Campus With A History
Thomas Edison State College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). This prestigious accreditation is part of a national system of quality assurance which requires colleges and universities to reach a common understanding and agreement as to the standards of quality for American higher education.
Thomas Edison State College’s campus comprises five buildings located in the historic district surrounding New Jersey’s State Capitol Building in Trenton, N.J.
Students rarely visit the campus. They complete courses, take exams and earn their degrees wherever it is convenient for them. For many, it’s their home. For others, it’s the office or the local library. For most military students, it’s wherever they are deployed.
However, graduates who attend the College’s annual Commencement and students who live close enough to take an exam or meet with an advisor at the College are able to enjoy the beauty of the College's buildings and environment. In creating its campus over the years, the College has restored several historic buildings and has built a new one.
Thomas Edison State College moved to Trenton in 1979 and established its headquarters in the Kelsey Building, built in 1911 and one of the architectural landmarks of the city. Since that time, the College has been active in restoring several historic buildings of downtown Trenton,preserving the essence of the city’s legendary past and stimulating economic development.
From the Kelsey Building on West State Street, the campus expands west, to five restored mid-19th-century brick townhouses adjoining the Kelsey Building. Farther down West State Street is the early-20th-century Kuser Mansion. These buildings, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are complemented by the modern Academic Center and the newly constructed Canal Banks Building, both located a block north, on West Hanover Street.
The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College, occupies an historic site at the middle of the State House block. The Kelsey Building and Townhouse Complex occupy what was originally the highest elevation of the bluff running through downtown Trenton along the eastern side of the Delaware Valley.
Between the townhouses and the State House, Petty’s Run (now being excavated as part of a state-funded project) flows to the Delaware River. In the early 1730s, Petty’s Run powered a plating mill, and by mid-century drove a steel furnace. Both the mill and the furnace were the earliest facilities of their type in New Jersey, foreshadowing Trenton’s role as an industrial center. From these pre-Revolutionary beginnings came the establishment of our College’s “spiritual ancestor,” the School of Industrial Arts, the Kelsey Building’s former occupant.
Today, Thomas Edison State College is proud to occupy the Kelsey Building and the rest of our campus buildings in Trenton as it continues its mission of providing flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults.