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Morris Brown College receives accreditation candidacy after 20 years

"It's a new day for Morris Brown College," President Kevin James said.

ATLANTA — Morris Brown College has received its accreditation candidacy, the school announced Tuesday -- an achievement 20 years in the making.

"It's a new day for Morris Brown College," President Kevin James said. 

The historically Black college, founded in 1881, lost its accreditation along with federal funding in 2002 due to financial mismanagement, which nearly forced the school's closure.

The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a Virginia-based accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education granted the 140-year-old college the candidacy.

“We are elated about accreditation candidacy and making history. 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 20-year hiatus and the first HBCU to have a flagged hotel on its campus for a hospitality education program," James stated. "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.

Here's what accreditation candidacy means:

  • It means the institution is in compliance with the standards and criteria.
  • It has been evaluated by an on-site peer team. 
  • The institution provides sound instruction and student services in the professional judgment of the evaluation team and Accreditation Commission. 
  • Morris Brown is now able to apply to the U.S Department of Education to participate in financial aid programs and Title IV funding.

RELATED: Morris Brown College moves closer to full accreditation

According to the TRACS website, "While candidacy indicates that an institution appears to have the potential to achieve accreditation within the prescribed five-year period, this level of recognition does not guarantee the institution will become accredited."

Last July, the United States Department of Education decided to hold all accrediting agencies to the same standards, the release noted. The agency no longer holds a distinction between regional and national accrediting agencies.

Morris Brown also has multiple projects in the works related to student achievement and post-college careers. James said he hopes the community continues to support the institution's mission by donating to the college. 

"We are seeking a seven-figure gift from an individual or corporation to move the institution forward," James stated in the press release.

The school announced in March of 2019 that it was working to rebuild the brand and receive accreditation. 

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