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Brookdale Community College risks losing accreditation

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Brookdale Community College is at risk of losing accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, according to the commission.

It wrote a letter to Brookdale warning the institution that “its accreditation may be in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standards II (Ethics and Integrity), and Standard V (Educational Effectiveness Assessment). The institution remains accredited while on warning. Federal regulations limit the period during which an institution may be in non-compliance to two years.”

Kathy Kamatani, Brookdale’s executive director of college relations, released a statement saying students' financial aid is not in jeopardy. 

“Accreditation for all institutions, including Brookdale, is an ongoing process consisting of many steps,” the statement said. “Our accreditation remains in effect throughout this multifaceted process. Based on the commission's feedback, we have already implemented several improvements, and we are fully committed to achieving reaccreditation in spring 2019. Our emphasis is on ensuring that Brookdale continues its mission as a gateway for thousands to obtain a degree, acquire training for career advancement and pursue lifelong learning opportunities.”

Middle States Commission on Higher Education Director of Communications Brian Kirschner said that “Brookdale has the opportunity to provide additional information to show they are in compliance.”

Monmouth County Freeholder candidate Larry Lutrell is proposing reinstating the ethics code and establishing a bipartisan ethics committee at the county level.

“We must demand more from our county Freeholders,” Luttrell said in a statement. “It’s an ethical collapse of our elected and unelected Freeholders like Gerard Scharfenberger that now jeopardizes what was once the jewel of Monmouth County education. All of our residents deserve a commitment to ethical standards, not just at Brookdale, but countywide.”

Fellow candidate Amber Gesslein, an Ocean County Community College graduate, said the possible loss of accreditation will hurt the student body.

“Monmouth County’s Board of Freeholders dismissed the ethics code in 2010 and funding for Brookdale has fallen to 1999 levels,” Gesslein said in a statement. “I’m not surprised that Brookdale may lose its accreditation under such poor and incompetent leadership. We need new leaders to make sure Brookdale provides the highest quality education and services for our county residents.” 

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David Hutter

David Hutter

David Hutter grew up in Darien, Conn., and covers higher education, transportation and manufacturing for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com.

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