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Urban Bible College Initiative

Crossroads Bible College and College of Biblical Studies-Houston Pursuit of Merger

Frequently Asked Questions

Student Update 12.11.2018 


 

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 

Crossroads Merger – General Information 

1. Is Crossroads closing?
2. Why is Crossroads pursuing a merger with CBS-Houston?
3. Has Crossroads considered other mergers? 
4. Will Crossroads Bible College’s name change?
5. Will Crossroads close or relocate? 
6. Will Crossroads be lost in the identity of CBS-Houston? 
7. What are the key phases for project planning and integration? 
8. How quickly will changes take place? 

Accreditation and Course Offerings 

9. How will this pursuit of merger impact the accreditation with ABHE and SACSCOC? 
10. How will regional accreditation affect those degrees issued before the merger? Will our degrees be considered "Accredited"? 
11. Will credits from Crossroads’ courses transfer to CBS-Houston after the merger? 
12. Will all Crossroads’ course programs continue after the merger?
13. Will Crossroads students graduating after the pending July 2019 merger with the College of Biblical Studies receive their diploma/transcript with the institution reflected as Crossroads Bible College or College of Biblical Studies?

14. How will student headcount be affected?
15. How will tuition be affected? 
16. How will Crossroads scholarships be affected? 

17. How will degree programs be affected?


 

 

 INTRODUCTION

We have created this document to answer frequently asked questions to the degree that we are currently able. This document will be updated on a regular basis to provide the most current information available.

In 2015, Inside Higher Education shared a Moody’s prediction that closure rates of small colleges and universities (under $100 million in operating revenues for private colleges) would triple in the coming years, and mergers would double. In 2018, Inside Higher Education reported that tuition revenuecontinues to decline and that 25% of private nonprofit colleges and universities spent more than they earned in 2017.

At a fall 2017 meeting of presidents of Christian colleges and universities, the keynote speaker suggested that schools with shrinking enrollments and growing financial challenges need to consider all their options – including merging with stronger, more stable institutions, creating new partnerships, dramatically changing their programs or focus, selling off facilities and sharing space, becoming online only, or even closing their doors.

So where does this challenging environment leave Crossroads Bible College? We face today’s realities, understanding that we cannot continue the way things are and we cannot go back to the way things were. We can only determine the best ways to move forward – recognizing God’s faithfulness and Hiscalling for our institution.

The board of trustees of Crossroads Bible College, recognize the necessity of change to survive. They understand that we can accomplish more by working with other like-minded institutions in partnership than we can working alone. Therefore, the Crossroads Board and administration engaged in conversations with the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, Texas, over a period of several months to discuss the possibility of a merger of the two colleges.

CBS-Houston has invested significant resources in visits to Indianapolis and has conducted a feasibility study in cooperation with Crossroads administration. The goal was to explore if such a merger might be beneficial to both institutions and might be permitted by our respective accrediting agencies. It has taken many months of collaborative work to get to the place where we are today. The rest of the process will take an extended period in order for us to fulfill all the requirements necessary for a successful merger.

The pursuit of this merger provides a strategic opportunity for both Crossroads and CBS-Houston to address the challenges facing biblical higher education and to create the Urban Bible College Initiative (UBCI) through which Crossroads and CBS-Houston can collaborate to provide the greatest potential for missional achievement.   [TOC]

 

Crossroads Merger – General Information

 

1. Is Crossroads closing?

Crossroads is not closing. We are exploring strategic options with CBS-Houston that will enable us to continue with our mission of equipping Christian leaders to reach a multiethnic, urban world for Christ. CBS-Houston and Crossroads are liked-minded in mission and focus.

2. Why is Crossroads pursuing a merger with CBS-Houston?

The missions of Crossroads and CBS-Houston align.

Crossroads and CBS-Houston are both called to serve multiethnic minorities and urban centers.

Crossroads and CBS-Houston have similar academic programs offering traditional, nontraditional, and distance education.

Both Crossroads and CBS-Houston are pursuing high-quality higher education programs to a diverse student body based on biblical worldview and teaching, as reflected by the accreditations of SACSCOC and ABHE.

CBS-Houston brings some things to the table that are valuable to Crossroads such as regional accreditation, a developed online platform, and a strong team of professionals with a history of success. It also allows us to combine some resources, such as software licensing and information systems.

Crossroads and CBS-Houston leadership believe combining resources and strengths will result in a stronger, more efficient, more effective collaborative ministry.

Perhaps the biggest advantage was stated by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart

 

3. Has Crossroads considered other mergers?

In the last few years, Crossroads has been approached by at least two other Bible colleges to discuss potential partnerships/mergers. However, those conversations were abandoned before making the discussions public. In July 2018, the board of directors of Crossroads officially entered into an agreement to formerly proceed with the pursuit of merger with CBS-Houston, subject to the approval of the national accreditation board, Association of Biblical Higher Education and the regional accreditation board, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.    [TOC]

4. Will Crossroads Bible College’s name change?

In conjunction with the branding and communications implementation planning effort, the renaming of Crossroads will be considered and a recommendation(s) made to the governing board.

