After a year in limbo, Johnson C. Smith University officials announced Tuesday that its accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Although JCSU has maintained its accreditation since 1933, the school has spent the past year on probation after a SACSCOC review cited concerns about the university’s financial stability and financial aid audits.
“Johnson C. Smith University has been a beacon in higher education for 151 years,” said JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister, who took over leadership earlier this year. “We are gratified the quality of our educational programs, faculty and leadership has again been recognized and that our accreditation has been reaffirmed.”
Accreditation is a key measure for any school that accepts federal financial aid. JCSU, which enrolled 1,565 students this year, committed to providing “gap funding” for students who can’t afford tuition despite federal subsidies. According to the university, its students face a gap of about $5,000 a year — which costs the university more than $5 million annually.
In a time when higher education is facing cuts at the state and federal levels, JCSU recently completed a campaign that raised $160 million. School officials said it also grew its endowment to $68 million and increased its unrestricted operating assets by $2.5 million.
“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,” said JCSU Board Chair Shirley J. Hughes. “Accreditation is an accolade that helps illuminate what a significant asset JCSU is to this community and to North Carolina.”