Salem Community College (SCC) is an accredited, co-educational, public two-year institution of higher education. SCC was established by the Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders in 1972. It is authorized by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education to grant associate degrees (Associate in Arts, Associate in Fine Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science) and certificates – both credit certificates (30-36 credits) and career certificates (less than 30 credits) in over 35 programs of study. Many of these programs transfer to four-year colleges and universities. SCC is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of the Executive Superintendent of Schools of Salem County, eight members appointed by the Salem County Board of Commissioners, two members appointed by the governor, and one alumni representative elected by the student body.
SCC is one of eighteen community colleges in the state of New Jersey and is in a small town in Salem County, which is in the southwestern corner of the state, bordering Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania. The College is 10 miles from Wilmington, Delaware, 35 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 71 miles from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Salem County is the oldest and least densely populated county in New Jersey and is the among the poorest county per capita. In addition, some of the largest employers in the county have undergone tremendous change and downsizing.
SCC experienced several years of enrollment declines until 2019 when the trend reversed. The College has continued modest enrollment growth even during the COVID pandemic. This growth was the result of deliberate investments to expand specific programs including athletics and nursing.
The College was first awarded accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 1979, and was reaffirmed in 1984, 1990, 1995, 2005, and 2016.
SCC welcomed Dr. Michael Gorman as its eighth President in August 2015. Dr. Gorman was selected after a national search and comes to the College with a strong commitment to both education and the Salem County community.[JM3]
SCC offers Academic Programs for college credit, and these programs can be sorted into three categories. The categories are Nursing/Health Science, Glass, and traditional Liberal Arts/Social Sciences/Business. The college cultivates partnerships with area high schools to attract more students to pursue post-secondary education and to offer opportunities to earn college credit before high school graduation.
The Nursing and Health Science programs enroll the largest number of students at SCC. The Health Science program awards graduates an Associate in Science degree and articulates with Stockton University and Rutgers University-Camden. This program teaches students about the diverse opportunities to pursue a career in Health Professions.
However, most students matriculated in Health Science intend to apply to one of SCC’s Nursing Programs. The Practical Nursing Certificate program admits students with little or no previous experience in health care into a 44-week program involving classroom, laboratory, and clinical instruction. This program is accredited by the New Jersey Board of Nursing and prepares students to take the National Council for Licensing Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN). The Nursing Associate in Applied Science degree enrolls students who already hold a Practical Nursing license. These students complete a one-year program to prepare to become Registered Nurses by taking the NCLEX-RN.
A completely unique academic department at SCC consists of the Glass Education Center (GEC) housing two programs of study focused on Glass. The Associate in Applied Science degree in Scientific Glass Technology (SGT) prepares students to make custom laboratory apparatus from glass. Graduates find employment in research departments at universities and a wide variety of manufacturing companies. The SGT program is the only formal instruction in this field offered in North America. The GEC also houses the Associate in Fine Arts degree in Glass Art. Students in the Glass Art program can transfer to study for their bachelor degree at Alfred University or the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, among others.
SCC also offers the most popular post-secondary degrees. These degrees in Liberal Arts, Business Administration (both Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science), Social Sciences, Biology/Chemistry, and Visual Art prepare students to transfer and earn their bachelor's degrees. SCC’s largest transfer partners are Rowan University and Wilmington University.
The College has cultivated strong partnerships with high schools and developed a variety of dual-enrollment programs. Several high schools align their curricula with the College to qualify courses at the high school for college credit. Four county high schools permit their students to attend classes at the college to meet their graduation requirements. Every year, a few high school students complete enough college credits to earn their associate degrees before graduating from high school.
Milestones Since Last Self-Study
Significant milestones achieved since the prior Middle States Self-Study over the past 10-years (2014-2023) include:
- Maintaining high retention and graduation rates
- New Glass Center
- Expansion of Nursing programs
- Expansion of high school partnerships
- Return of Athletics
- Expansion of EOF (Educational Opportunity Fund)
- Digital learning enhancements – online materials in all classes
- Focus on student health & wellness
Mission, Vision, Values, Institutional Priorities
The College’s 2020-2025 Strategic Plan incorporated an inclusive process started in 2019 that resulted in a revised Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals accompanied by a Diversity and Independence statement. Less than half of high school graduates in Salem county pursue any kind of postsecondary education, so the College adopted increasing educational attainment as one goal. While SCC already boasts one of the highest graduation rates among community colleges in New Jersey, the strategic planning process recognized the need to continue to increase success for all student groups. This focus was therefore adopted as an institutional goal. SCC also recognized its role as a key institution in Salem county and the need to take a leadership role to improve life for its residents. As the leading public institution in the county, SCC does so much more than offer economical and high-quality academic programs, so the goal to act as the county opportunity engine was adopted. This role could not be successfully attained unless SCC strives for excellence in all actions and builds a reputation for high quality. Thus, the college adopted the goal to be the college of choice for every service provided. These four goals became the core of the current Strategic Plan.
Mission: Your Salem Community College is the education epicenter providing personalized, affordable, quality, and empowering education for transfer and workforce.
Vision: Salem Community College is the leading, innovative, educational, and convening resource committed to enhancing and assuring the prosperity of Salem County’s residents, industry, and government.
Independence Statement: Your Salem Community College, as an independent institution, is the educational epicenter, cultural soul, and business facilitator of Salem County. We can best serve the uniqueness of Salem County and deliver personalized attention to our students and citizens as Salem Community College.
Diversity Statement: Salem Community College recognizes its responsibility and commitment to foster an environment of respect, and understanding among all individuals and groups, with sensitivity for those likely to experience disrespect, abuse and misunderstanding because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, economic status, or mental or physical challenges.
Excellence: Maintain a high standard of performance leading to the achievement of academic and professional goals.
Integrity: Behave ethically and trustworthy in all interactions at all levels.
Personalized: Understand that each person is an individual with unique trials, goals, and aspirations.
Success: Commit to achieving the academic and professional goals that lead to personal growth and prosperity.
Equity: Foster a learning community which values the individual needs of all students in all cultures and lifestyles.
Innovation: Keep pace with global trends, academic technology, and higher education practice to prepare students for success in the workplace.
Collaboration: Seek input from all sectors of the college, members of the community, and our academic peers.
GOAL#1: Increase educational attainment of degrees and credentials leading to secure careers for Salem County residents.
GOAL2#: To be the College of Choice through a personalized experience for students, residents, staff, faculty, partners, industry, and government.
GOAL#3: To be the educational, economic, cultural opportunity engine for Salem County.
GOAL#4: Significantly improve success for ALL students in terms of accessibility, diversity, civility, and equity. All means all.