Essex County College

Coordinates: 40°44′19″N 74°10′42″W / 40.7387°N 74.1784°W / 40.7387; -74.1784
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Essex County College
TypePublic community college
Academic affiliations
Colors    Green & yellow
Newark Campus view from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Essex County College (ECC) is a public community college in Essex County, New Jersey, United States.


In August 1966, the Essex County Board of Freeholders approved the creation of Essex County College and in September 1968, more than a year after the Newark riots, the college opened its doors to 3,400 students at 31 Clinton Street, Newark, New Jersey.

In early 1970, after the college celebrated its first commencement, graduating 214 students, it was decided that the new main campus would be built in what is today called the University Heights district. The groundbreaking of the "Megastructure" (now called the A. Zachary Yamba Building) began in June 1972 with the grand opening occurring a little under four years later in April 1976. During this time, in June 1974, the college was officially given its accreditation by the Middles States Association of college and Schools' Commission on Higher Education. The main campus would see expansions in October 1985 (with the opening of the Gymnasium and Child Development Center), in October 1996 (with the opening of the Center for Technology), and in September 1999 (with the opening of the Clara E. Dasher Student Center).

In January 1979, the West Essex Extension Center, a former elementary school, opened in West Caldwell. In 1982 an additional 8 acres (3.2 ha) was purchased and, in September 1985, the newly expanded and renovated Center was unveiled. It would take another four years before the New Jersey State Department of Higher Education would grant the Center full branch campus status, transforming it into the West Essex Campus.

The FOCUS Center (which opened in September 1974) and the Ironbound Center (which opened in September 1979) are two extension centers, located in Newark, which offer off-campus educational services.

In December 1998, operations began at the Public Safety Academy in Cedar Grove.[1]

After the 2010 retirement of long-serving president A. Zachary Yamba, the college went through two separate presidencies in less than a handful of years which led to Yamba being brought back as an interim president in the spring of 2016. In November of that year the college was placed on warning by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for failing to comply with standards involving institutional resources and governance. That, along with a former athletic coach having been found to have stolen $150,000.00 of college funds, led to a decline in enrollment.[2]

Anthony Munroe was hired by the college in May 2017 to succeed Yamba and help bring the institution back into compliance with the standards set by Middle States but internal issues, including the board of trustees rejecting several of the president's proposed appointees (including a Chief Financial Officer) led to the college being placed on probation. After a reshaping and reorganizing, Munroe and his administration submitted a monitoring report to Middle States on March 1, 2018, which led to a Small Team visit two weeks later where the Middle States representatives reported that the institution appeared to be in compliance with the standards for which it was placed on probation.[3] That same month, the college laid off 20 full-time staff and eliminated 14 vacant positions in an effort to save money; like many community colleges, Essex County College has seen a significant (25% fewer compared to five years ago) decrease in enrollment.[4] On July 2, 2018, in response to the college's actions and changes in its structure and governance, and based upon the recommendation from the Small Team's visit, Middle States reaffirmed the institution's accreditation.[5]


  • May 1966 - Robert McCabe (1st)
  • January 1969 - Ellis White (2nd)
  • May 1971 - J. Harry Smith (3rd, and first college president of color in the State of New Jersey)
  • July 1978 - George Harris (4th)
  • May 1980 - A. Zachary Yamba (5th)
  • April 2010 - Edythe Abdullah (6th)
  • March 2013 - Gale E. Gibson (interim)
  • October 2013 - Gale E. Gibson (7th)
  • March 2016 - A. Zachary Yamba (interim)
  • May 2017 - Anthony Munroe (8th)
  • July 2020 - Augustine Boakye (interim)
  • November 2021 - Augustine Boakye (9th)


Essex County College offers A.A., A.S., and A.A.S. degree programs in more than 50 different majors. It also offers 26 academic certificate programs. Thousands enroll each year in the college's various degree and non-degree programs, including job training and enrichment programs. Day, evening, weekend, and online courses are offered throughout the fall, semester winter intercession, spring semester, two summer sessions. The college's academic offerings are split up into six distinct divisions:

  • Division of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
  • Division of Business
  • Division of Humanities and Bilingual Studies
  • Division of Mathematics, Engineering Technologies, and Computer Sciences
  • Division of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Division of Social Sciences

Student life[edit]

Essex County College's students represent over 50 different countries.

More Essex graduates transfer to Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Bloomfield College than any other two-year college in the state.

In the fall of 1982 Phi Theta Kappa was chartered.

Dozens of student organized and run clubs exist at the college, including the Short Films Club and the Future Teachers Club.

Over the last decade, over one dozen Essex graduates have received Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships, allowing them to attend a four-year institution partially, or entirely, for free.


