Representatives of programs accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) recently voted by a wide margin to adopt new national standards for concurrent enrollment partnerships: college credit-bearing courses taught to high school students by college-approved high school teachers -- only the second time the organization has made changes to these standards since they were first adopted in 2002.
Over the past 15 years, NACEP's National Concurrent Enrollment Partnership Standards have prompted a wide range of colleges and universities to adopt effective practices of academic oversight and program management. As the only set of national standards of excellence for concurrent enrollment, they have been recognized by many professional associations, regional accreditors, state agencies, legislators, and media outlets as the benchmark of quality for the field. The standards serve as the basis for NACEP's peer-review national accreditation service, as well as a road map for program improvement for other institutions.
Over the past 18 months, the nine-member NACEP Accreditation Commission listened to its members and other public commenters, consulted with state agencies and institutional accreditors, and considered feedback from peer reviewers as it worked diligently to prepare revisions to the existing standards. The Commission endeavored to update them based on its accreditation review experience over the years, to keep them relevant, and to continue NACEP's leadership of the field by promoting effective practices. The standards reaffirm NACEP's long-standing emphasis on the importance of campus faculty responsibility for overseeing academic quality of concurrent enrollment courses, and for campus leadership in ensuring that the program is supported across all disciplines.
“The new standards provide greater clarity of expectations and also expand to include a few areas previously not covered, such as alignment with institutional mission, collaboration with high school partners, access to learning resources and student support services, and student advisement,” noted Adam Lowe, NACEP's Executive Director. “The Commission also addressed requests from programs for greater flexibility in how they meet certain standards, such as program evaluation and course prerequisites.”
The standards will become effective for existing accredited programs starting the 2018-19 academic year, and the basis for initial accreditation and re-accreditation applications beginning with those submitted summer 2019. The Commission is currently soliciting feedback through Wednesday, June 28 on the required evidence for accreditation applications, which can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NACEP's standards are the only national set of standards that specifically address the concurrent enrollment model where college courses are taught by high school teachers. While NACEP's 2017-19 Strategic Plan commits the organization to expanding its scope to other dual enrollment models; no decision has yet been made whether to extend the standards or accreditation services to other models.