After two years on probation, in December 2019 the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) notified historically Black Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, that it would lose its accreditation. Bennett College promptly appealed the commission’s decision.
The appeal was heard by the Appeals Committee of the College Delegate Assembly on February 18. On February 22, the committee rejected the appeal. In a statement, the SACSCOC stated that the decision to revoke accreditation was “reasonable, not arbitrary, and based on the standards cited.” Despite the raising of $8 million by the college in an emergency fundraising drive, the SACSCOC statement went on to say that “the Appeals Committee found that Bennett College had failed to show that the institution possesses resources demonstrating a stable financial base to support the mission and scope of programs and services.”
The college immediately filed a lawsuit and obtained a court order under which the college would retain its accreditation while the litigation ran its course. That suit is still pending.
The college has also sought accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Recently, Bennett College was awarded candidate status for accreditation by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. Candidacy status grants Bennett accreditation privileges — including access to federal funding — as the college proceeds through the accreditation process’s final stages.This process can take several years and the college will remain accredited throughout the process.
“This is a major accomplishment for our institution,” said Susan Walsh, president of Bennett College. “It affirms that we are on a clear, secure path forward as our students, staff, faculty, alumnae and supporters all work together to reimagine Bennett College.”