John A. Logan Dual Credit Program is a force to be reckoned with as it is the second program in Illinois to achieve accreditation from NACEP’s Accreditation Commission. John A. Logan College (JALC), located in Caterville, Illinois, achieved NACEP accreditation in 2017. The College’s Dual Credit Office’s mission is to give high school students who attend a John A. Logan district high school or a home school student who resides in the John A. Logan College district the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school. The College works with 12 high schools in its district. It offers courses including nursing, early childhood, automotive and welding, biology and mathematics, to name a few.
“By gaining NACEP accreditation, validity is now given to our Dual Credit Program. Not only validity but consistency between campus and CEP courses are confirmed via the Review Team,” said Scott Wernsman, MBA, Director of Dual Credit & Partnerships at John A. Logan College.
The Accreditation Commission commended John A. Logan College's Dual Credit Program on all three student standards. The accreditation team was impressed by the individualized attention students receive and that the program has very clear expectations for students.
The John A. Logan Dual Credit Program relies on Team Leaders and Dual Credit instructors at each high school as well as the JALC Dual Credit Office to ensure students meet college prerequisites. Students are not registered for dual credit classes until they have completed college entrance testing. All Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP) students served by John A. Logan College must meet the same testing and course prerequisite requirements that other students who attend courses on campus are required to meet. Some courses require certain test scores such as math, English and Certified Nursing Assistant classes. High school guidance counselors and the Dual Credit Office closely monitor required scores. In addition, its online student management system will not allow registration of a student who does not have the pre-requisite courses.
JALC is able to give such individualized attention to students with a true team effort. The JALC Testing Office goes to high schools to provide testing before registration time. Then, during the first week of class at the high school, High School Team Leaders have students complete enrollment forms in their dual credit classes and forward those forms and high school transcripts to the Dual Credit Office. When students register, they are given an informational brochure and/or their dual credit instructor gives guidance to the location and use of the brochure and student handbook on the JALC web site. “During the Fall and Spring semester, the John A. Logan College Dual Credit Office visits the in-district high schools to conduct Dual Enrollment Registration,” explained Wernsman, “During these visits, we are able to counsel and advise students on course selection and on how the courses will apply to their particular degree or certificate. This hands on approach, which is coordinated by the high school’s Team Leader, benefits the students through the one-on-one interaction with a college advisor.” A recent poll of dual credit instructors show 81% of dual credit instructors use the web site to demonstrate the access to information in the brochure and the Student Dual Credit Handbook.
Upon registration for a dual credit course, students also receive a Dual Credit Brochure that gives them tips for success and information on how to get into their online portal. Students and their parents also receive a welcoming letter which outlines general college information including the instructional calendar. Upon completion of registration for dual credit classes, the student receives an email from JALC providing a random password for the student to be able to log into their email system; the college’s intranet, and Desire2Learn, an online and hybrid class system. The student then has the option to change their password. This process is the same for all JALC students after they have registered for a class. John A. Logan College uses a “single sign-on” that allows the student to use the same user ID and password for access to all of their online systems.
In his advice to other programs considering going through the process of getting accredited, Scott said, “Organization! Having the required documents organized and on file will save time when it comes to turning those files into PDfs.”