MIDDLE STATES COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION REAFFIRMS ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE’S ACCREDITATION
Essex County College (ECC) has received official notification from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. On March 7, 2013, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) voted to reaffirm accreditation for Essex County College.
The official word from MSCHE ends for the College a more than two-year process toward reaffirmation of accreditation. In the Fall of 2010, Essex County College’s team of administrators and faculty began implementing new sustainable, data-driven assessment cycles. In June 2011, the College successfully met 12 of the 14 standards; Middle States found that the processes that were in place did not fully show that the institution had achieved sustainable compliance with the two standards: Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment) and Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning), as a result MSCHE issued an accreditation status of warning to ECC.
In April 2012, MSCHE found Essex County College in compliance with Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment), and the MSCHE team noted the extensive effort put forth at the course level, and that the College needed to focus its attention at the program level to be in compliance with Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). Based on the monitoring report and the recommendation of a visiting team in January 2013 the institution is found to now be in compliance with Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning).
The reaffirmation by MSCHE was due to the tremendous work effort put into the process by the College community over the last few years. Spearheading the work included the Middle States Steering Committee, the Office of Academic Affairs led by now Interim President Dr. Gale E. Gibson, who was Senior Vice President during the process, and the Office of Institutional Assessment, led by Dr. Susan Mulligan.
“Over the past two years, the Board of Trustees remained actively involved in implementing a sustainable cycle of self-assessment and improvement,” said Calvin W. Souder, Chair of the Essex County College Board of Trustees. “With numerous new initiatives, programs and upgrades now in place, I’m confident that our commitment to excellence will continue to expand as we continue to provide the highest quality educational services to our students.”
Throughout the process, Essex County College received numerous commendations from the Commission’s visit teams on the amount of work completed to meet the Middle States standards. The Commission is requesting the College submit a progress report by October 1, 2014 and a periodic review by June 1, 2018.