Mid-Continent loses accreditation, affiliation with university system

Mid-Continent University is no longer an accredited university and the president of the commission in charge of carrying out that process said the fact the school isn’t offering classes means it isn’t in compliance with several of the accreditation requirements.

“They had no students. They are not offering any courses. They are not offering any degrees. They have no faculty. What would we accredit?” said Belle Wheelan.

She’s the president of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) and said the university failed to comply with 14 core requirements like faculty competence, student support services and it didn’t have financial stability.  The university can appeal.

“Either they can prove that we didn’t follow our procedure in dropping them or that the decision was unnecessary or arbitrary,” Wheelan said.

Mid-Continent Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Butler said he doesn’t know of any plans to file an appeal.  With this decision, Mid-Continent wouldn’t be eligible for state or federal financial aid.  The school could continue to operate, separate from SACS, and re-apply for accreditation.

“At the moment there is not an option to resume classes and be accredited.  At the time of their hearing, you either have to be in compliance or you’re not in compliance,” Wheelan said.  

In an email, Butler told Local 6 about the future of resuming classes, “We still have several steps to get through before that.  I have no estimate how long that will take.  I believe we can make it happen.  The trustees are committed to that goal.”

Students who graduated are not affected by the accreditation decision.  Wheelan said the students who earned a degree did so when the university was accredited and have valid diplomas.

To view the SACS report, click here.  To view the SACS principles on accreditation, click here.

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