Local & State
|Johnson C. Smith University earns accreditation from regional board|
|School was on probation over finances|
|Published Tuesday, December 11, 2018 1:32 pm|
Johnson C. Smith University’s accreditation has been reaffirmed a year after it was put on hold over financial issues.
JCSU officials confirmed Tuesday the college earned a 10-year accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which is key for students to access government-funded financial aid.
“Johnson C. Smith University has been a beacon in higher education for 151 years,” first-year President Clarence D. Armbrister said in a statement. “We are gratified the quality of our educational programs, faculty and leadership has again been recognized and that our accreditation has been reaffirmed.”
JCSU, which has an enrollment of 1,565 students, has been accredited since 1933, but was put on probation last year. JCSU was among four North Carolina schools sanctioned last year, along with St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh, Belmont Abbey College in Belmont and Bennett College in Greensboro. St. Augustine’s and Bennett are both HBCUs.
“Congratulations are in order for our faculty, staff and our new president who have worked hard to demonstrate the excellence of the education JCSU provides,” JCSU board of trustees Chair Shirley J. Hughes said. “Accreditation is an accolade that helps illuminate what a significant asset JCSU is to this community and to North Carolina.”
JCSU, like other small liberal arts campuses, have faced daunting economic realities since the Great Recession of 2008. As federal and state funding have been cut, more schools are tapping into reserves to enroll students and fund programs. On average, JCSU students face a tuition gap of about $5,000 a year – which costs the school more than $5 million annually.
“Johnson C. Smith will continue to make higher education accessible to talented, hard-working students who deserve the opportunity to grow and achieve,” Armbrister said. “We are molding the next generation of leaders and are doing everything we can to ensure that those young people who want the kind of educational experience we offer are able to acquire it.”
JCSU’s endowment has grown to $68 million, campus officials say, and the university last year increased unrestricted assets by $2.5 million. The school also finished a $160 million fundraising campaign last year.
Renewed accreditation is the latest chapter in JCSU’s ongoing financial saga, which dates to 2015 when former trustee Talmadge Fair – a 1961 graduate – sought a public examination of the school’s fiscal viability. Colleges that lose accreditation are ineligible for federal financial aid – an essential tool for HBCUs, where the majority of students are often first-generation collegians from low-income families.
“Over the past year our faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to meet SACSCOC standards and preserve JCSU’s ability to provide high-quality education to future generations,” Armbrister wrote in a letter emailed to alumni. “Of particular note is the university’s sound financial status. JCSU’s endowment has grown to $68 million, and the university last year saw an increase of $2.5 million in its unrestricted operating net assets. We also recently completed a comprehensive $160 million fundraising campaign, thanks in large part to the generosity of alumni like you.”
|This is great news for one of the best HBCU|
University . As an alumni of J C S U , go Golden Bulls .
Jimmie Joseph 59
|Posted on December 13, 2018|
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