NACEP Leadership Announces Development at National Conference, Where National and State Education Leaders Emphasize the Role of Policy in Access to Quality Concurrent and Dual Enrollment
Chapel Hill, NC October 30, 2017 – At its recent national conference, The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) President Tim Stetter of the University of Washington announced that the organization will expand the scope of its nationally-recognized accreditation process to encompass multiple models of delivering dual enrollment courses to high school students. Over the next two years, NACEP's Accreditation Commission will develop standards for academic and program quality for dual enrollment models taught by college instructors, complementing NACEP's existing national standards and accreditation process for concurrent enrollment courses taught by college-approved high school instructors. The Board of Directors and Accreditation Commission decided on this expansion based on requests from NACEP members, and after consulting with state agencies and regional institutional accreditation agencies.
"This development is a key step toward achieving the goals identified in NACEP's forward-looking Strategic Plan," noted NACEP Executive Director Adam Lowe. "The expanded accreditation scope will enhance NACEP's leadership of the field by setting national quality benchmarks for emerging dual enrollment delivery models."
The announcement was made at NACEP's national conference in Washington, D.C. on October 9-10, attended by more than 850 concurrent and dual enrollment professionals representing 48 states, D.C., two Canadian provinces, and Singapore. The two day conference, along with pre- and post-conference workshops, featured a number of national education leaders who shared how quality concurrent and dual enrollment aligns with state and national education policy goals.
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Executive Director of the Colorado’s Department of Higher Education, opened the conference with a challenge to the audience with a question: “How do we ensure that we are not only getting more kids to college, but more college to kids?” She shared Colorado's recent success in expanding access to quality concurrent and dual enrollment, such that 30% of high school juniors and seniors participate in these courses. To deepen the conversation about effective strategies for serving students, she moderated a conversation with concurrent enrollment students and alumni.
Dr. Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, shared examples of innovative community college partnerships to address the critical challenge of ensuring that all students are sufficiently ready for college. He was followed by Dr. David Schuler, Superintendent of Township High School District 214, the second largest district in the state of Illinois, and Past President of AASA – The School Superintendents Association. Dr. Schuler described AASA's Redefining Ready campaign, based on the premise that students should be able to demonstrate college readiness in a variety of ways – recognizing that students are more than just the number they earn on a standardized test. Paul Fain, Senior Editor at Inside Higher Education, continued the conversation with Drs. Bumphus and Schuler to explore the urgency of cross-sectoral collaboration, the importance of leadership, emerging emphasis on career preparation and apprenticeships in higher education, and anticipated policy changes affecting college transitions.
The U.S. Department of Education was represented by Kim Ford, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. Ms. Ford enthusiastically shared her experience developing the first dual enrollment program at the University of the District of Columbia Community College, and how concurrent and dual enrollment aligns with the emerging priorities of the department. She shared that concurrent and dual enrollment is a priority strategy for implementing Secretary Devos' vision for supporting multiple pathways that lead to student success, and described the Department's increased emphasis on integrating training with education. Gretchen Corbin, Commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), shared how Georgia Governor Nathan Deal has spearheaded expansion of dual enrollment to prepare a better educated workforce to keep Georgia competitive and thriving economically.
Representative Jared Polis of Colorado described the bipartisan support that concurrent and dual enrollment has in Congress, including successes in the Every Student Succeeds Act and proposals for reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. Rep. Polis remarked, “We must provide dual enrollment access for all children, support educators, and advocate for policies that help all access higher education.”
Attendees also gained insight into a range of legislative initiatives affecting concurrent and dual enrollment during a breakout session featuring a panel of Congressional staff from the House and Senate education committees. Over 120 attendees representing 22 states additionally participated in Day on the Hill activities, meeting with Congressional offices to share information about the successes of concurrent and dual enrollment.
The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) is a professional membership organization supporting programs that offer college courses to high school students. NACEP's national network of 450 colleges and universities, 70 high schools and school districts and 30 state agencies and system offices actively share the latest knowledge about best practices, research and advocacy.
Concurrent and dual enrollment partnerships provide high school students the opportunity to take college credit-bearing courses. Called concurrent enrollment when taught by college-approved high school teachers, concurrent and dual enrollment partnerships successfully transition students from high school to college. As the sole national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnerships, NACEP helps programs adhere to the high standards so students experience a seamless transition to college and teacher benefit from meaningful, ongoing professional development.
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