Mountain State University will not admit students for fall
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Mountain State University will not admit students for the fall semester and is encouraging most students to transfer to other institutions.
And in response, Geneva College in Beaver Falls is reaching out to MSU students with free counseling about transferable credits, financial assistance and military benefits.
"We know that there are adult students who have been enrolled at MSU or who have been planning to enroll, and now they need to change directions," said Ken Carson, Geneva College provost. "Geneva has undergraduate and graduate degree programs that are designed for adult students. Geneva will work individually with each affected student on issues such as financial aid and transfer of credit."
Fifty percent of the West Virginia-based university's employees, including one at the Beaver campus in Center, have been notified that their jobs will end Sept. 21. The action comes on the heels of MSU being stripped of its accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
A 10-page commission report expressed a number of concerns, including that the university "does not have the human and financial resources expected of an accredited institution" and "does not have consistent quality across all academic programs."
Though the loss of accreditation would have been effective Aug. 27, MSU will retain its accreditation while school officials "pursue a vigorous appeal" of the commission's decision. The school has already filed notice of its intent to appeal and the written appeal will be filed by Aug. 6. The commission review of the appeal is expected to take 10-16 weeks.
University officials say they will ask the accrediting agency to keep accreditation in place through June 30 "to accommodate the needs of the highest number of students possible."
The private not-for-profit university, based in Beckley, W.Va., has 6,200 students, including 117 at the Center campus.
"This is a difficult decision," said Jerry Ice, chairman of the MSU board of trustees. "The reduction is not about performance issues. MSU employees are hardworking and dedicated. Their contributions to the university, its students and their communities are greatly appreciated."
The board voted to maintain "specific positions essential to serving students. ... Reductions were made at all administrative, faculty and staff levels," said a Monday university news release.
University staff is working with students and is providing information on its website, www.mountainstate.edu.
"Faculty and staff, deans and program directors are working with students who are not within a semester of graduation to help them identify other institutions that will accept transfer credits," the website says. "MSU is also exploring options for entire programs to be transferred to other schools."
Students can get up to five free copies of their official transcripts. Student scholarships funded by MSU are not valid at other schools. State and federal scholarships may be honored at other schools.
First Published July 26, 2012 5:01 am