Accreditor Wants Answers From Marygrove

October 5, 2017

The Higher Learning Commission has issued a show-cause order to Marygrove College in Detroit because of financial issues and the college’s plans to end its undergraduate program.

The order means HLC has determined Marygrove does not meet criteria for accreditation and is now asking the college to demonstrate why its accreditation should not be withdrawn. It comes after Marygrove announced in August that it plans to shut down its undergraduate programs and only offer master’s degree programs as of January. Budget shortfalls and dropping enrollment led to the move, college leaders said at the time.

But HLC outlined several areas in which it concluded the college does not meet accreditation criteria, laying its concerns out in an Oct. 2 letter and in a public disclosure effective as of Sept. 25. Those areas include mission, the way the college represents itself to students and the public, governing board autonomy, sufficient faculty and staff levels, retention and completion, the college’s resource base, governance and planning. HLC also flagged several other areas of concern.

“The college’s current approved mission, which describes a liberal arts college significantly focused on undergraduate education, is no longer guiding its current operations, and the impact of changes planned at the college on the mission is not broadly understood,” said the top bulleted point in the Oct. 2 letter, which was signed by Barbara Gellman-Danley, HLC president.

The college must file a report by Jan. 1 and host HLC reviewers on campus by February. In June, HLC will decide whether the show-cause order can be removed. Marygrove will remain accredited while the order is in effect.

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