Public Disclosure: Wilberforce University Status Continues as “Accredited-Probation”; Effective November 5, 2020


The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the accrediting body for Wilberforce University, has extended the Probation sanction of Wilberforce University.

The institution initially was placed on Probation in June 2018. HLC extended probation in April 2020. In November 2020, the Board exercised its discretion to extend Probation beyond the maximum timeframe based on HLC’s COVID-19 policy and because despite the university’s progress, the university remains out of compliance with the Criteria for Accreditation.

While on Probation, the institution remains accredited, and it has the opportunity to remedy the issues that led to the sanction.

What Probation Means for Wilberforce University Students:

First, students should know that the University is accredited during this period while on Probation. Other colleges and universities will continue to accept Wilberforce University credits for transfer or admission to a degree program. Students interested in transferring should contact the institution they may wish to attend so that they are fully informed about the admissions and transfer policies and requirements of the institution.

Noted Criteria for Accreditation:

HLC concluded that Wilberforce University does not meet the following HLC Criteria for Accreditation:

  • Criterion Five, Core Component 5.A, “the institution’s resource base supports its current educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future”
  •  Criterion Five, Core Component 5.C, “the institution engages in systematic and integrated planning”

HLC at that time also concluded that the University met, but with concerns, the following Criteria for Accreditation:

  • Criterion Three, Core Component 3.C, “the institution has the faculty and staff needed for effective high-quality programs and student services”
  • Criterion Four, Core Component 4.C, “the institution demonstrates a commitment to educational improvement through ongoing attention to retention, persistence, and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs”
  • Criterion Five, Core Component 5.D, “the institution works systematically to improve its performance,”


Next Steps:

While on Probation, Wilberforce University has an opportunity to address and remedy the issues which led to the Probation sanction. As such, the leadership of Wilberforce University has been laser-focused on rigorous and disciplined action to permanently assuring compliance with all criterion related to the University’s accreditation.

The institution is required to host an HLC focused visit no later than April 2021. The HLC Board of Trustees will review the focused visit team report and related documents at its November 2021 meeting to determine whether the institution has demonstrated that it is now in compliance with all Criteria for Accreditation and whether Probation can be removed.

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