Morris Brown College obtains accreditation
A two-decades-long journey has led to Morris Brown College received its accreditation. The Virginia-based Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) voted Tuesday to grant Morris Brown full accreditation status.
Morris Brown’s president, Dr. Kevin E. James said the college regained its accreditation “due to a lot of hard work and dedication.“ With its newly acquired accreditation status, Morris Brown students can now apply for federal loans and Pell grants.
In 2002, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools revoked Morris Brown’s accreditation because of the school’s ballooning debt. Students attending the school without the accreditation credentials.
were unable to receive federal financial aid. Speaking about the college’s accreditation, James said in an interview, “We’re excited about it. A lot of people had written us off. But due to a lot of hard work and dedication, we were able to regain our accreditation.”
TRACS President Timothy Eaton said in a telephone interview the college met its requirements for having enough faculty members to teach coursework. Eaton said Morris Brown also “demonstrated a sound fundraising strategy and had some successful fundraising.”
“Morris Brown has been very diligent in doing what we asked them to do during the process,” Eaton said. The association will conduct annual reviews of Morris Brown’s finances and audits as part of the post-accreditation process, Eaton said.
Named for one of the bishops of the Georgia Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Morris Brown was founded in 1881 and represented the first institution of higher education in Georgia created by Black people for Black students.
In addition to the college’s debt problems, other issues were exposed including its president and financial aid director being put on probation after pleading guilty to embezzlement charges; a plummeting enrollment from about 2,500 students before the revocation to just a few dozen several years later; and an inability to pay its water bills.
Morris Brown filed for bankruptcy in 2012 but continued to educate students. In 2021, Morris Brown had about 50 students, offering bachelor’s degrees in hospitality management, music, and psychology. In addition, the college offers certificates in business entrepreneurship, eSports, and nonprofit management.