CCC involved in self-study; preparing for Middle States reaccreditation

2/16/10


By President Dr. Thomas Isekenege

These days, people often ask me: “What are the top three priorities for Cumberland County College during the upcoming year?” And I always answer: “Middle States, Middle States, Middle States.”

CCC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, our regional accrediting body. Cumberland was first accredited by Middle States in 1970, and we participate in the Middle States reaccreditation process every 10 years. The college is about midway through the current reaccreditation self-study process, which began in 2008 and will culminate with the completion of a self-study report in October.

In early fall, we will hold several community forums to discuss the self study and post the report on CCC’s Web site – www.cccnj.edu. You will be welcome to attend the forums and e-mail your ideas concerning CCC’s operations as outlined in the self study. This part of the process is extremely important because we need your input to guide us in preparing this report. We will certainly want to hear from you concerning how CCC can best serve the community.

In November, the chair of the Middle States Site Team will visit CCC to make sure we are adequately prepared by reviewing documents, and interviewing staff, students and community members. Finally, CCC will host the Middle States Site Team visit in March 2011. During this “peer review process,” the site team members will include people who work at other similar colleges.

Middle States reaccreditation is essential because it enables CCC to be recognized by the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, which has the authority to grant degrees. Also, reaccreditation is necessary for CCC to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for approval to receive federal student financial aid funds.

So we’re busy with the college-wide self-study, but our efforts will make us a stronger institution. The study is organized around 14 standards of excellence including assessment of institutional effectiveness and student learning outcomes. CCC’s Self-Study Committee, chaired by CCC Professor Dr. Robert Clark, includes eight subcommittees made up of more than 60 employees as well as students and trustees.

Of course, students are the real top priority at CCC, but this college-wide self-study gives us a chance to “look in the mirror” and reflect on where we are as an institution.

By stepping back and studying our operations, we can build on our strengths and address our challenges. CCC will be using this data and Middle States recommendations to chart a course for effectively serving our students and the community in the 21st century.

We look forward to hearing your input during CCC’s Middle States reaccreditation process.