Inadequate Miami Dade College Warned It Could Lose Accreditation

The largest U.S. public college has been put on notice: If you want to have 150,000 students, you need to hire some people to teach them.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools issued the warning to Miami Dade College late last month, according to the Sun-Sentinel, and will revisit the school's status in December. The warning (less serious than the alternatives, probation or expulsion from the association) comes less than two years after the number of students registered at Miami Dade expanded from an already unbelievable 93,891 to 146,060 between the 2008 and 2009 school years.

The Sentinel also points out that the state's community colleges are up against more than $100 million in budget cuts, but that the warning implied the school was not up to snuff:

"The school is still fully accredited, but this is the first sign that something's wrong," said Belle Wheelan, a top official with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which issued the warning late last month.

Officials from the association, the main accrediting body for schools in the region, have no official guidelines on how many full-time faculty a school should have, only that it must be adequate for the school's mission. In the fall 2010, Miami Dade College had 658 full-time and 3,129 part-time faculty members.

President Barack Obama gave the college's spring commencement address two months ago, right after he issued the order to kill Osama bin Laden. It's unclear whether the president was aware that Miami Dade College accepts students who buy fake transcripts from diploma mills, but if the school loses accreditation, students don't get any of that juicy federal financial aid either way.

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Rich Abdill
Contact: Rich Abdill