Sojourner faces harsh realities [Letter]

The predicament for students at Sojourner-Douglas College is certainly no laughing matter ("College's status distresses students," March 31). However, The Sun's story, unwittingly one would assume, detracts from the gravity of the situation by quoting a student as saying, "... will my degree have any levity, or will it be a napkin that I can wipe my mouth with?" So the student is saying that either his diploma will be light weight and lacking seriousness or it will be a piece of trash. Not much of a choice, is it? Couldn't The Sun have used a statement with less ludicrous juxtaposition?

Another problem with the article is that the reporting is, in my opinion, misleading. The Sun, through Talisha Hunter's comments, suggests that a current degree from Sojourner-Douglas would lose credibility if the school lost its accreditation. I don't believe this to be the case. How many thousands of degrees would be called into question if employers, instead of being satisfied with a degree from a college that was accredited when a employee graduated, were concerned with that college's financial resources?

An issue that this article does raise is the accreditation process itself. In a perfect world, accreditation should be a refection of student learning outcomes (an area in which, apparently, Sojourner-Douglas College is no longer lacking), not of the college's financial stability. The financial aspects should determine whether or not the school continues to operate, not if it should continue to be accredited.

Perhaps the writing is on the wall, and students at Sojourner-Douglas College need to realize that if their school loses its accreditation, they will need to transfer to another institution, just as the students from Mountain State University had to. Fortunately, there are many colleges in the area that offer the same programs as Sojourner-Douglas, so transferring may not be that onerous.

Paul Leroy, Bel Air

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