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HBCU looking to regain accreditation after nearly 30 years

HBCU looking to regain accreditation after nearly 30 years


An HBCU in a rural Tennessee town is looking to regain accreditation after nearly 30 years.

Knoxville College, an HBCU founded 149 years ago, is looking to regain accreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), according to Knox News.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) withdrew Knoxville College’s accreditation back in 1997, making students ineligible for federal financial aid.

“The light on the hill has never burned out,” said former interim President Dr. Keith Lindsey. “We’ve got to learn from past mistakes in order to move this school forward. If Knoxville College wasn’t meant to be here it wouldn’t be here. And for those who say this school needs to be closed, they just don’t understand the significance of why this school is here in the first place and why it has continued to endure.”

HBCU, Knoxville CollegeHBCU, Knoxville College

The school’s enrollment problems date back to the 1970s. It lost its state accreditation and dropped to just 11 students back in 2015, causing a brief suspension in enrollment. The state of Tennessee eventually allowed the school to re-open, offering online classes only. 

There is a $10,000 fee with the accreditation application. The HBCU is $1.8 million in debt, according to its most recently filed Form 990 (an Internal Revenue Service form for tax-exempt organizations). The college also owes the city of Knoxville more than $28,000 in property tax, according to the city’s property tax database.

The accreditation application was previously promised the last two years, but never completed, according to the report. 

“We have gone through the process as a board in reviewing each of the 17 categories the school must meet that make up the application and we have approved all of those. So now it’s just a matter of submission, and as soon as we send that off we will make that information available to the public. I am confident that will happen within the next 30 days,” Bowie said.

Cheyney University was recently removed from accreditation probation.

HBCU looking to regain accreditation after nearly 30 years







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