In an effort to stay open, the Baltimore International College said Monday that it "is in conversation" with two out-of-state institutions about a merger that would allow it to remain accredited.
The college will lose its accreditation Aug. 31 after the Middle States Commission said this summer it had failed to address long-standing concerns. Losing accreditation would mean the school, which has about 500 students, would lose federal funding.
The board of trustees met Friday and decided to continue discussions with the two other unnamed institutions, which offer specialized programs similar to the culinary and hospitality courses at BIC.
The announcement was made Monday on the college's website, and no college official agreed to be interviewed. But a spokesman, Kevin O'Keefe, said the institutions are not based in Maryland.
"The board will work with educational accreditors and regulators, as well as potential accredited partners, to make possible the continued offering of the college's educational programs in Baltimore this fall," the college's statement said.
The college has not said whether it will appeal the decision made last month by the Middle States Commission, which criticized it for failing to measure academic performance, retain students and raise funds. The loss of accreditation is an extremely rare penalty.
The college has 30 days from the date it received the decision to ask for reconsideration. If that request is denied, it can appeal to a panel of reviewers who weren't involved in the initial decision.
Student Matthew Bennett said, "I love this school. If someone buys it, I would be all for it."
The school is offering expedited help to students who wish to transfer.
Negotiations with the two institutions are serious, according to O'Keefe. "There wouldn't have been an announcement if there wasn't something substantive," he said.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun