for exceptional achievement in a number of key areas.
According to MSCHE, accreditation is an expression of confidence in an institution’s mission and goals, its performance, and its resources.
Essex County College’s next regularly scheduled event with Middle States will be a comprehensive self-study during academic year 2022-2023.