College’s Accreditation Reaffirmed by Regional Accrediting Commission

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) has reaffirmed the accreditation of Essex County College (ECC) for the next eight years.  The next eight-year reaccreditation evaluation will occur in the academic year 2030-2031.

The MSCHE recently announced the accreditation reaffirmation after finding ECC to be in full compliance with each of the Commission’s 15 Requirements of Affiliation and 7 Standards of Accreditation.  The announcement follows the College’s extensive multi-year self-study process and an MSCHE small team site visit to the Newark campus this past March.

“This reaccreditation is a testament to our commitment to our Mission, thus providing ‘Access to Success’ through comprehensive educational programs and workforce development. We are grateful to the Commission for providing guidance. I extend my appreciation to the ECC Board of Trustees, all the stakeholders, and the College community for their team effort throughout the accreditation process and beyond,” said ECC’s President, Dr. Augustine A. Boakye.

Dr. Boakye added that the self-study was an intensive effort engaged in by more than 100 members of the ECC community over the past several years, which included administrators, staff, full-time and adjunct faculty, and students.

From the implementation of the Self-Study, to the evaluation team’s visit, to the Commission’s reaffirmation of accreditation, the entire process has been rewarding and acknowledges that Essex County College is on track and achieving its Vision, Mission and Values to effectively serve students and community with excellence,” said Ms. Marion A. Bolden, Chair of the ECC Board of Trustees.

Essex County College’s approach, as outlined in its Self-Study Design and Self-Study Report was to “challenge itself to faithfully abide by two simple guiding principles: to make the process a fully inclusive, college-wide endeavor, and to embrace the process as an opportunity for institutional renewal through self-appraisal, self-reflection, and bold action.”

Under this inclusive and transparent approach, the institution held regular College-wide Town Halls for both students and College employees. The Board of Trustees were briefed regularly on the progress of the self-study by President Boakye and members of his leadership team. Members of the Board also met with representatives from the Commission including the Evaluation Team on multiple occasions.

Essex County College earned commendations from the Evaluation Team, which applauded the institution for its transformational progress in spite of an extraordinarily challenging Covid-19 pandemic. In the Evaluation Team’s Report to the Commission, the College received recognition of accomplishments and progress for several exemplary and innovative practices.

Commendations were in such areas as

  • Leadership in fiscal oversight, institutional planning, resource allocation, and infrastructure improvements. 
  • Creation of sound and comprehensive blueprints and guides for assessing student achievement, educational goals, and the integration of the institutional mission.
  • Development and implementation of a succession planning process.
  • Use of data and assessment findings to annually update and refine the College’s Strategic Plan.
  • Commitment to support and develop faculty as evidenced by its Association of College and University Educators Effective Teaching Practices training curriculum.
  • Responsiveness to both faculty and students during the COVID-19 pandemic (Remote Learning Questionnaire Results).

As per their website, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, “is a global institutional accreditor recognized by the United States Secretary of Education since 1952,” ensuring students and the public of “the educational quality for over 500 institutions of higher education.” Its rigorous process for accreditation ensures “institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement, and innovation through peer review” as well as its application of “standards within the context of institutional mission.”

The Commission’s Self-Study Evaluation Team concluded its report with: “As a MSCHE Evaluation Team, we are inspired by your unwavering dedication to your students, faculty, staff, and the community.”