About Essex County College

Essex County College is an open-door public community college that is committed to providing quality educational programs and life-long learning activities at the most affordable cost.

The College is open to students with a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities. We take pride in our diversity and our nurturing atmosphere, which encourages people from all walks of life to enroll and excel in higher education.

The main campus is located in the heart of University Heights in Newark, New Jersey. Our urban campus covers three city blocks and houses high tech classrooms with advanced teaching modalities and state-of-the-art laboratories.

We also have the West Essex campus located in West Caldwell, New Jersey, which meets the educational and training needs of people who live and work in the western part of Essex County.

Fall 2021 – Classes have begun!
Degrees and Certificates
Years in Operation
Olympic Athletes Since 2012

Accreditation and Licensure


Essex County College has been accredited since 1974 by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (267) 284-5000. The College’s accreditation was last reaffirmed on March 7, 2013.

Visit the MSCHE website to read the Statement of Accreditation Status and the Public Disclosure Statement.


Essex County College is licensed by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education to operate and award associate degrees and certificates. All professional licensure programs offered by the College are accredited by their appropriate accrediting agencies.


Mission, Vision, and Values

Vision Statement

A Beacon for Education and Knowledge, Essex County College attracts people who seek a better life through education. We transform lives, broaden learning and empower students to achieve their full potential. Our college community and graduates are change agents and leaders who contribute to the health, vitality and advancement of society.

Mission Statement

Essex County College is an open access community college that serves the diverse needs of students through comprehensive educational programs, training, and continuing education. Essex County College is dedicated to academic excellence and the success of its students.

Values Statement

Essex County College affirms the following principles, values and beliefs:

  • Teaching and Learning: We affirm teaching and learning as our primary purpose. The College seeks to instill in students general and specialized knowledge, the ability to think critically, and a commitment to civic responsibility. We value academic freedom and support the open exchange of ideas and experiences.
  • Excellence and Accountability: We believe in creating a learning environment that fosters high expectations for achievement. The College is committed to rigorous academic standards, faculty excellence, and responsive support services that enable students to reach their full academic, professional and personal potential. We provide excellent programs that utilize technology, demonstrate innovation, and undergo evaluation to ensure consistent and outstanding performance.
  • Community and Engagement: We support programs that enhance the economic and social development of Essex County. We value our role as a vital community resource and are dedicated to forging effective partnerships with our many constituencies.
  • Diversity and Access: We embrace the rich diversity of our student population and our employees. We recognize the historical, intellectual, and artistic contributions of all cultures, and promote an atmosphere in which critical examination of perspectives is accepted and encouraged. We believe all people should have access to affordable, quality higher education that will prepare them to succeed in a dynamic world.
  • Legacy and Transformation: We honor our history and valued traditions of Essex County College, the City of Newark and the County of Essex. We also welcome transformative power of education to change lives. Building upon our past achievements, we eagerly embrace the future by pursuing innovations in teaching, administration, and student services.

Essex Foundation

The Essex County College Foundation, Inc. is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit corporation authorized and established by the Trustees of Essex County College. Its mission is to collaborate with the administration of Essex County College to secure resources to help the College fulfill its mission and help students benefit from the institution’s activities.

The Foundation Board members are business professionals with strong ties to the Essex County community. They have taken both a professional and personal interest in the college’s programs and in promoting the success of our students.

Essex County College Foundation members are committed to working in partnership with the College’s President and with the Board of Trustees to meet the needs of the college and its students. Since 2008, the Foundation has awarded over 300 students with scholarships. With your generous donations, the Foundation can make an even bigger impact in the future.

We welcome your contributions! Your gifts provide critical support for scholarships, innovative programs, and equipment that are not covered by state or county funds or government grants. Information about giving opportunities is available by contacting Foundation staff identified below. Please be in touch, we would love to hear from you.

