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Sojourner-Douglass must muster community support to save the college [Letter]

I feel bad for Sojourner-Douglass College students who may see the value of their diplomas go up in smoke ("With Sojourner-Douglass' accreditation in jeopardy, students in limbo," March 30).

Until I became involved with Baltimore International College's similar accreditation problems, I had no idea of the power the Middle States Commission on Higher Education enjoys.

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More than two years ago the culinary arts and hospitality management school was about to lose its accreditation as well, and since I lived in the neighborhood, the thought of an enormous, empty building was alarming.

What needs to be recognized is that when a loss of accreditation is imminent the situation didn't happen overnight. Both colleges had plenty of prior warning. Sojourner-Douglass College was placed on "warning" status back in November 2011. But too often such notices aren't taken seriously by administrators.

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Fortunately, Baltimore International College was incorporated into Stratford University. Yet it took considerable community effort to bring that about. I cannot count the hours I spent circulating petitions to save the place. When Stratford University recognized the local support the college had, however, it came to the rescue.

Sojourner-Douglass College needs to muster similar support from the community and the city. If they get on board and fight they can save the school, but time is running out.

Rosalind Ellis Heid

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To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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