NLR college gets OK from accrediting group

Posted: November 6, 2017 at 2:24 a.m.

One private college has regained accreditation, while another is seeking its first ever accreditation from the same agency.

Shorter College, a historically black private college in North Little Rock, received a reaffirmation of its accreditation for a 10-year term by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, according to a news release. In 1998, the college — facing a $1 million tax lien, internal conflict and financial destitution — was stripped of its accreditation.

The association awarded the college a five-year accreditation as a Category I institution to offer certificates, diplomas and associate degrees in October 2013, according to a news release.

Another private institution — Champion Christian College in Hot Springs — has earned candidacy status with the same accrediting agency and initial certification from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. The status is an early approval before the school is fully reviewed for accreditation, according to the agency’s manual.

The private college — once known as Champion Baptist College — has existed since 2005 but only offered church-related training and did not need certification from the state department, nor did it need accreditation from the association, the department said. Champion Christian now wants to offer an associate and a bachelor’s degree in professional studies, which means it now needs both accreditation and certification.

The state Higher Education Coordinating Board has given the Hot Springs college the OK for a three-year institutional planning and development certification. The school must be ready to apply for initial certification of courses and degree programs by the end of the institutional planning and development period, according to board policy.

Accreditation allows higher education institutions to take part, if they wish, in Title IV programs, including the federal Pell grants, which are funds typically reserved for low-income students and do not have to be repaid, and the federal loan program. It can also facilitate the transfer of college credits should students move to another institution or enroll in a graduate program.