By Rebecca Panico
NEWARK, NJ – Essex County College was taken off probation by the region’s higher education accrediting agency.
The community college was put on probation last year by Middle States Commission of Higher Education for failing to meet guidelines pertaining to institutional resources and governance. Middle States also warned the college it was in jeopardy of losing accreditation in 2016 because of an additional issue with student admissions and retention, according to the agency.
Essex County College President Anthony Munroe called the late June decision “fantastic news” and was “extremely pleased” with the agency’s vote.
“Never was the quality of the education provided at ECC called into question,” Munroe today said in a statement. “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.”
The college never lost accreditation throughout Middle State’s review, which would have put its nearly 10,000 students at risk of losing financial aid.
Its accreditation was reaffirmed on June 21, Middle State’s website shows.
“We all know how critical this has been for the future of our institution,” said College Board of Trustees Chair Thomas McDermott, Jr. in a statement. “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 college has faced some controversy recently. Its board of trustees fired its former president and general counsel, who both later sued the school and top administrators.
Middle States requested the college submit a monitoring report by April 2019 to show its sustaining the accreditation standards. The agency is scheduled to make its next visit in the 2022-2023 school year.