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Caldwell University has embarked on the exciting task of moving to university status. Below are frequently asked questions that offer valuable insight and information about the process.

Why become Caldwell University?

Becoming a university has been part of the vision of President Nancy H. Blattner since her arrival at Caldwell in July 2009. In her remarks to the Strategic Planning Committee in spring 2010, Dr. Blattner first announced this vision, and subsequently, university status became part of Caldwell University’s five-year strategic plan, “Empowering the Legacy: 2010-2015.” Without changing the character of Caldwell, the move to university status better reflects what the institution has become with the offering of its first doctoral program in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2009, with its strong master’s degrees in multiple disciplinary areas, and in its diversity and growth.

What is university status?

Traditionally, a college offers undergraduate degrees leading to the baccalaureate. A university, on the other hand, also offers graduate degrees at the master’s level and/or doctoral level. Our current Carnegie classification is Master’s Colleges or Universities – medium, which includes schools that award at least 50 master‘s degrees and fewer than 20 doctoral degrees. Our US News category is regional Universities in the North, defined as offering a full range of undergraduate programs and some master’s programs but few doctoral degrees.

How does a college become a university?

After conversing with campus constituencies, including faculty, staff, students, and alums, the president made a presentation on the efficacy of the change to the Board of Trustees in late summer 2012. After the board has committed to the change, the institution, working with the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, prepares a thorough self-study of the institution, focusing on the delivery of graduate programs. Once this document is completed, two external consultants review the proposal and visit the campus, making a recommendation to the state commission. Final steps include approval by the New Jersey Presidents’ Council and the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education.

When will the transition take place?

Ideally, the transition will take place in time for university status to be announced during Caldwell University’s 75th anniversary celebration scheduled for the 2014-2015 academic year. The college has currently begun the lengthy process in conjunction with the assistance of the staff at the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education.

How will the change affect our various departments and divisions?

Academic departments are currently in the process of undergoing academic re-organization which will group departments into schools or divisions in anticipation of Caldwell University becoming a university. Once university status is achieved, the schools or divisions may be re-named as colleges within the university. This process is ongoing and is the subject of much conversation, led by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, among the academic unit.

What are the benefits of becoming a university?

First, the ‘university’ name signals what Caldwell has become and would better explain the institution to the public, particularly to international students. Because of the added prestige to the title of university, a number of benefits would accrue including assistance in recruiting students, increased opportunities for donations/funding, and greater ease in recruiting and retaining faculty.

What are the benefits specifically for undergraduates? Graduates? Doctoral students?

For students planning to achieve their master’s or doctoral degrees at an institution other than Caldwell, graduating from a university may prove helpful on the application to graduate school. For doctoral students, it is characteristic that they would be receiving their degrees from a university since granting doctorates is a hallmark of a university, not a college. For all students, there is an added measure of prestige in graduating from a university.

How will the change affect Caldwell’s national and international reputation?

Nationally, the designation of university provides the best of a small private liberal arts education with pre-professional programs and preparation for advanced study and careers in the professions. Internationally, the term ‘college’ is often associated with secondary, community college or prep school types of institutions. This change in name would signal the breadth and level of degree offerings at Caldwell to our international students and assist the institution as we continue our efforts to recruit abroad.

Will a change in our status impact our admission standards?

Admission standards will not change as a direct result of our designation as a university. However, our ultimate enrollment numbers are limited due to capacity constraints, so it is possible that standards could change in future years as more students are attracted to Caldwell.

Will a change in our status affect our small class size? Personal attention to students? Core values? Overall size of the
institution? Our athletic status as a DII school?

Caldwell University has always placed emphasis on the Dominican pillar and core value of ‘community.’ That emphasis will remain so that all students still receive personal attention from caring faculty and staff. The remaining core values of respect, integrity and excellence will remain central to our mission as will the additional Dominican pillars of prayer, study and mission. While the overall size of Caldwell University may grow in the coming years, managed growth in select undergraduate and graduate areas is already part of the 2010-2015 strategic plan for the institution. There are no plans to change the institution’s athletic status.

Will there be any significant change to the operation and structure of Caldwell University?

The day-to-day operations of Caldwell will remain virtually unchanged during the transitional process to university status and thereafter. As indicated above, reorganization of the academic unit at Caldwell is already underway. This process will be completed by the time the college is ready to be designated as a university.

Will there be any policy changes as a result of our status change?

The change to university status will reflect the institution that Caldwell has already become. As a result, there are no expected policy changes in the areas of academic or student life as a direct result of the designation change.

Will tuition and other costs increase as a result of the change?

Caldwell will remain an institution that is largely dependent upon tuition and fees; however, the change to university status will not cause an increase in tuition and fees across the board.

If I graduated from Caldwell University prior to the date of the status change, am I a graduate of Caldwell University or Caldwell
University? What should I put on my resume?

It is customary to use the name of the institution at the time of your graduation. However, if you graduated from Caldwell University, after the institution has changed its name, you may indicate the name change on your resume by including ‘now known as Caldwell University’ in parentheses after the name Caldwell University.

Will my transcript change if I graduated from Caldwell University?

For students who graduate after Caldwell has completed the process to move to university status, transcripts issued will use the designation Caldwell University. If you graduated prior to the change, a notation on newly authorized transcripts will note that the university was formerly known as Caldwell College.

Will I be able to obtain a Caldwell University diploma if I graduated from Caldwell University?

Students who graduated from Caldwell University may request a Caldwell University diploma from the Registrar’s Office for the cost of a replacement diploma plus shipping and handling.