Edward Waters College Loses Accreditation Appeal, Files Lawsuit

Edward Waters College Loses Accreditation Appeal, Files Lawsuit

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has turned down an appeal by Edward Waters College over the loss of its accreditation in a plagiarism scandal and the school has sued seeking an injunction to block the action.

The Jacksonville college lost its accreditation in December, two months after widespread plagiarism was discovered at the college. Edward Waters was founded in 1866 to educate newly freed slaves. The school enlisted the help of Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings and Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton and appealed the decision at a February hearing in Atlanta. It received notification days later that its appeal had been denied.

The chairman of the appeals committee, Kenneth Schwab, said the panel unanimously affirmed the decision to remove Edward Waters College from membership based on the integrity and governance standards of the college. The college learned of the decision in a letter to interim Edward Waters president Dr. Oswald Bronson Sr.

Students at unaccredited schools cannot receive federal financial aid, and other universities and potential employers may not recognize degrees or course credit from Edward Waters as valid.

It also means the school is not eligible for membership with the United Negro College Fund, a scholarship organization that requires member schools be accredited.

Associated Press

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