College History

In December 1963, the N.J. State Department of Education granted approval for the establishment of Atlantic Community College, which became the second college to be organized by the state on April 14, 1964. The site for the College was selected on November 19, 1964, and official groundbreaking ceremonies were held in Mays Landing in November 1966. Atlantic Cape opened its doors to students in September 1966 using facilities rented from Atlantic City High School. In February 1968, the College moved to the current main campus at 5100 Black Horse Pike (U.S. Route 322) in Mays Landing.

In the spring of 1982, major work was completed on a two-year, $7 million expansion project, which included two new buildings, expanded student service facilities, the Academy of Culinary Arts, and additional classroom and office space. In that same year, the former Atlantic City Electric Company building, located in Atlantic City, was purchased by Atlantic County for Atlantic Cape. By 1984, a $4 million renovation project transformed the aging building into a modern facility. With the aid of $5.5 million in state and county funding, the College undertook expansion of the library building in Mays Landing in 1990 and built a two-story Academy of Culinary Arts facility in 1991. In 2009-2010, the College renovated the gymnasium locker rooms and added a state-of-the-art fitness center for students and staff. The Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) building opened in January 2015 on the Mays Landing Campus. The 32,475-square-foot, two-story facility features modern science labs, computer labs, office space and a partially vegetated roof with walkways and a telescope viewing area. The building is also home to the Air Traffic Control and Aviation Studies degree programs and the Technology Studies Institute.

In 2018, the College opened the 22,000-square-foot, two-story Student Center at the Mays Landing Campus, which houses student activities on the first floor and the Student Success and Career Planning Center on the second floor. The $10.9 million facility increases the college’s capacity to provide accelerated learning classes, career and personal counseling and academic advising. It also provides space for student seminars, career planning and student engagement.

Since 1973, the College has been the main provider of community college education to Cape May County residents. On January 1, 1999, Atlantic Cape officially became a joint college encompassing Atlantic and Cape May counties. The Board of Trustees approved a new name for the joint college, Atlantic Cape Community College, in February 1999. A comprehensive Cape May County Campus on Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House, Middle Township, opened in September 2005.

The College's Atlantic City Campus was renamed in memory of Atlantic County's first county executive, Charles D. Worthington, in April 2001. A plaque in the building lobby marks the renaming of the facility as the Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Center. Mr. Worthington was involved with the College, first as chairperson of its Educational Opportunity Fund Advisory Board and then as Atlantic County Executive in supporting the establishment of many College programs and the development of the Atlantic City Campus. In 2008, the Health Professions Institute opened, with additional rooms for college credit classes at the Worthington Atlantic City Campus. The Caesars Entertainment Wing for Hospitality and Gaming Studies at the Worthington Atlantic City Campus opened in the fall of 2014. This 20,000-square-foot addition brings the College's renowned culinary and hospitality training to Atlantic City, featuring two teaching kitchens, a greenhouse, classrooms and a new gaming floor for The Casino Career Institute.