Graduate Students

SACS Official Casts Doubt on Degrees Awarded by Unaccredited Satellite Campus

August 11, 2008

The association that accredits North Carolina Central University does not recognize the bachelor’s degrees the institution awarded to 25 students who attended a now-defunct satellite program in Georgia, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The university and Bishop Eddie L. Long, pastor of the church that rented out classrooms for the satellite campus, closed the program in June after the accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, refused to sanction it. Any degrees earned through the program “would not be a degree from an accredited operation,” Tom E. Benberg, vice president and chief of staff of the SACS’s Commission on Colleges, told the Atlanta newspaper.

The News & Observer, in Raleigh, N.C., first reported the program’s closure on Sunday. Its article cited North Carolina Central officials who believed that because the parent institution, in Durham, was accredited, any degrees earned through the satellite program were still valid.

But Mr. Benberg told the Journal-Constitution it was unlikely that SACS would recognize the degrees. “I am not aware that we have ever done that,” he said. —Charles Huckabee