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History and Accreditation



Caldwell University was founded as a Catholic liberal arts college by the Sisters of Saint Dominic under the leadership of Mother M. Joseph Dunn, O.P., with the approval of the Most Reverend Thomas Joseph Walsh, Archbishop of Newark, who became its first president. Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D., OPA became Caldwell University’s eighth and current President in July of 2009.

Caldwell College was incorporated on August 10, 1939, as an institution of higher learning for women under the laws of the State of New Jersey and empowered to grant degrees. On December 9, 2013, Caldwell College received official notification from the Secretary of Higher Education in the State of New Jersey that it had been granted university status. Caldwell University commenced on July 1, 2014.

In 1974, Caldwell College became the first institution in New Jersey to award the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In 1979, Caldwell College became one of the few institutions in the state to offer a unique external degree program. In 1985, the Board of Trustees of the College voted to make Caldwell College fully co-educational, enabling men to receive the superior education and career preparation that women had been able to receive for fifty years. Caldwell College welcomed the first full-time male students in the fall of 1986.

In November 1992, Caldwell College reached another plateau when the New Jersey Board of Higher Education granted approval for the College to offer the M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. During the summer of 1993, the first graduate students began classes.

The University now offers thirteen graduate degree programs, along with a number of post-baccalaureate and post-masters’ programs. A hallmark of Caldwell has been the continual development of new and innovative graduate programs:

  • In 2000, Caldwell was the first higher education institution in New Jersey to offer a specialization in Art Therapy within the M.A. in Counseling and the first Post-Graduate M.A. in Art Therapy was added in 2008;
  • In 2001, the Caldwell developed a Post Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program in Special Education and a dual Certification Program in Early Childhood and Elementary Education;
  • In 2003, the Caldwell began offering an M.B.A. program in the Business Department and the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® approved a course sequence submitted by Caldwell as meeting the coursework requirement for taking the Board Certified Behavior Analyst™ examination;
  • In fall 2005, an M.A. in Special Education and an M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis were introduced;
  • In 2009, the first doctoral program, a Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis commenced;
  • In Fall 2014, Caldwell was approved to offer its second and third doctoral programs – a Ph.D . program and an Ed.D program in education leadership.


Caldwell University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-284-5000.

Several of the University’s academic programs have received specialized academic accreditations: Caldwell University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) to offer the following programs: B.S. in Business Administration, B.S. in Accounting, B.S. in Financial Economics, B.S. in Marketing, M.B.A., M.B.A. with a Concentration in Accounting, and an M.B.A. with a Concentration in Nonprofit Management.

The Caldwell University’s Teacher Preparation program was pre-accredited in fall 2013 by Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) by the Inquiry Brief Commission of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) for a period of seven years, from October 2013 to October 2020.

Caldwell University’s graduate programs in counseling (mental health ,and school counseling) received accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) in Spring of 2012 and the Master’s in Counseling Art Therapy specialization became the first Art Therapy graduate program to be CACREP-accredited in the country, in Spring 2014.

In spring 2012, the B.S.N. degree program received accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

In summer 2014, the Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis program received accreditation through the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).


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