Progress on upcoming Middle States evaluation

By Amy Yunk

Staff Writer

Since the fall semester of 2008 CCC has been preparing for an institutional self-study, in order to maintain its accreditation.  According to the college’s website, “an institutional self-study is a process in which a college examines itself in a rigorous, organized manner to ascertain the extent to which it does or does not meet a set of established standards for academic institutions of its type.”  The idea behind these evaluations is to determine how well a college or university meets 14 criteria according to the Middle States program.

“Without accreditation, we’re not a college, degrees won’t transfer”, stated Dr. Robert Clark, Chair of the Self-Study and Associate Professor in the STEM & Health Division.

CCC was first accredited in 1970 and then lately reaccredited in 2006.  The self-study review takes place during the 2010 and 2011 academic school year.  The Middle States Commission on Higher education is the unit of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in the Middle States region, which Includes New Jersey.

CCC offers 100 programs of study leading to Associate Degrees, Academic Certificates, Career Certificates, and Short-Term Training Certificates.  The college also reports to accrediting agencies such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  The main benefit of self-study is that this period of introspection will lead to improvements at the college.

The Self-Study Report is due to be submitted to Middle States in October 2010 and the site-evaluation will occur in March 2011.  The self-study is being conducted by a committee of  volunteers from across our campus community, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, and trustees.  The self-study team hopes that you can participate in reviewing the reports, or by simply making comments because it is very important.

In order to meet the Middle States program standards, institutions are required to meet Federal Government Laws and Regulations in order to be eligible to participate in Title IV and other student assistance programs, and they also may be required to meet certain state or local requirements in order to be licensed or eligible to operate as an institute of higher education.    It is the responsibility of each institution to demonstrate compliance with any applicable state regulations that go beyond Federal regulations.

CCC currently employs 240 adjunct professors and 48 full-time instructional faculty, 3 librarians, 6-10 counselors, and 3990 students, who are all under review for the Middle States evaluation.

Students are highly encouraged to participate in the instructional evaluation at the end of each semester which helps to meet the Standard 10 of the Middle States evaluation.

Ten members from other colleges in our region will conduct a site visit in March 2011.  During this evaluation, the site evaluation team will make recommendations to improve the college’s program.

Dr. Robert Clark will conduct a meeting with the Student Senate in April 2010.  During this meeting he will explain the Middle States procedures and what can be done on the students and faculty’s behalf to influence the outcome of this evaluation.  Everyone interested in voicing their ideas and opinions are encouraged to attend this meeting.

Information regarding this process is always available at the college’s website, http://www.cccnj.edu.  Students and faculty are encouraged to participate and speak their views to either the sub-committee or Student Senate, for they play a big role in this procedure also.

Dr. Clark can be reached at rclark@cccnj.edu or you can contact Dr. Sandy Vaden, member of the Steering Committee and Director Institutional Planning and Research at svaden@cccnj.edu. Information regarding Middle States can also be found on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education website at http://www.msche.org.

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