Morris Brown set to become first HBCU to earn its accreditation back 20 years after losing it

Ama Nunoo Nov 12, 2020 at 09:00am

November 12, 2020 at 09:00 am | News, The Black Agenda

Ama Nunoo

Ama Nunoo | Staff Writer

November 12, 2020 at 09:00 am | News, The Black Agenda

Morris Brown College in Atlanta to gain accreditation after nearly 20 years of revocation due to debt and financial mismanagement. KENT D. JOHNSON/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM (KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC)

After losing accreditation in 2002 over financial mismanagement, debt and embezzlement, Morris Brown, a historically Black college, is set to be the first HBCU to regain its accreditation after twenty years of it being revoked. Dr. Kevin James, president of Morris Brown College, recently made public the news of the new accreditation approval by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).

Established in 1881, Morris Brown gaining full accreditation status means the HBCU will now have access to state funding which translates to being able to offer financial aid to students in need, plus certifications from the school will now be recognized by the relevant bodies.

“This is history in the making. Morris Brown intends to become the first HBCU to earn its accreditation back twenty years after losing it,” James said.

Authorities are hopeful that Morris Brown will achieve candidacy status by April 2021 to give it all the rights of a fully accredited college, Atlanta voice reports.

Accreditation is usually a third-party procedure that evaluates and approves a school’s competency to meet standard educational benchmarks.

Thus, it was prudent of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) to revoke the accreditation of Morris Brown when it fell below standard in 2002. The school encountered several financial troubles to filing for bankruptcy in 2012.  

Also, a former president and financial aid director plead guilty to embezzlement which led to Morris Brown exiting the Atlanta University Center, a consortium of neighboring HBCUs, like Spelman College and Morehouse College.

This new status is great news for alumni and prospective students who have dreamt of attending this HBCU. The reinstatement will attract more students because the initial anomalies prevented people from attending Morris Brown with a little background check.

Morris Brown’s getting back on track is a “proud” moment for many; Rochelle Myrick tweeted: “Very proud to be a Morris Brown College Alumni every damn day!”

At a point, the institution survived on donations from alumni, the sponsoring African Methodist Episcopal Church, and other churches. Sadly, much of its property was sold to settle debts.

The future is now bright for Morris Brown. “I am excited about the future of Morris Brown College under Dr. James’ leadership. Morris Brown has made tremendous progress within the last twenty months. The funds raised at this year’s homecoming represents the largest homecoming fundraiser in the past twenty years,” Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Bishop of the 6th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, said.

The HBCU held its 2020 virtual homecoming successfully raising over $550,000. According to James, 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.” 

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