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Graduate program paves way for ‘Livingstone University’


SALISBURY – Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., has announced that for the first time in the college’s history, Livingstone will offer graduate programs as it positions itself to transition to university status.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) approved Livingstone College’s membership at Level III to offer the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. The announcement was made at the SACSCOC Board of Trustees’ June meeting.

To earn approval to initiate degrees at a more advanced degree level, an institution must complete a Level Change Application demonstrating compliance with various policy and procedure standards contained in the SACSCOC “Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement.”

SACSCOC’s approval of the application ensures that for the first time in the history of the college, Livingstone will offer its inaugural graduate degree program – the MBA – beginning January 1, 2023.

The graduate business degree is specifically designed for students and professionals who desire to advance their careers in business, excel as business executives or become successful entrepreneurs. Upon completion of the MBA program, students will have increased their business knowledge; grown their professional network; and boosted their career and salary prospects.

“We are excited about the elevation of this institution to a Level III category. SACSCOC’s approval paves the way for Livingstone College to officially transition to Livingstone University,” said Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. “The new name would mark a significant milestone in the evolution of the 143-year-old institution’s history, reflecting the expansion of its purview of academic offerings.”

Jenkins plans to notify SACSCOC of the institution’s name change from college to university. In doing so, he will work with key stakeholders of the campus community to strategically plan the shift to university status.

Dr. Kelli V. Randall, Livingstone’s vice president for Academic Affairs and SACSCOC accreditation liaison; along with Laverne Macon-Jamison, director of Assessment, Institutional Effectiveness and Research; Dr. R.D. Sharma, dean of the George E. Battle Jr. Business School; and Business Department faculty worked together on the Herculean task to submit the Level Change Application on behalf of the college.

The extensive work on the level change application began on the heels of the college’s decennial reaffirmation process, in which Livingstone was reaffirmed through 2031 without any recommendations.

After the implementation of the MBA program, the college plans to submit a prospectus for a master’s degree in Sport Management, and endeavors to expand its offerings as it develops a School of Graduate Studies.

The new MBA program is officially enrolling students for the Spring 2023 semester. Interested students can apply and get more information by calling the Office of Admissions at (704) 216-6001. The first cohort of MBA graduates will receive their degrees during the May 2024 commencement.

The MBA program will be offered on the main campus of Livingstone College at 701 W. Monroe Street Salisbury, NC. Instruction will be a 100 percent traditional face-to-face format. To accommodate family responsibilities and employment, graduate students will have the flexibility to take classes during the evenings (Monday through Thursday) with some classes also being offered on Saturday. The MBA is a 36-credit hour degree program. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to meet graduation requirements.

Graduating seniors who majored in Business Administration have expressed interest in continuing their graduate studies at Livingstone College, Randall said. The MBA program is also designed to attract older working adults who have already earned a degree in business, accounting, finance or another closely-related field.

The addition of the MBA degree to Livingstone’s roster of program offerings aligns with the college’s mission to provide “quality instruction, academic and student success.” Moreover, the MBA program will play a key role in advancing the first goal of the college’s 2021-2026 Strategic Plan: “Implement academic excellence and global education programs that reflect learning in a holistic environment.” 

Jenkins said he is proud of the determination and acumen of the SACSCOC liaison team in completing this history-making endeavor. Initiated and approved under Jenkins’ leadership, this new status will add to the legacy of Jenkins, who announced his retirement in February effective upon the naming of his successor by the Board of Trustees.

SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states. Livingstone College is accredited SACSCOC to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees.

About Livingstone College

Livingstone College is a private historically black college that is secured by a strong commitment to quality instruction, academic excellence and student success. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for holistic learning, Livingstone provides excellent business, liberal arts, STEAM, teacher education and workforce development programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to promote lifelong learning, and to develop student potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.


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