Essex County College's athletic teams, dubbed the Wolverines, are represented in the Garden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and Region 19 of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Men and women are able to participate in basketball, cross country, soccer, and track & field (indoor and outdoor). Essex athletes have gone on to become All-Americans. The college has also produced more than two dozen athletes who have competed at the Summer Olympics, representing various countries around the world.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Legacy: Essex County College". Essex County College.
  2. ^ "New Jersey's Essex College faces probation". Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  3. ^ "Good news for struggling N.J. college as accreditation hangs in the balance". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  4. ^ Karen Yi (March 21, 2018). "N.J. college cuts 34 jobs amid struggle to stay afloat". New Jersey On-Line. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  5. ^ Ltd., Info724. "Middle States Commission on Higher Education". Retrieved 2018-07-02.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ 2007 Hall of Fame Inductee, Jane Grey Burgio, Nutley Hall of Fame. Accessed November 9, 2019. "Ms. Burgio was born in Nutley at 169 Highfield Lane. She was the granddaughter of Abram Blum, the first Mayor of Nutley under the Commission form of government adopted in 1912. She graduated from Nutley High School in 1940 and attended the Display Institute in New York City, the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, Caldwell College, and Essex County College."
  7. ^ Libman, Gary. "Novelist Describes Life of Harlem Renaissance", Albuquerque Journal, April 11, 1989. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Corbin's mother was a housewife. His father, who attended college, managed a supermarket. He has two brothers and attended Essex County College in Newark, NJ., before earning a scholarship to the University of Southern California's cinema-television school, where he stayed for two years before he ran out of money and left in 1977."
  8. ^ Staff. "Original Old School: Missing The Point", Slam, August 9, 2010. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Due to academic eligibility issues, Cruz ended up spending time at Bethany Nazarene College in Oklahoma and Essex (NJ) County College."
  9. ^ "Jazz saxophonist and UIP author Joe Evans, 1916-2014", University of Illinois Press, January 21, 2014. Accessed July 13, 2022. "Accomplished jazzman Joseph James Evans passed away on January 17, 2014 at age 97.... After retiring as an active record producer, Evans, a high school dropout, received a GED and enrolled as a student in Essex County College in Newark. He received an associate's degree in 1973 and then received a Ford Foundation Scholarship to attend graduate school."
  10. ^ Selman, Carol. "Newark Visual, Performance Artist Jerry Gant: From Slave Ship to Mother Ship; Work by leading Newark-based artist on view now", Newark Patch, August 24, 2011. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Gant was born in Newark, grew up in a succession of Newark apartments — 'my mother Shirley was a gypsy;' lost his Dad young to alcohol and cirrhosis, graduated West Side High School and went to Essex County College to study graphic design — just as desktop publishing was coming in and decimating the print industry."
  11. ^ Shawn Harvey, West Virginia State Yellow Jackets. Accessed December 28, 2018. "Shawn Harvey was born December 31, 1973 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Anthony Coleman and Brenda Harvey. He graduated from West Philadelphia High School 1991 and then enrolled in Essex County College before transferring to 'State' in 1992, at the request of Head Basketball Coach Robert Marshall."
  12. ^ "State of New Jersey".
  13. ^ "Essex County College Boasts 10 Former Student-Athletes Heading to London Olympics". Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Four Former Student-Athletes at 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio". Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  15. ^ Senator Ronald L. Rice (D), New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Education: A.S. Essex County College (Police Science)"
  16. ^ ""I went back to my normal strategy that I was using all season long and I felt pretty strong," said the 24-year-old, who competed for Florida State University this season after transferring from Essex County College. "". Tribune 242. Retrieved 7 February 2022.
  17. ^ "Ryan Sworn In As Newest Member Of The General Assembly", Assembly Democrats, January 6, 2011. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Ryan, 41, is a graduate of Essex County College Police Academy and currently serves as an Undersheriff for the Essex County Sheriff's Office where he heads the Office of Emergency Management."
  18. ^ Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey: 2004 Edition, p. 291. Lawyers Diary and Manual, LLC, 1900. ISBN 9781577411871. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Frederick Scalera, Dem., Nutley... He holds a fire code technology degree from Essex County College."
  19. ^ Lambert, Jim. "Columbia track and field coach Lisa Morgan will be inducted into the Newark Hall of Fame", NJ Advance Media for, October 8, 2014. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Morgan was also the personal coach to Kenia Sinclair (the Essex County College and Seton Hall grad from Jamaica who was sixth in the 2008 Olympic Games 800-meter final)."
  20. ^ "Faces in the Crowd", Sports Illustrated, May 24, 1971. Accessed February 18, 2018. "Aron Stewart, a sophomore at Essex County (N.J.) College, led the nation's junior college basketball players with 1,019 points and a 36.6 average."
  21. ^ "In Person, 'Dave Who?' Goes to Washington". New York Times.
  22. ^ "Washington's Farewell Address Topic of Professor's Latest Film". Retrieved 2019-06-25.

External links[edit]