After 20 years, Atlanta HBCU Morris Brown College has received full accreditation after losing it due to debt and financial mismanagement, according to CNN. The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools voted to grant accreditation to the historically Black Atlanta college at its annual meeting on Tuesday.
Morris Brown College saw its enrollment range from 2,000 students to less than 50 in 2019. To face its debt and infrastructure problems, the school’s board of trustees offered to close the college’s doors for good–that way, the grounds could theoretically be converted into a museum or a site for private development. However, Kevin James, officially named president in May 2020, wanted to press on with a “hard reset.” He believed that Morris Brown had a chance to survive.
In 2021, Morris Brown officially received accreditation candidacy by TRACS. That meant the college was in basic compliance with the standards and criteria of TRACS and has been evaluated by an on-site peer team that found the institution provides sound instruction and student services.
“Many thought that this feat was impossible, but due to our strong faith in God, our hardworking and wonderful faculty and staff, the support of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, our dedicated alumni, and our resilient spirit, we were able to achieve full accreditation,” college President Kevin James said in a statement.
Reaccreditation means the school can apply for federal education funding that could go toward student financial aid and Pell Grants or on-campus housing, so long as the college remains compliant with federal conditions and standards. It currently offers a handful of bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management, music, and psychology. It also offers certificates in business entrepreneurship, eSports, and nonprofit management.
Dr. Rashad Sanford, founder of Atlanta Spine Doctors, co-founder of the popular restaurant Breakfast at Barney’s, and Morris Brown alum, recently set up a scholarship to assist students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.