Morris Brown regain accreditation

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by chrisjm18, Apr 27, 2022.

  1. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

  2. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    “Regain” “restored” from SACS to TRACS. Obviously it is factually correct that they are now accredited again but it would have been a little more interesting to read if they had received regional accreditation again.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes it would. Amazing, in fact - but this is not (primarily, at least), a fiction forum. People tell lots of whoppers around here, but that's not our basic purpose. But stick around anyway, you'll likely hear some great ones! :)

    The amount of neglect and misrule that poor college survived, for so many years, it's a wonder yet another new administration was able to pull off what they did. This is the first time (and probably the last) that I was overjoyed to see that TRACS had approved a school. I am so glad this HBCU with so great a history did not die, as I was almost sure it would. Whatever I think of TRACS does not matter. It is legitimate, recognized National Accreditation.

    A GIANT step for a formerly beleaguered, languishing school. Yes, they may indeed go on to more prestigious accreditation, with time. But this is big stuff. Really big. My hat's off to the administration that accomplished this. :)
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2022
  4. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Inspiring stuff.
  5. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    One point of interest to me is how CNN and Amir Vera (the author) did not differentiate between RA and NA, esp. NA through TRACS. The lack of differentiation might merely be motivated by other priorities or it could be that this piece reflects a public opinion that genuinely doesn't differentiate. Given some of the changes as of the past half-decade, I'm inclined to accept the latter.
    JBjunior likes this.
  6. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    I think the author just doesn't know the difference, nor do I fault them for that. Amir Vera has a Bachelor's in Mass Communications and worked as a Sports Reporter before moving to Breaking News.
    JBjunior likes this.
  7. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    Maybe because ED no longer makes the distinction. SACSCOC and TRACS are both institutional accreditors.
    Michael Burgos likes this.
  8. Michael Burgos

    Michael Burgos Active Member

    That may be, but it still proves my point.
  9. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I don't see this as notable. The distinction is not important for this story.
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  10. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    The whole time, I thought Morris Brown College belongs to Clark Atlanta University.
  11. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    There is, I think, a general unwillingness among the American public to sit around and nitpick which equal in the eyes of USDOE is "real" accreditation versus "easy" accreditation. That's just my personal opinion. The fact of the matter is, there are some religious people who would take a TRACS accredited school any day. Some who may, in fact, think that TRACS is an advantage over the godless RA world. Meanwhile, HLC is taking heat because of all of the shady schools they accredit. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who, as a matter of principle, was willing to fight tooth and nail for the dignity of the University of Phoenix the same way someone might over the good name of Patrick Henry College.

    I can't back that up, of course. But I think the country is too big and our institutions already too confusing for anyone but the weirdos of this forum to really want to get into a heated debate over the pros and cons of certain accreditors.
    Michael Burgos likes this.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Neuhaus, for using the words "godless" and "weirdos of this forum." I truly appreciate being so acknowledged as both terms apply to me. :)
    I am a credal atheist,* or "godless heathen" in my own chosen terms. And I certainly enjoy my rightful place as one of the "weirdos," here. I hope I can some day be considered "one of the leading weirdos" - if that aspiration isn't too self-inflating. :)

    As such, I haven't usually cared much for TRACS, in the past. And I've said some godless things they might not have liked. The primary reason I didn't care for them was that they were founded by Creationists, or Young Earthers. My take: that's bunk. Some Creationism types wanted to start a Master's program in "Creation Science" at a Texas RA school some years back. The accreditor said basically "No you don't! It's not science! Accordingly, the program was binned - rightly so, as I see it. I don't generally like to see Creationism be promulgated and flower. I don't like that any more than I like crabgrass, or a Flat Earth Accreditation Commission. (Hopefully, there isn't one.)

    But what TRACS has done here is extremely praiseworthy. They've saved a 140-year-old HBCU from extinction. No other recognized US accreditor would have done what they did. So, for evermore, YAY TRACS!

    Credal Atheist: One who realizes, as there is no watertight proof of the nonexistence of God - it must be taken on Faith. :)
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I don't know what the long-term effect this decision will have, but in the short term, it is meaningless. All the players in the game that matter still make the distinction, and as we know, some players are "more equal" than others.

    I'm reminded of the time when the state of California, feeling strong on the issue, passed a law that equated California Approval (then programmatic, not institutional) with accreditation, claiming that the two would be legally indistinct in California.

    Remember, back then most unaccredited schools were California-Authorized, which was a perfunctory filing of affidavits regarding the operational intentions of the proposed school, plus its operating capital. No evaluation was made, and just about anyone could open up an "Authorized" school and begin awarding degrees left and right. And some very colorful characters did! But it was California Approval--where the state evaluated a program at an unaccredited school. The program would be California-Approved, but the school would remain California-Authorized. Approval was rare, hard to get, and sought-after. This three-tier situation once resulted in a school (International College) offering degrees with all three forms of recognition. (Its bachelor's degrees were conducted with an regionally accredited school, it's master's degree program was State-Approved, and its PhD was awarded as State-Authorized.) The first unaccredited DL school to offer all of its degrees under California Approval was that old stalwart, California Coast University.

