Loss of Accreditation at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

New directions for higher education

Publication Date



For nearly two centuries, historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have provided educational opportunities to millions of students who were disenfranchised from traditional higher education institutions. HBCUs have provided African Americans and international students of color with a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. However, during the last couple of decades, some of these institutions have faced financial and institutional problems. In fact, a number of HBCUs have lost accreditation. Some higher education professionals argue that HBCUs are no longer needed in American education. This author disagrees, stating that HBCUs provide an opportunity for students of color to examine their culture and to understand that they can be academically successful. This chapter provides an examination of accreditation problems at HBCUs. Specifically, the author examines the situation at Morris Brown College (Atlanta, Georgia), Barber-Scotia College (Concord, North Carolina), and Paul Quinn College (Dallas, Texas), giving more attention to Morris Brown because of the complexity of its situation. Next, she provides her own analysis as to whether these three schools should close or continue to operate. The author also provides specific recommendations for each of the institutions. Finally, she provides four recommendations for HBCUs currently in immediate danger of losing their accreditation.