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SACS probation for Bishop State extended 6 months


Bishop State Community College will remain on probation for another six months, a decision by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools that cited failures in financial and academic areas.

The extended probation was announced Thursday by the association as Bishop State’s president, state Rep. Yvonne Kennedy, faces a possible state school board vote June 28 on her future at the two-year school in Mobile.

Belle S. Wheelan, president of the SACS Commission on Colleges, said the decision to extend probation was based on violation of five policies:

A lack of integrity in college operations;

Failure to comply with rules governing federal financial aid;

A lack of qualified administrative and academic leaders;

Inadequate financial stability for college operations:

Failure to demonstrate that its graduates have acquired college-level skills and knowledge.

Bishop State spokesman Herb Jordan said neither Kennedy nor the college had a response to the SACS decision.

SACS, the accrediting agency for 11 Southeastern states, sanctioned Bishop State in December. At its meeting Thursday in Ponte Vedra, Fla., it considered clearing the college, extending probation or withdrawing accreditation.

If accreditation is withdrawn, one of the consequences is that students cannot receive federal aid. About 80 percent of the 3,600 students at Bishop State receive financial aid.

Bradley Byrne, chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system, has said that he will give the nine-member state school board his recommendation to retain or fire Kennedy at the board’s June 28 meeting.

Byrne told the Press-Register on Thursday that the extended probation does not help Kennedy’s case.

Information from: Press-Register,

–Associated Press

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