2024-2025 MSCHE Self-Study

Accreditation is a process by which colleges and universities are evaluated by an external organization to determine if they meet certain standards of quality. These standards may relate to the institution's academic programs, faculty, facilities, and financial stability.

There are several reasons why institutions of higher education are required to be accredited:

  1. Quality assurance: Accreditation helps ensure that institutions of higher education meet certain standards of quality. This helps students and their families know that they are getting a high-quality education that will prepare them for their future careers.

  2. Eligibility for federal financial aid: In order to be eligible to receive federal financial aid, such as grants and loans, institutions of higher education must be accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This helps ensure that students are receiving financial aid to attend institutions that meet certain standards of quality.

  3. Transferability of credits: Accreditation helps ensure that credits earned at one institution will be recognized and accepted by other institutions. This is important for students who may want to transfer credits from one institution to another or who may want to pursue a graduate degree after completing their undergraduate studies.

Salem Community College received reaffirmation of accreditation in 2016 and expects to earn reaffirmation by the conclusion of the 2025 academic year. 

    Ken Robell

    Vice President of Academic Affairs, Accreditation Liaison Officer, Core Steering Committee Co-Chair, Standard 3 & 5 Co-Chair
    Ken Robell

    Ken Robell was appointed Vice President in 2022 after working in administration and faculty at the college. He played key roles in simplifying placement of new students into college level courses and redesigning developmental math and English. His support for expansion of Nursing, Scientific Glass Technology, and high school partnerships strengthened enrollment at the college.

     

    Since joining SCC in 2012, Professor Martin’s major accomplishments include streamlining the developmental English sequence to include a highly-effective co-requisite course and chairing the Outcomes Assessment Committee for two two-year terms. During SCC’s previous Self-Study, Professor Martin served as Co-Chair of several standards. She has also served as a MSCHE peer-evaluator for SUNY Schenectady County Community College in 2019 and Garrett College in 2020.  

    Ron Burkhardt currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Institutional Research and Planning.  Since joining SCC in 2013 he has served in a variety of capacities and facilitated several grants, projects, research, and improvement related activities. Throughout his 20 years of higher education experience he has worked in residential housing, information technology, financial aid, workforce development, grants, and institutional research and planning. 

    Since joining Salem Community College in 2012, Kelly Schimpf has held a variety of roles in both Student Services and Academic Affairs, and currently serves as the Dean of Enrollment Management & Student Services and Title IX Coordinator. During her time at SCC Kelly has championed the adoption and expansion of technology solutions to support the student experience, and expanded local high school partnerships and programs. Kelly previously participated on a working group during the last Self-Study.

    Amy Bennis-Kimball serves as Salem Community College’s Director of Admissions and Title IX Deputy Coordinator for (Students).  Since joining SCC in 2021, she has contributed to the student experience through collaborative DEI initiatives (GLSEN Day of Silence, Preferred Name/Pronoun implementation) and technology adaptation (online appointment scheduling, Admissions chatbot). Throughout her 20 years in higher education advising and program coordination, she has supported MSCHE, NCATE and Title II accreditation efforts at various institutions.

     

    Howard Valentine is Associate Professor of Mathematics.  He has been instructing SCC for over 23 years.  He teaches at the developmental course level through Precalculus. Prof. Valentine headed the first co-requisite enhancement type Math Courses at SCC.  These were derived from best practices in the state of NJ to aid identified students to achieve success in the associated College Level Math Course.  

    Chief Financial Officer Rodney Jefferson's experience includes accounting, finance, auditing, budgeting and strategic planning. Prior to his appointment at SCC, Rod was Director of Finance and Administration/CFO/Comptroller for the Newark (N.J.) Public Library.  He planned, directed and controlled all functions of the finance department, including general/fund accounting, purchasing, budgeting, cash management, information technology, payroll, accounts payable and facilities, overseeing 55 professionals.

    Since joining Salem Community College in December 2019, Dr. Covello’s main accomplishments include increasing nursing student enrollment and successfully overseeing the Spring 2022 Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accreditation for the Associate Degree Nursing program. Dr. Covello is a current member of Associate Degree Nursing Council and serves as a member of the Salem Medical Center (Inspira Health Affiliate) Nurse Residence Advisory Board. Dr.  Covello has served as a peer evaluator for ACEN twice a year since 2017.

    Maura Cavanagh Dick serves as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Title IX Deputy Coordinator (Academic Affairs), and Chair of the DEI Committee.  Since joining the College in 2006, she has made many curricular contributions to the Biological and Health Science programs, serving as an Associate Professor of Biology, and during SCC’s previous Self Study, she served as the co-chair of the Self Study Steering Committee.

