Degrees from NCCU Atlanta campus valid
Posted September 23, 2008 3:45 p.m. EDT
Updated September 23, 2008 9:28 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — An accrediting agency said Tuesday that degrees awarded to 25 North Carolina Central University students who attended an unapproved satellite campus near Atlanta are valid.
Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, sent a letter to N.C. Central Chancellor Charlie Nelms, saying students who went to class at the satellite campus received a "comparable education" to those in Durham, so they earned their degrees.
The university opened the program on the campus of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., in 2004. It was run by the church's pastor, Eddie Long, who is a trustee of and large donor to the university.
The New Birth program was ended in June when SACS refused to authorize it.
University of North Carolina system officials have asked the State Auditor's Office to investigate the matter.
“We are certainly very pleased with the commission’s decision and what it means for those who have already completed their degrees,” Nelms said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with the commission, as well as with UNC system officials, in the coming weeks to bring further resolution to students in Georgia who are still in the process of completing their degree requirements.”