    Anyway, California State Approval was a real thing, and passing a law equating it with accreditation (within the state) should have been, too. It wasn't. No one took that seriously, especially regionally accredited schools. (You would think they would be required by law to accept credits and degrees from California-Approved schools, but that simply never happened.) It simply went away.

    I don't know what will happen with the federal government's decision to lump all institutional accreditation into one bucket. But I have to think it will go nowhere, mainly because the vast majority of colleges and universities in America are regionally accredited and don't really care about these fringe schools from TRACS or DEAC. That doesn't mean graduates from those schools will be frozen out, of course. But it also doesn't mean they'll be automatically in with legal standing. Ain't gonna happen.
  14. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    SDO notified the following agencies that within 12 months, they must come into compliance with the specific criteria outlined in the SDO’s letter and submit a compliance report to the Department. If recognition is renewed following a decision on the compliance report, the period of recognition will not exceed five years from the date of today's SDO decision.

    • Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).
    • Council on Occupational Education (COE).
    • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).
  15. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    SDO notified TRACS that within 12 months, they must come into compliance with the specific criteria outlined in the SDO’s letter
  16. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    It doesn't change the fact that ED no longer makes the distinction.
  17. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Maybe the author goes by current info on USDE web site

    NA/RA division is no longer there.

    Types of Accreditation
    There are two basic types of educational accreditation, one referred to as "institutional" and the other referred to as "specialized" or "programmatic."

    Institutional accreditation applies to an entire institution, indicating that each of an institution's parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution's objectives.

    Specialized or programmatic accreditation normally applies to programs, departments, or schools that are parts of an institution. The accredited unit may be as large as a college or school within a university or as small as a curriculum within a discipline. Most of the specialized or programmatic agencies review units within an institution of higher education that is accredited by an institutional accrediting agency. However, certain agencies also accredit professional schools and other specialized or vocational institutions of higher education that are freestanding in their operations. Thus, a "specialized" or "programmatic" agency may also function in the capacity of an "institutional" agency. Some of these "institutions" are found within non-educational settings, such as hospitals.
  18. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Well, some of the players in the game will make that distinction. The fact is that there are a good many well established RA schools that will absolutely accept NA credits in transfer. That may not be stated policy. But they'll do it. Just like some colleges advertise that they accept ACE recommended credits (like the big three) while others state that nowhere but will still consider them.

    Programmatic accreditation is also a major factor. If you are transferring undergrad credits from a non-AACSB business school to one that is AACSB accredited, your credit transfer is limited. It doesn't matter if they are both RA. AACSB comes into play. We don't know what would happen if you took credits from DEAC/ABET Grantham and tried to transfer them into an RA/ABET program. It's such a small sample size that the results could be all over the place and still wouldn't really tell us anything useful. What we do know is that the landscape is changing. Programmatic accreditation is much more common than it once was for programs that, historically, just didn't have programmatic accreditation at some schools. Some programmatic accreditors have also broken down on that RA or the highway rule. And the reasoning, aside from money, is one that we all know too well; the idea that someone might leave a perfectly reputable school to become a senior administrator at a DEAC school would have been absurd years ago barring some career ending scandal. Nowadays, there's more movement between the worlds. And when that happens, connections go with you and influence follows.

    Huh, as I type that I realize it does just come back down to "money" after all. Still, the point is that I don't think it a ridiculous forecast to think that we'll see more programmatic accreditation of some NA schools. I would suspect this would be done less with DEAC in mind and more with accreditors like TRACS, ABHE or others in mind. If CACREP breaks down the barrier for ABHE programs then DEAC slipping in after them isn't unreasonable. If AACSB decides it wants some of that sweet, sweet religious right money from some TRACS schools then that could be the path in for a DEAC school*.

    The other thing is that while many employers, public and private, have a stated requirement of a degree from a school with regional accreditation my personal experience has shown that:

    1. Many of them don't actually check accreditation
    2. Many of them will accept NA as "fine" because they used the words "regionally accredited" and "accredited by a USDOE recognized accreditor" simultaneously and don't understand the difference anyway

    We also saw New York's ban on online law education, which was barring graduates of Syracuse's hybrid JD program, all but vanish because COVID forced all law schools to go online for a while. The Hybrid JD folks still need to apply for a waiver but, my understanding from colleagues at Syracuse is that these have been granted for all who applied for the past two years.

    Stuff is changing at a rapid pace. And, as in the case of the NY JD Bar issue, some of it creates legal issues that folks know they are likely to lose if it ever went to court. The reality is that WES is probably one swift lawsuit away from ending its war on DEAC and a flood of us shady NA grads rushing the Canadian border with renewed zeal.

    I agree we don't know how it will shake out in the long term. In the short term, though, I don't think the results are completely meaningless. I think they are maybe just less tangible than one might hope (or not, depending on your stance). But I think these are significant shifts nonetheless.

    *Assuming there would be a DEAC school that was even remotely capable of meeting the other requirements.
  19. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yes. And I'm suggesting that is a distinction without a difference.

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