    Bill Clark

    Director of Public Affairs, Alumni, and Outreach, Co-Chair Standard 1-2, 7
    Bill Clark

    Bill Clark is Director of Public Relations, Community Outreach and Alumni Affairs.  Currently SCC’s longest-serving administrator, Clark facilitates the College’s many special events with K-12, government and business partners. His writing and management skills also support the College’s International Flameworking Conference, Commencement and Gala.  Clark serves as the College’s public information officer, a role that was especially critical during the pandemic. 

    Jenna Lucente is an Associate Professor of Art at Salem Community college who brings real world experience into the classroom.  Recent artistic accomplishments for this artist include a permanent public art installation at the Arthur Kill Station in Staten Island NY (MTA), and upcoming, a permanent public art installation at the Elizabeth Station in Elizabeth, New Jersey (NJTransit). Jenna also was recently co-curator of a large contemporary glass exhibit at The Delaware Contemporary where over 30 artists were on display across 7,000 sq feet of gallery space. 

    Kristin Deady

    Assistant Dean of Glass Education, Co-Chair Standard 3 and 5
    Kristin Deady

    Kristin Deady serves as Assistant Dean in Glass Education at SCC. Since arriving at SCC in 2016 she has strengthened the educational and employment opportunities for students enrolled in the college’s glass focused degree programs. She has expanded the offerings of the college’s glass center to include a variety of non-credit glass workshops and events. Kristin was a key partner in the development of, and move to, SCC’s new 20,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art glass center in 2019.  

    Professor Mays has been a member of the faculty since 2001 teaching Mathematics.  Along with teaching, he is a faculty academic advisor and Phi Theta Kappa honor society chapter advisor.  Professor Mays has served on several MSCHE committees throughout the last two Self-studies.

    Standards and Chapters  

    4. Support of the Student Experience  

      

    6. Planning, Resources, Institutional Improvement  

    1. Mission and Goals  

    2. Ethics & Integrity  

    7. Governance, Leadership, and Administration  

      

    3. Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience  

    5. Educational Effectiveness Assessment  

      

    Linked Requirements of Affiliation 

    3, 4 

    10, 11 

    1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 

    9, 15 

    Strategic Plan Link 

    INCREASE EDUC ATTAIN  

    COLLEGE OF CHOICE  

    OPPORTUNITY ENGINE  

    IMPROVE SUCCESS  

    Executive Co-Chair  

    Kelly Schimpf  

    Rod Jefferson  

    Maura Cavanagh-Dick  

    Ken Robell  

    Staff Co-Chair  

    Amy Bennis-Kimball 

    Terri Covello 

    Bill Clark 

    Kristin Deady 

    Faculty Co-Chair 

    Howard Valentine 

    Jennifer Martin 

    Jenna Lucente 

    William Mays 

    Workgroup Members - actively supporting committee and co-chairs 

    Laura Green  

    Joe Pritchett 

    Irma Aguirre 

    Heather Stith 

    Cal Cizek 

    Bob Bunnell 

    Faculty 

     

    Larry McKee 

    Lynn McCosker 

    Ryan Danner 

    Mary Eklund  

    Noah McFadden  

    Charles Erhardt 

    Faculty 

     

    Maria Fantini 

    Brian Marsh 

    Jill James 

    Katelyn Good 

    Faculty 

     

    Jennifer Pierce 

    Lauren Schwartz 

    Faculty 

     

     

    Key Contributors – support workgroup as required 

    Terrence DeLane 

    Marissa Stanko 

    John Holt 

    Wendy Decker 

    Sonia Bermudez 

    Anetha Perry 

    Bonnie Rivera 

     

    Adrienne Muscemi 

    Janette Irizzary 

    Kevin Blair 

    Lena Doumenis 

     

    Mike Gorman 

    Dave Kelk  

    Stacy Brown 

    Alicia Smith 

    Bruce Watkins 

    Joe Henderson 

    Chuck Weigle 

     

    Rosemma Ward 

    Doug Ohm 

    Nick Simmons 

    Mickey McAllister 

    Mary Eklund 

    Anna Manogue 

     

    Institutional Overview

    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 capitaIn 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] 

    Academic Programs

    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.

    Values:

    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.

    Institutional Goals:

    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.

    Institutional Priorities to Be Addressed in the Self-Study

    The Institutional Goals listed in the previous section map to the Standards of Accreditation . Because of this close alignment, the Institutional Goals from the Strategic Plan will also be the Institutional Priorities addressed in this Self-Study. These priorities evolved from work during the previous strategic plan term. While much progress was made previously, stakeholders recognized the need to continuously improve upon these priorities and expand work in these areas.

    The timing of the Self-Study affords SCC the ability to concurrently examine how the College has achieved these goals. The results of this examination will provide input into the next  Strategic Plan.