Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Is Verity a College?
[Note: this post is non-satirical.] We recently commented on the seeming inconsistency of IBLP starting a college. But is Verity a college? Apparently not. Seems the Verity Education and Accelerated Learning Center is experiencing some difficulties with its license to operate a "proprietary school" in the state of Michigan.
A letter sent to students (posted by a recipient on a discussion forum):
Dear Parents and Friends of Verity,Interestingly, a Google search of the term Verity College turns up quite a few hits for this "group study center."
"For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God." I Peter 2:20.
Someone asked Abe Lincoln if he thought God was on the side of the north in the Civil War. Mr. Lincoln answered that we should be concerned that the north was on God's side in the matter. We are facing a new challenge from the Office of Postsecondary Services regarding our proprietary school license and are seeking to get on God's side in the matter.
After a good deal of work on our part to comply with guidelines for proprietary schools, we received our license from the state of Michigan in December of '04. This past Friday we were notified that we our license is suspended pending review. This was a surprise, to say the least!
The problem the officials presented was that we look too much like a college and may be misrepresenting ourselves to the public. Our website and IBLP's has too much information relating to the acquiring of a degree, as though we confer credits for courses or grant degrees. As you know, we are not a college, do not give credits for work completed, and do not grant degrees. We are simply a group study center helping young people prepare for their futures in an atmosphere of Biblical discipleship. The problems they noted can be easily corrected to explain ourselves even more clearly to the public, and we are presently doing that.
The real problem, however, seems to be that we may not fit into a proprietary school (trade, vocation, or occupation) category. Helping students prepare for CLEP tests is, from their perspective, teaching. Teaching relative to accredited credits requires many classes. For that we would need to become a college; something we do not want to launch.
We are inviting you to share in our plan of action:
1. Pray and cry out to God. Let's examine our own hearts first, then, ask for mercy, and finally, seek favor with those in authority.
2. Adjust our website and promotional materials to more accurately reflect our nature as a group study center and aid to students working on their own education.
3. Resubmit our course catalog to satisfy the proprietary schools unit guidelines.
4. Keep you informed.
Our license has been suspended and remains so for two weeks while we make our corrections. At present we are not able to hold classes and teach. However, students are able to continue self-study and/or student-initiated study groups. Chapel, music lessons, internships, and the Bible course may continue. Standards of conduct, etc. are expected to continue.
I have one word for the students...Steady. God is working, and the outcome will be a big step forward for Christ's Kingdom in our lives. Thank you for standing with us in prayer and dependence upon God.
Woody & Gail Shoemaker
(Hat tip: a reader)