UT Rio Grande Valley is One Step Away from Losing its Accreditation

It could be disastrous for both the school and the students.

By Rhonda FanningDecember 12, 2016 12:35 pm

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is on probation, which has students there confused, worried and asking what it means for the validity of their degrees.

The federal government mandates power to accredit schools to various nonprofits throughout the country. Accreditation – monitored in Texas by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – is a type of quality control on universities. It’s rare that the agency pulls accreditation.

Matthew Watkins with the Texas Tribune says the accreditation agency notified UTRGV Tuesday that it was on probation.

“Which basically the accrediting agency describes as the last chance, your last warning before you could have your accreditation revoked,” Watkins says.

The school didn’t get a full explanation why they’re on probation, although they did get a list of 10 items that pointed to the reason. “Integrity” was one of them. The school will get more details in mid-January.

Watkins says if UTRGV can’t get its act together in time, the loss of accreditation would be bad news for both the school and its students.

“For the school, it would be harder to recruit faculty – just really hurt the reputation,” Watkins says. “For the students, the employers might be less willing to hire the graduates. It would be harder to get into grad school.”

But Watkins says one of the most detrimental aspects of losing accreditation would be the loss of financial aid for students – of which more than 60 percent of UTRGV students benefit from.

“Losing that money,” Watkins says, “would be crippling both for the students and the finances of the university.”

Post by Beth Cortez-Neavel.