5. Will Crossroads close or relocate?

There are no plans to close any Crossroads sites. However, Crossroads-Indianapolis currently owns more property than it needs to fulfill its mission. Therefore, the Crossroads leadership and Board are working on various approaches to address debt reduction and reduction of operational overhead, including sale of the building/property. A purchase agreement for the Indianapolis campus is in place and expected closing date is January 2019. Plans are being developed to identify a new location. In the meantime, we will continue to keep the Indianapolis campus open through June 30, 2019. Selling the current property allows Crossroads to move to a more modern facility with lower operating costs.

6. Will Crossroads be lost in the identity of CBS-Houston?

CBS-Houston will work collectively with Crossroads to preserve and foster the CBGC mission, heritage, and legacy. CBS-Houston values Crossroads leadership and staff, their contributions to the pursuit of merger, and will be engaging appropriate leadership in the merger implementation planning and management process.

7. What are the key phases for project planning and integration?

The major phases include initial Exploration, which covers due diligence and Feasibility Study Report, Board Decisions to approve and commit to the overall project resources, Collaboration to form project task forces with joint efforts to develop integration plans for key functional areas (e.g., Accreditation, Academic/DE, HR, Finance, IT, etc.), Implementation or Integration Execution, followed by Evaluation or lessons learned for future improvement. We are in the collaboration phase.

8. How quickly will changes take place?

During the pursuit of merger process, most changes will be gradual. Crossroads will continue to be governed by its current board of trustees, and CBS-Houston will be involved in major decisions. The pursuit of merger process is a lengthy one that requires approval of the accrediting agencies for both institutions. The timeline below provides a summary of the key implementation steps and actions.    [TOC]

Accreditation and Course Offerings

9. How will this pursuit of merger impact the accreditation with ABHE and SACSCOC?

There is nothing in the Feasibility Study Report (FSR) indicating a risk to the accreditation status of the institutions if we follow their standards and policies. Our team will work diligently to protect the accreditation of both institutions.

10. How will regional accreditation affect those degrees issued before the merger? Will our degrees be considered "Accredited"?

The regional accreditation agency, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, stipulates that accreditation status is given to degrees by students who are currently in a degree program at the time accreditation is achieved. SACSCOC does not allow accreditation status to be retroactive. 

11. Will credits from Crossroads’ courses transfer to CBS-Houston after the merger?

Yes, credits from Crossroads courses will transfer to CBS-Houston.

12. Will all Crossroads’ course programs continue after the merger?

Yes, current course programs will be initially available after the merger. An assessment is being conducted and a plan developed to assist students through any program transitions that are determined to be appropriate. This plan will include communications and interactions with students to assist them with program completion.

13. Will Crossroads students graduating after the pending July 2019 merger with the College of Biblical Studies receive their diploma/transcript with the institution reflected as Crossroads Bible College or College of Biblical Studies?

Crossroads students graduating after the pending July 2019 merger with the College of Biblical Studies will receive a diploma and transcript with the College of Biblical Studies as the degree granting institution.

Sept.-Dec. Prepare SACSCOC compliance certification document

Nov. Substantive Change Prospectus approved by ABHE Commission on Accreditation

Dec. Substantive Change Prospectus approved by SACSCOC Board

Jan. 10, 2019 SACSCOC compliance certification submission

Feb. 11-14, 2019 SACSCOC site visit-Houston

June 2019 SACSCOC Commission approves/denies merger

July 1, 2019 Merger effective date - College of Biblical Studies with Crossroads

July-Dec. 2019 ABHE site visit-Indianapolis 

14. How will student headcount be affected?

CBS-Houston intentions are to retain, and grow, the current Crossroads student enrollment. However, there may be changes in enrollment patterns as decisions are made related to additional locations and online enrollment, etc.

15. How will tuition be affected?

Crossroads’ per credit hour tuition of $395 is currently higher than CBS-Houston’s tuition of $274, and it is feasible, pending final assessment, that the tuition could be reduced or adjusted, as early as 2019-20, to be more consistent with the tuition of CBS-Houston.

16. How will Crossroads scholarships be affected?

Students should continue to receive scholarships consistent with Crossroads’ current student financial aid offerings. Additional scholarships/aid could be implemented as appropriate to affordability strategies and resources.

17. How will degree programs be affected?

A major initiative is to align the current Crossroads and CBS-Houston degree program offerings. It is anticipated that several of the programs will merge into current programs, while a select few will be new offerings. An appropriate plan will be developed to support students pursing degree programs.    [TOC]

Questions?

We will work diligently to answer any questions or concerns. Please send questions to Questions@Crossroads.edu.


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