Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Friday, November 13, 2015

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

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 9:41 AM

click to enlarge SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • 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. 

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.