Three HBCUs Face Accreditation Issues

Earlier this month the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools took a number of actions regarding the accreditation status of three historically Black colleges and universities. All three HBCUs remain fully accredited at this time but the commission’s actions show that members have some concerns about either the academic programs, governing policies, or financial stability of these HBCUs.

Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, was first placed on probation in December 2014. In most instances, probation can only last for two years. But the commission can extend the period if the college has demonstrated it is making progress in meeting the commission’s concerns and the college has shown that it will be able to remedy all the issues over the next 12 months. The commission still has concerns over the financial stability of the college. The commission will send representatives to the Bennett College campus in the fall of 2017 and address the institution’s accreditation at its next meeting in December 2017.

Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, was placed on probation by the commission due to concerns over financial stability. The commission is now requiring the university to show that it has a sound financial base and resources, it can demonstrate financial stability, and that it has a governing process that exercises control over the university’s financial resources. Next December, the commission could extend the probation for another year, remove the university from probation, or rescind accreditation.

Saint Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas, was placed on warning status by the commission. This status means that commission had concerns following the comprehensive 2016 accreditation review that is conducted every 10 years. The commission had concerns about several academic practices at the college and also the relationship between the board and the administration. In December 2017, the commission could remove the institution from warning status, continue the warning status, place the college on probation, or rescind accreditation.


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