Morris Brown College is closer than ever to receiving accreditation, after 20 years, with the approval of its candidacy with TRACS.
(Photo Credit: Morris Brown College)
Morris Brown College recently announced that it received accreditation candidacy through the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), after going nearly 20 years without accreditation.
The 140-year-old college lost accreditation in 2002, due to debt and financial mismanagement,
which barred students from applying for Federal Financial Aid.
“We are elated about accreditation candidacy and making history,” said Kevin James, president of Morris Brown College. “I want to thank all the faculty and staff for their hard work. We intend on making history as the first HBCU to regain its status after a twenty-year hiatus and the first HBCU to have a flagged hotel on its campus for a hospitality education program.”
“These achievements have sparked other closed HBCU’s to try again. Without the resilience, support, and prayers from the Board of Trustees, African Methodist Episcopal church, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community, we would not be here.”
Regaining accreditation for the college was James’s top priority since becoming the interim president in 2019 and officially being confirmed as president in 2020. In addition, he’s worked to raise funds, involve alumni, and create partnerships with businesses and other institutions.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Bishop of the 6th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church said, “We’ve made tremendous progress within the past two years under Dr. Kevin James’ leadership. The funds raised at Homecoming 2020 and Founder’s Day 2021 marked the largest Homecoming and Founder’s Day fundraising events respectively in the past 20 years.”
“Overall, giving is up and the momentum under this administration is like none we have seen in recent history. The revitalization of the institution’s academic programs and student services, including new programs such as Global Management & Applied Leadership, E-Sports Performance, and Hospitality Management, will place the next generation of students as global competitors.”
To become a candidate for accreditation from TRACS, Morris Brown had to demonstrate that it was in compliance with certain standards and criteria, and undergo an evaluation by an on-site peer team, resulting in a good report from the evaluation team and accreditation commission.
Once accreditation is received Morris Brown will be able to apply to the U.S. Department of Education to participate in financial aid programs and Title IV funding.
The accreditation candidacy comes on the heels of a rewarding partnership between the college and CGI Merchant Group, LLC, a minority-owned global investment management firm with a focus on real estate and private equity.
It will make a $30 million investment in the historic college to convert existing facilities into a 150-key upscale Hilton hotel and hospitality management training complex.
Construction of the 90,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility is expected to begin the latter part of 2021.
“We have so many amazing projects coming up in the pipeline that will prepare our students for academic success and jobs. We ask the community to continue to support our mission by donating to the college. Additionally, we are seeking a seven-figure gift from an individual or corporation to move the institution forward. It is a new day for Morris Brown College,” James said.