The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

December 20, 2012


Students, faculty, staff persevered during MSU accreditation troubles

— Perseverance.

It’s an admirable trait to possess for anyone.

So as approximately 180 graduates turned their tassels at the final graduation ceremony Wednesday night for what was called Mountain State University, we tip our caps to those students who held on through hard times and earned a degree.

College life is tough enough.

But to manage the storms of life while also battling through MSU’s accreditation problems, that’s an extra accomplishment worth noting.

The last couple of semesters had to be incredibly challenging.

In January, the MSU Board of Trustees fired former president Charles H. Polk amid accreditation problems in multiple programs, most notably nursing.

This fall, students participated in a joint Mountain State University and University of Charleston teach-out plan after the Higher Learning Commission announced that MSU’s accreditation would end Dec. 31.

According to MSU spokesperson Andrew Wessels, MSU degrees were conferred to 624 students across all of Mountain State Universities campuses and online this fall.

They should all be commended.

Our hope is that the experiences and challenges they faced will enable these graduates further than their degrees alone.

There’s no doubt that many lessons were learned, many outside of a classroom.

The achievement of a degree from MSU is honorable, but in staying the course and coming out on the other end successfully, that’s an incredible feat.

It’s in difficult times that character is built.

The class of 2012 will not only be remembered as the final one at MSU, but it will be known for the iron will shown by its individual students as well.

Our hope is that UC-Beckley will give thousands more the same opportunities these graduates were afforded for years to come.

Congratulations graduates.

And a special thanks to the MSU staff, faculty and UC officials who also endured, assuring these students that their dreams could still be possible.