History of Caldwell University
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. 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.
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 fully co-educational, enabling men to receive the superior education and career preparation that women had been able to receive for 50 years. Caldwell College welcomed its 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 an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. During the summer of 1993, the first graduate students began classes.
Caldwell’s first lay president, Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D., O.P.A. became Caldwell University’s eighth president in July of 2009. 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 March 2020, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Post Secondary Education formally recognized Caldwell University as a Hispanic-Serving Institution under Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act of 1963, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEA). Caldwell’s enrollment during the 18-19 academic year exceeded the enrollment threshold of 25% for the first time, at 27.5%, earning the designation. Caldwell is pleased to join the over 500 colleges who together serve over two-thirds of all Hispanic and Latino higher education students in the country.
Matthew Whelan, Ed.D. began his tenure as Caldwell University’s ninth president on July 1, 2020, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, Caldwell University was awarded two highly competitive grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The $650,000 federal grant through the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) Scholarship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program will support the retention and graduation of high-achieving, low-income majors in biology, chemistry, or mathematics. The program includes scholarships and services to boost student success. The university was awarded a five-year $1.2 million grant through the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program grant to prepare effective secondary educators in biology, chemistry, or mathematics (grades 7-12) to teach in local high-need districts. The program couples hands-on STEM teaching via early field experiences with an innovative approach partnering undergraduate students with faculty to develop multimedia STEM instructional materials to be used during their field placements and in-service teaching.
Today the university offers 13 graduate degree programs along with a number of post-baccalaureate and post-master’s 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. The first post-graduate M.A. in art therapy was added in 2008.
- In 2001, a post-baccalaureate Teacher Certification Program in Special Education and a dual certification program in Early Childhood and Elementary Education were added.
- In 2003, Caldwell began offering an M.B.A. program in the Business Department. 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–Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in Educational Leadership.
- In fall 2018, an M.S.N. in Population Health was launched.
- In June 2021, Caldwell University launched 14 professional certificate programs in business, computer science, and communications.
In recent years, Caldwell University initiated new and innovative programs at the bachelor’s level, many in the health and business areas:
- In 2012, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing commenced, followed by a Bachelor of Science in Health Science in 2013.
- In 2016, a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health Education were launched.
- In 2016, a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Language was added as a program in the Modern Language Department with two concentrations– Helping Professions and Public Policy.
- A Bachelor of Science in Sport Management was introduced in 2017 followed by a Bachelor of Science in E-Sports Management in 2019.
- In 2019, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science program was introduced.