Morris Brown College is on par to become the first HBCU to regain its accreditation nearly 20 years after losing it. The Atlanta-based institution announced Wednesday, Nov. 11, that its application with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) has been approved. The association is due to visit the campus in early 2021 to make a final evaluation, The Atlanta Voice reported.
“This is history in the making,” Morris Brown President Dr. Kevin James said in a statement. “Morris Brown intends to become the first HBCU to earn its accreditation back twenty years after losing it. When Morris Brown achieves candidacy status, hopefully by April 2021, it will give the college all the rights of a fully accredited college, which allows students to receive federal financial aid. Additionally, student degrees will be recognized by other schools and/or employers.”
Established in 1881, Morris Brown was once a core member of the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Consortium – which also includes notables HBCUs Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and the Morehouse School of Medicine.
It had to withdraw from the consortium after losing its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2002 due to financial mismanagement and debt. It was right after the institution had received widespread publicity from Nick Cannon’s hit movie “Drumline.”
Students transferred in masse to other AUC institutions and other Atlanta-area colleges like Georgia State University. Enrollment went from 2,500 students to its current roster of 53 students today, according to The Associated Press (AP).
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Limited resources and other struggles have caused other HBCUs to close over the years. Therefore, former Morris Brown students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters of the college expressed excitement at the news.
“This is great news. I probably would have never left Morris Brown College had it not lost its accreditation. It was a special place,” Howard University Afro American Studies professor Mario Beatty tweeted. “There are many folks to thank for this, but I will give a special mention to Dr. Gloria Anderson. I know she put her heart & soul into this struggle.”
“This really warms my heart. I graduated from MBC in March 2003. We were the last class to graduate under accreditation. School was appealing the denial and was still officially accredited. The last semester was short and stressful,” tweeted alum Arnice Brown.
“As a ‘92 Morehouse grad and on the yard when Morris Brown was still thriving (88-92) I’m very happy about this! Good times in The Towers, will they ever be the same,” Rod Delph tweeted.
The college has been working towards this moment since it lost its accreditation in 2002. This year, it raised over half a million dollars during its virtual homecoming in October.
The school currently offers a variety of certificates and degrees programs in business, music, psychology, etc. James is optimistic that regaining accreditation with TRACS will allow the school to compete for funding and draw more students to its campus.
“The institution now has national visibility and resurgence. I am also excited about the revitalization of the institution’s academic programs and student services, including new programs such as Esports Performance, Global Management and Applied Leadership, and Hospitality Management. Morris Brown can now compete again, and great things are in store for MBC,” James said.
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