Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HBCUs Go Up for Accreditation Again: Fisk and Tenn State Have Trouble

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

Ten Historically Black Colleges in the south had their accreditation renewed last week by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Two HBCUs, Fisk University and Tennessee State, were placed on "warning" status, with their accreditation pending their commitment to resolving some issues brought up by the evaluation committee. The warning status is one step away from probation, which can lead to the loss of accreditation.

The universities approved for accreditation included Alabama State, Bethune Cookman, Grambling, North Carolina A&T, Prairie View, South Carolina State, Southern University-Baton Rouge, Xavier of New Orleans, Virginia Union and Winston Salem State University in North Carolina.

Universities must seek out accreditation once every 10 years. There are over 80 different standards that campuses must meet to be reaffirmed. Accreditation is important for every university, with some HBCUs struggling to make the mark. The struggle can be linked directly to a lack of resources, leading to many HBCUs hiring professors from other countries to fulfill research requirements. In fact, in business and the sciences, many HBCUs don't have more than one or two African American professors, which seems to defeat the purpose of attending an HBCU in the first place.


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