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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

One of the oldest HBCUs has its accreditation reaffirmed

One of the oldest HBCUs has its accreditation reaffirmed

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania has experienced difficulties recently, but the school has made a concerted effort to overcome its difficulties.

Monday was a landmark day in that process, as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education announced that CU’s accreditation was reaffirmed, officially removing one of the oldest HBCUs in the United States from probation, according to a report by Susan Snyder of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The reaffirmation did not come without a fight.

The MSCHE placed Cheyney back on probation in November, citing insufficient evidence that the university was meeting several required standards, including ethics and integrity, design and delivery of student learning experiences, planning, resources, and institutional improvement. There were also concerns about financial planning and budget processes.

State senator Vincent Hughes and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro advocated for the school, claiming that Cheyney made enough progress to be taken off of probation. Monday’s ruling was a victory for not just the university but the state of Pennsylvania.

“We thank the students, faculty, and the entire Cheyney community for their steadfast support of the university,” the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education said in a statement. “Cheyney is doing great work as it continues to grow and evolve to best serve its students.”

Hughes is concerned that the probation decision could sidetrack Cheyney’s progress. “But at the same time, we feel very good about where we are at Cheyney University. We have a long way to go, but things are going in the right direction. [The Middle States decision] affirms that and should give confidence to folks who are prepared to make commitments.”

Cheyney currently enrolls 700 students, up from 469 a few years ago. The school’s athletic programs (men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball) play an independent schedule made up of area Division III and community college-level opponents. The Wolves were longtime members of the Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference before an NCAA scandal placed the program on probation through 2019, which led to the cancellation of football.

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