Morris Brown poised to become first HBCU to regain accreditation after almost 20 years

Morris Brown, the Historically Black College in Atlanta, had its accreditation revoked in 2002.

The administration at Morris Brown College recently announced the institution’s accreditation application with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) has been approved. 

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According to The Atlanta Voice, Dr. Kevin James, president of Morris Brown, revealed the news which could result in a huge victory for the small HBCU. TRACS is set to visit the campus in January 2021 for a final evaluation before candidacy consideration in April 2021. If the review is successful, Morris Brown could enjoy full accreditation.

Morris Brown College
(Credit: Morris Brown College)

“This is history in the making,” James said according to The Atlanta Voice. “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.”

Morris Brown College lost its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) back in 2002 due to debt and financial mismanagement the news outlet reported.

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The school reached fundraising heights with a virtual 2020 homecoming. According to Dr. James, Morris Brown collected $500,000 toward the accreditation application through October. A donation of $100,000 from Dr. Sheree Jones Dixon, MD, class of 1977, solidified the campaign goal. The news was shared in an Instagram video upload by the university president himself.

“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,” said Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Bishop of the 6th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church according to The Atlanta Voice.

“The funds raised at this year’s homecoming represents the largest homecoming fundraiser in the past twenty years. The state’s 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 approval Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission and now accreditation application approval with TRACS are clear signs that Morris Brown College is headed in the right direction and gaining momentum for its future”.

Founded in 1979, TRACS is “authorized to pre-accredit and accredit institutions offering certificates, diplomas, and associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees; including institutions that offer distance education,” according to its website. HBCU member institutions include Bennett College, Paine College, Paul Quinn College, and Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Notable alumni of Morris Brown include the late actor Thomas Byrd, Queen of Comedy Sommore, civil rights activist Hosea Williams, reality star and personality NeNe Leakes, and former NFL Players George Atkinson, Donte Curry, and Ezra Johnson among others.

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