State official: Dana College was accredited at time of closure announcement

Omaha, NE – Dana College would have had to start its accreditation process over if it was bought by a for-profit group, according to a state official.

Marshall Hill is executive director of the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education. Hill says Dana College was fully accredited at the time of its closure announcement Wednesday. He says the issue was whether the state's Higher Learning Commission would allow that accreditation to continue after Dana's purchase was approved.

"There was an investigation in to that, assemblage of materials and so forth, evaluation against standards, and the Higher Learning Commission on the 25th I believe voted to disallow the continuation of Dana's existing accreditation to this proposed set of buyers," Hill says.

According to Hill, the buyer's contract allowed them to back out of the sale if the existing accreditation wasn't continued. The buyers could have applied for accreditation, which is a long and costly process. In the meantime, Dana would have been unaccredited. Students at an unaccredited school can't get financial aid.

UNO, College of Saint Mary and other area schools have agreed to accept Dana College students this fall.