Morris Brown College (MBC) is proud to announce it has received accreditation candidacy by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a Virginia-based accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This monumental achievement came after nearly 20 years of effort – marking a historical milestone for the 140-year-old college.
Morris Brown College earning accreditation candidacy is a major achievement demonstrating that it can meet quality standards and is engaged in continuous improvement. Candidacy indicates that the institution is in compliance with the standards and criteria, has been evaluated by an on-site peer team, and in the professional judgment of the evaluation team and the Accreditation Commission, the institution provides sound instruction and student services. As of July 1, 2020, the United States Department of Education holds all accrediting agencies to the same standards, and it no longer holds a distinction between regional and national accrediting agencies. In 2002, Morris Brown’s accreditation was revoked due to debt and financial mismanagement, which barred students from applying for Federal Financial Aid. In obtaining accreditation candidacy, Morris Brown is now eligible to apply to the U.S Department of Education to participate in financial aid programs and Title IV funding.
Founded by formerly enslaved religious leaders at Big Bethel AME Church in 1881, MBC is the first college in Georgia to be owned and operated by African Americans. The iconic Fountain Hall and the current Morris Brown campus are where Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois wrote “The Souls of Black Folk” in 1903. Notable alumni include Alberta Williams King, mother of Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Alan McPherson, the first Black writer to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Bishop of the 6th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church said, “We’ve made tremendous progress within the past two years under Dr. Kevin James’ leadership. The funds raised at Homecoming 2020 and Founder’s Day 2021 marked the largest Homecoming and Founder’s Day fundraising events respectively in the past 20 years.
Overall, giving is up and the momentum under this administration is like none we have seen in recent history. The revitalization of the institution’s academic programs and student services, including new programs such as Global Management & Applied Leadership, E-Sports Performance, and Hospitality Management, will place the next generation of students as global competitors.”
The accreditation candidacy comes on the heels of a rewarding partnership between the college and CGI Merchant Group, LLC, a minority-owned global investment management firm with a focus on real estate and private equity. It will make a $30 million investment in the historic college to convert existing facilities into a 150-key upscale Hilton hotel and hospitality management training complex. Construction of the 90,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility is expected to begin the latter part of 2021.
“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 twenty-year hiatus and the first HBCU to have a flagged hotel on its campus for a hospitality education program. These achievements have sparked other closed HBCU’s to try again.
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. We have so many amazing projects coming up in the pipeline that will prepare our students for academic success and jobs. We ask the community to continue to support our mission by donating to the college. Additionally, we are seeking a seven-figure gift from an individual or corporation to move the institution forward. It is a new day for Morris Brown College!” said.