New Choices To Make

Mountain State University students have important choices to make and state colleges and universities are trying to help them.

The 3,000-plus student body learned this week the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission will withdraw Mountain State’s accreditation Aug. 27 rendering future degrees from the school worthless.

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy began advising fairs Thursday in Beckley in hopes of answering questions MSU students have.

State Higher Education Chancellor Dr. Paul Hill says all other colleges and universities in the state are in attendance.

"We have counselors, student advisers from our community college system, from our four-year institutions, from Marshall and WVU. All of the institutions in the state, public and private," Hill said.

Chancellor Hill anticipates many Mountain State students will be looking for similar programs at other schools. He says if they stay at the Beckley school they risk not being able to get into graduate school and having a more difficult time finding a job without an accredited degree.

"They would be presenting credentials that for all practical purposes their peer institutions have looked at and said ‘this credential is not up to standard,’" Hill said.

Several schools have already said they will work with the students to make a transfer a smooth transition. Chancellor Hill there’s a spirit of cooperation.

"We’ll work with them. Whatever they choose to do we’ll try to facilitate that process and expedite it so they can get where they need to be," Hill said.

The student body at MSU includes 900 students who receive some kind of financial aid from the state.

The advising fair will continue Friday at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beaver from 9am to 9pm. Similar fairs are scheduled next Monday and Tuesday at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg

Mountain State University’s Board of Trustees says it plans to appeal HLC’s accreditation decision.





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