I made the grave error of posting about something with secondhand knowledge. I'm pleased to be corrected and to post these updates in full below.
- Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary did not “lose its accreditation,” it lost its accreditor. New York State Board of Regents (NYSBOR) and the New York State Commissioner of Education was a USDE-approved accrediting body until May of 2023, when they voluntarily allowed their certification to lapse. NYSBOR got out of the accreditation business. HTOS was in good standing, and no adverse action was proposed. The statement “lost its accreditation” without noting that the fault was on the accreditor, implies that the fault was on the institution, which is incorrect. All institutions accredited by NYSBOR were informed that they would need to find a new accrediting body.
- The time between the date of notification that NYSBOR was voluntarily withdrawing and the NYSBOR’s USDE certification expiration date was insufficient to obtain candidate status with any USDE-approved accreditor. Furthermore, accreditation processes with NYSBOR and other accreditors were delayed due to COVID policies before, during, and after HTOS was notified, creating administrative roadblocks for all institutions. Those processes have resumed, and HTOS is actively pursuing accreditation with Middle States Commission of Higher Education, a former regional accreditor.
- A note about regional accreditation: Since 2020, there is no longer any such thing as a regional accreditor, since the exclusive jurisdiction for the formerly regional accreditors was removed, such that all accrediting bodies are in direct competition with one another. As a result, several former regional accreditors reached out to institutions accredited by NYSBOR, including HTOS. Some of them even offered to “fast track” HTOS because of its status as an already-accredited institution in good standing.
- Another point in the post which needs context is the statement that “but for those students who rely on loans (or receive grants), loss of this status can make continued attendance difficult.” That could be true, but only for institutions who participate in Title IV Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). HTOS does not participate, and has no plans to. Title IV subjects an institution to Title IX, and a host of regulations. In short, if you accept federal funds, you do so on their terms. USDE has an agenda. It also adds considerable cost to administrative overhead in order to comply. That is one reason HTOS is able to keep its tuition and room and board costs low. HTOS exists for the Church, and is supported by the Church. That will not change, with or without accreditation.