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Liberty makes accreditation change

June 11, 2008 : Teresa Dunham

Liberty University has voluntarily withdrawn from its accreditation through the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).
 
For many years, Liberty has maintained accreditation through both TRACS and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) — but one accreditation is more than sufficient for the school to keep its strong academic reputation.

“Most schools only have one [accrediting body],” said Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. “SACS has always been our primary accrediting agency.”

The proper accreditation allows colleges to award federal financial aid and confer degrees that meet exceptional standards of quality. Both TRACS and SACS have provided that service.

The university was entirely satisfied with TRACS, Falwell Jr. explained, but maintaining both accreditations was not efficient.

  “It really was just a matter of time and resources,” he said.

Though LU will not seek further accreditation from TRACS, the university will continue to provide financial support for the association based in Forest, Va.

“Certainly we’re going to miss Liberty,” said TRACS Executive Director Russell G. Fitzgerald.

While Liberty University was one of TRACS’ higher profile schools, the association continues to work with 54 accredited and candidate institutions. Among those are Bob Jones University and Tennessee Temple University.

Fitzgerald said 99 percent of TRACS’ schools are only accredited by one institution. Liberty University was one of the first schools to join TRACS, founded in 1971, and LU is now withdrawing on friendly terms.

“I don’t see it as anything that’s going to cripple TRACS at all,” he said. “We just love the people at Liberty. They’ll always be a part of us.”

 

Other academic programs at Liberty maintain additional accreditation. For a complete list, click here.

To learn more about accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, go to http://www.sacs.org.