A 10-year accreditation is the highest any university could receive, according to officials with the Chicago-based commission. The re-accreditation means students may continue receiving financial aid, such as student loans and grants, from state and federal governments, and all classes would continue to count toward their degree (e.g. bachelor's, master's, etc).
And after so much controversy about his tenure CSU President Wayne Watson told the school's Board of Trustees on last week how grateful he was to share some good news with them.
A 10-year accreditation is known in the education community as independent verification of a university’s academic and fiscal strength," he said.
The HLC is one of six regional agencies in the country that provide institutional accreditation to more than 1,000 higher learning institutions.
Knowing CSU is accredited is good news, said Dominique Wallace, a senior at Urban Prep Academy for Young Men High School in Englewood.
"A lot of students do not know how important it is for a college to be accredited. I have heard of some trade schools not being accredited and students not finding out until it's too late," said Wallace, 18. "Chicago State is a black college and I couldn't afford to go to away to school to a black college, but I'm glad there is one here in Chicago."
Thomas Wogan, a spokesman for CSU, said the school's current statistics, such as graduation rates, were not immediately available. In 2011, the university graduated 21 percent of its seniors.
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), whose ward includes CSU, was pleased with the news of accreditation.
"The school is doing excellent work in preparing students for careers despite some challenges it has endured," Sawyer said.
Those challenges include allege fiscal mismanagement and miscommunication between Watson, 67, and the Board of Trustees
In February, the board appointed Sandra Westbrooks, the school's provost and senior vice president, as interim president after it thought Watson was taking a one-year leave before retiring.
“I have not resigned as CSU's president and no date is set for the sabbatical to begin," Watson said in February.
Prior to Watson announcing he would not be taking a leave that he requested or retiring, Board Chairman Gary Rozier, had released a statement in February thanking Watson for his service.
“We are grateful to Dr. Watson for his service to the students and faculty of Chicago State University,” said Rozier.
Regardless if Watson stays or goes, Wallace just wants to go to college with little to no worries about the school.
"I try not to let what goes on behind closed doors affect me," added Wallace. "As long as the school is accredited I'm good."