Essex Foundation Chairperson Message

“Essex County College helped me every step of the way, enabling me to ‘Exceed Expectations.’ I received a great foundation at Essex County College and I’m extremely proud to have been part of a truly outstanding institution”

– Ashley M. (Class of 2016)

Like many students who walk through the open doors of Essex County College, Ashley faced a number of obstacles. But thanks to scholarships funded by the Essex County College Foundation, Ashley is now on the path toward realizing her dream of ultimately becoming a corporate lawyer in the business world. Thousands of students like Ashley are pursuing degrees at Essex County College and thousands more are enrolled in job training adult literacy, continuing education, and professional certification programs at our Newark and West Essex campuses, and satellite centers throughout the county.

While public funds allow Essex County College to maintain moderate tuition, we are not able to assist all who hope to attend. Every semester, thousands of students struggle to cover expenses for books and other classroom materials.

The Essex County College Foundation is dedicated to providing the tuition assistance and financial support that can make the difference between dropping out and graduating with pride. Over the years, the Essex County College Foundation has awarded scholarships to many students, enabling them to start new careers, advance professionally, and change the trajectory of their lives. Gifts from supporters like you also enable us to underwrite innovative programs, equipment, services, and other needs not covered by grants.

With your generous contribution, the Foundation can help more students like Joseph L. (Class of 2014), who returned to Essex after an eight year hiatus. “My time at Essex was very transformative for me and I am more confident than ever,” said Joseph, who plans to teach in the near future. Aliyah B. (Class of 2015) wants to become a marriage and family therapist. She says “I received a solid foundation where I gained the skills, knowledge and experience to further my education and goals in life.” You can help students like Joseph and Aliyah to pursue a college education.

Your gift can provide the supplemental English training needed by students coming from households where other languages are spoken. And you can allow the College Foundation to make an even bigger impact in the future.

To make a gift, please download the Giving to Essex County College Foundation form. Complete the information, include your check (payable to Essex County College Foundation) or provide your credit card information. Send the completed form and/or check to the address below.

Essex County College

c/o Office of College Advancement and Foundation

303 University Ave., Room 6111

Newark, NJ 07102

Your generosity will forever transform the life of an individual. Contributions of any amount are welcome and donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

On behalf of the entire Essex County College, thank you for your support!

Essex County College Foundation Board

Stephen A. Schnall, Chair

Reginald Davis, Vice Chair

Maurice Brown, Secretary

Doris Gonzalez, Treasurer

Mike Griot

Ian Grodman

Karen McMullen

Geraldine Mehu-Moore

Michael L. Minor

Lissette Morales

Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye Wilson

Dr. A. Zachary Yamba


Contact Information

Yvette Jefferies

Director of College Advancement and Foundation

Phone: (973)877-3006

Email: jefferies@essex.edu

Dr. A. Zachary Yamba

President Emeritus

Former President of Essex County College

(1980 – 2010)

Dr. A. Zachary Yamba holds the title of President Emeritus after stepping down as the longest serving college president in New Jersey on March 31, 2010. Affiliated with the College for four decades, he joined the humanities faculty when the college opened in 1968 and served as Dean of Faculty prior to his appointment as president in May 1980.

Recognized as the catalyst for more than a quarter century of extraordinary achievement that defines Essex County College, he is widely credited with transforming the College into the vibrant and progressive institution that today enrolls more than 25,000 students. Under his singular leadership, Essex experienced unprecedented stability and growth and emerged as a leader in the community college sector, gaining significant recognition for the quality of its academic programs, its responsive community outreach, its key role in revitalizing the regional workforce, and its impressive levels of student success.

An unrelenting advocate for the power and promise of education, Dr. Yamba’ believes in the enduring values of service, access and excellence. His advocacy of excellence and opportunity in higher education includes more than a decade of service as a commissioner of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. He is a founding member of the Presidents’ Round Table, an affiliate of the National Council on Black American Affairs of the American Association of Community Colleges. His numerous community affiliations include serving on the boards of the Victoria Foundation, Newark Downtown Core Redevelopment Corp., and the American Conference on Diversity.

He holds the title of Regent Emeritus on the Board of Regents of Seton Hall University, his alma mater, which has also inducted him into its Athletic Hall of Fame and awarded him an honorary degree. He also holds honorary degrees from Rutgers University and the University for Development Studies in Ghana.

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