Excelsior College/Home/Who we are

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Excelsior College is the leading accredited, private, nonprofit institution in the United States established to meet the needs of the nontraditional learner. Created in 1971 by the New York State Board of Regents as its external degree program, Excelsior was originally known as Regents College. Awarded an absolute charter as an independent college in 1998, its name was changed to Excelsior, “ever upward” in Latin, in 2001.

The founding philosophy of the College is “what you know is more important than where or how you learned it,” a guiding principle today that is ideally suited to meeting the needs of the independent learner. Excelsior offers more efficient and affordable access to degree completion through multiple avenues: its own online courses and college-level proficiency examinations, and the acceptance in transfer of credit from other colleges and universities as well as recognized corporate and U.S. military training programs.

A proven leader in the assessment and validation of student knowledge, Excelsior offers the only college-based series of proficiency examinations that have been evaluated and recommended for credit by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT). Excelsior College Examinations (ECE) can be used to meet degree requirements at Excelsior and they are accepted at hundreds of other colleges to meet their degree requirements and for advanced placement purposes. By using appropriate resources provided by OERu member institutions and other recognized open courseware providers as study material, ECEs and UExcel Exams (a collaboration with Pearson Education) can be a highly affordable means for the independent learner to demonstrate academic proficiency in a variety of subjects.

Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. It also holds specialty accreditation for individual programs including that of the National League for Nursing, the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). It is also home to several honor societies including the Tau Kappa Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International, Honor Society of Nursing; Alpha Nu Sigma (applied nuclear science and nuclear engineering); and Alpha Sigma Lambda in the School of Liberal Arts.