Wilberforce University, America's Oldest Private HBCU, Keeps Accreditation


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  • Sam Allard / Scene
Ohio's Wilberforce University, the oldest private historically black college in the country, has retained its accreditation.

Officials from the Higher Learning Commission, the accrediting body, notified university officials Thursday that the show-cause order issued in June, 2014, has been lifted.

Since that time, when the university's accreditation was threatened, campus officials have demonstrated improvement on five key components essential to the restoration of university health. A new president, a largely re-vamped board of trustees and new key administrators, plus student leaders, have worked in teams on enrollment, fundraising, infrastructure, and curriculum, to align themselves with other accredited colleges, and to comply with HLC criteria.

"The Board finds the commitment to those challenges have been demonstrated," the HLC wrote in a statement. "The current administration has created realistic, financial projections which will help the University and its future plans."

Those financial projections are aided in large part by a $4 million gift from the African Methodist Episcopal Church, with which the university is affiliated. 

Scene visited Wilberforce in September, 2014, when administrators were working tirelessly to prepare a report for the HLC and their upcoming campus visit. Officials submitted a 3,000 page report to in December and hosted an HLC team in April, 2015.

Wilberforce students and families can now breathe a little easier. The school is in good standing.

Go Bulldogs. 


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