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The X-Men's cover since its debut has been that of a school, the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. On top of training young mutants in the use of their powers, they also receive comparable educations and valid diplomas and degrees. A storyline in the late '90s, during Steven Seagle's run on Uncanny X-Men, even focused on an investigator from the Department of Education coming to check up on the school.

My question is, after the school's millionth destruction at the end of the 2008 storyline "Messiah Complex," what is the status of the institute's accreditation? Has this been addressed? Is there a real world precedent for what happens to accreditation after a school's destruction? And are the diplomas and degrees given out still valid since Xavier was outed as a mutant and the school's cover blown during Grant Morrison's New X-Men?

This question was brought to light due to the announcement today that the upcoming Wolverine & the X-Men series by Jason Aaron will be set at the Jean Grey Institute for Higher Learning (the accreditation of which is a whole other matter entirely).

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    If a student earns a degree while the institute is accredited, the degree is also accredited. If the school loses it's accreditation, then the degrees still stay accredited if they were earned before the school lost it's accreditation. It's a grandfather clause. – OghmaOsiris Sep 28 '11 at 16:06
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    Accredition Board: "Why do we keep accrediting this school which has been attacked and destroyed countless times?" - "Because they are the only ones who consistently pay their dues." – Jack B Nimble Sep 28 '11 at 16:13
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    @JackBNimble: This is the Marvel universe - stuff blows up so often there are entire insurance companies which exist only to deal with the fallout from superhuman battles. Xavier just keeps his insurance payments up-to-date. I bet that's part of the rules of the Board ;) – Jeff Sep 28 '11 at 16:49
  • Issue #1 of Wolverine & The X-Men came out today. The main storyline is about representatives from the school board coming to check on the newly opened school. So the accreditation and logistics are being addressed! – Brett White Oct 26 '11 at 15:33
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I am unaware, generally, of any official statement from Marvel on this.

That said (in general and in our world) physical damage to the structure of a building or damage to a campus does nothing to the accreditation of a school.

The personal lives (and presumably genetic features) of staff similarly do not affect the accreditation process.

Thus, if the Xavier institute was ever able to give high school degrees or any college degrees, the destruction of the building or Xavier being revealed to be a mutant (an aside: was this really a 'revalation'? I though he was open about it since the 90s, at least) would have no bearing on the accreditation of the school.

Accreditation is supposed to be based entirely on the quality of education provided and compliance with certain standards of teaching as put forth by the accrediting body. The only way Xavier's school would have problems in this regard is if the X-men were really poor students (say, from missing classes to go on superhero adventures) or if the standards body had anti-mutant language in its requirements.

  • Also, this school seems special - it gives out both high school and college degrees. I'm unaware of any other schools which give both...and the fact that it was investigated by the DoEducation indicates it's a public high school, not a college which offers GEDs (the DOE has no say in colleges, the accreditation body has its own investigators). – Jeff Sep 28 '11 at 16:14
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    Xavier wasn't outed as a mutant until the "E for Extinction" arc by Grant Morrison, wherein Xavier's twin sister (who he murdered in the womb, you guys!) takes over his body and has him publicly state that he is a mutant on television. It was a big deal at the time. – Brett White Sep 28 '11 at 17:11
  • @Brett: Wasn't he an outspoken mutant rights advocate who always said, "We mutants" in the 90s? I know he was like that on the Fox cartoon at least. – Jeff Sep 28 '11 at 17:19
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    I know what you mean, but I'm pretty sure he was a mutant rights advocate the way Anderson Cooper is a gay rights advocate. It's easy to make the assumption that he was a mutant, but it wasn't clear. That's in the comics, I'm not sure what he was like on the cartoon as I haven't seen the latter seasons a million times like I have the first. – Brett White Sep 28 '11 at 17:36
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    @BrettWhiteΨ Wait, back up there a second, are you saying that Anderson Cooper is Xavier's dead twin sister? It all makes sense now. – user1027 Sep 29 '11 at 23:07
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I don't know much about the X-Men series. But in real life getting a school accredited involves a lot of inspections, assessments of teaching quality, reviews and such like. It's hard to imagine that Xavier wants a lot of government inspectors poking round his school.

The main advantage of being accredited is that it guarantees a certain level of education standard, so that more parents will send their kids to the institution. However Xavier doesn't actually want more kids applying in order to get a good education - he just wants the kids he wants, who have other priorities. He probably wants to keep away any kids who are solely interested in getting a good education.

So all in all it seems likely that the Xavier school isn't that interested in accreditation.

  • But when his X-men leave, he wants them to be able to get a job that doesn't have to involve wearing leotards or flipping burgers. Also, he could handle this like he handles the construction workers in the Ultimate universe - they simply don't notice anything he doesn't want them to see. He's a powerful telepath, it's easy for him to do. – Jeff Sep 29 '11 at 14:39
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    None of his graduates ever seems to have a problem finding a job, though many of them seem to involve wearing leotards. – DJClayworth Dec 29 '11 at 23:44
  • Xavier would have no problem with government inspectors poking around his school. He would consider this a justifiable opportunity to use his telepathic powers to make sure the inspectors see exactly what they need to see and forget anything they don't. – Blazemonger Jan 18 '12 at 16:02
  • Even Xavier wouldn't want to make work for himself duping inspectors if he didn't need to. – DJClayworth Jun 22 '12 at 14:48

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