Knoxville College in Tennessee was founded in 1875 by the United Presbyterian Church of North America. At its peak in the 1960s, enrollments reached 1,200 students. The college lost its accreditation in 1997.
The college took out a major loan in 2003 and used the 39-acre campus as collateral. In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency seized control of what had been the college’s science building because of the presence of toxic chemicals that had not been properly stored.
By 2015, there were only 11 students enrolled for the spring semester. That spring, Knoxville College announced that it would not hold any classes for the 2015-16 academic year. In 2018, the college once again began to offer classes but only online.
Now in an effort to regain accreditation, Knoxville College has formed a partnership with the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Students in the doctoral program in higher education administration program at the University of Tennessee will help Knoxville College officials complete the paperwork necessary to pursue reaccreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools. The university students will gain work experience in the accreditation process and become more familiar with higher education admnistration and finance.
“We are thrilled to partner with Knoxville College to give Ph.D. students an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in higher education leadership and to work with a key partner in this community,” said Robert Kelchen, professor and head of the department of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.