AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Paine College is continuing to celebrate and the recent announcement that their accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools remains valid.
On Monday, the sky was filled with clouds, but the energy inside Haywood Hall was through the roof as current students and faculty came back after a weekend of celebrating the good news.
“Things don’t necessarily come easy, but they will in due season,” says transfer student Benjamin Porter.“Many people gave up on Paine college, but the students and the alumni didn’t give up and this is a prime example of when you don’t give up and you work hard, that you will see the fruits of your labor.”
It’s been a little over two years since Paine College’s accreditation came into question. Paine College President Jerry Hardee says, “it would’ve been a great tragedy had Paine closed, so i’m so appreciative of the people who have believed in Paine and supported Paine over the years.” After continued legal battles with the accrediting body SACS, the school currently holds two accreditation: SACS and TRACS. “Regardless, Paine college had never been unaccredited.”
First-year student James Mason says, “It means to me that i know we are not going anywhere.”
The school gained accreditation with the national organization TRACS in the later part of 2018. They never lost it with SACS, but are on probationary accreditation while the legal battle continues. With a judge making clear that the school has two accreditations, the Lions community is excited for what will come in the future. Especially since now is the time that prospective students choose where they will attend.
“But if we get 50% of them here, we double Paine’s enrollment.” Dr. Hardee says that during this time. the students, alumni and faculty continued fighting for Paine’s accreditation status and supported the college despite their adversity. “Paine is going to get better every day and we are not as great as we are going to be. our best days are ahead of us.”
Although things are looking up for the college, this is not the end of the accreditation battle. The college remains on probationary accreditation status with SACS and that is still playing out in court.