Illinois Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships Releases Policy Recommendations to Promote Equity and Quality in Illinois Dual Credit

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Illinois Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships Releases Policy Recommendations to Promote Equity and Quality in Illinois Dual Credit

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The Illinois Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (ILACEP), in partnership with the College in High School Alliance (CHSA) and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) is excited to announce the release of a groundbreaking new report examining Illinois’ policies impacting dual credit programs across the state. The primary author of the report is Jennifer Zinth, a leading national expert on dual credit issues.

Illinois Dual Credit Report: Current Landscape and Policy Recommendations, which was developed following two convenings of state and local stakeholders from across the state, provides an analysis of the current state of policy supporting dual credit for Illinois students, with a particular emphasis on how those policies support improving equitable access to dual credit programs for low-income students and other underrepresented students in higher education.

In addition, the report provides a series of recommendations for Illinois policymakers to further the state’s progress in closing equity gaps. The report is based upon a framework developed by the College in High School Alliance in their 2019 report, Unlocking Potential: A State Policy Roadmap for Equity and Quality in College in High School Programs.

Rodrigo López, President of ILACEP, noted the invaluable expertise and knowledge of the stakeholders and the collective emphasis on increasing dual credit participation rates across the state: “Our stakeholders were essential to the creation of this report. We were successful in bringing together a diverse group of experts that have made critical contributions to ensure more students have equitable access to dual credit programming.”

“As ILACEP continues to focus on utilizing dual credit to address opportunity gaps, we look forward to collaborating with stakeholders across Illinois to advance the recommendations in the report,” said Sarah Stashkiw, President-Elect of ILACEP.

“The fact that NACEP approached ILACEP for this grant opportunity has shown that our organization has made great strides in our efforts to bring attention to Illinois dual credit initiatives on a national stage,” said David Naze, Immediate Past President of ILACEP.

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships’ Executive Director, Amy Williams, framed the important step this work represents in helping democratize policy conversations:  “NACEP knows that good policy supports good practice, and that good policy is informed by research and incorporates the voice of the field. As the pandemic continues to expose long-standing inequities in education and society, there is a new sense of urgency in states efforts to identify the right approach for working on equity gaps. This project is a testimony to the level of collaborative work that can be done when the right tool is applied by the right people to the right problem.”

“The College in High School Alliance has been thrilled to work with ILACEP, our Steering Committee member NACEP, and Jennifer Zinth on this important report,” said Alex Perry, Coordinator of CHSA. “Illinois has made good progress on implementing policies to promote equitable and high quality dual credit in the state, but this report demonstrates that there is more that can – and must be – done to unlock the potential of dual credit programs for all students in the state.”

“This report marks an important step forward in better understanding the barriers to equitable dual credit access to and participation in states like Illinois that have a solid dual credit policy foundation,” said Jennifer Zinth, a national dual credit policy expert who facilitated the convenings and authored the report. “Although the report was developed by and for Illinois stakeholders, other states will find that many recommendations apply to their local contexts as well.”

The Illinois Dual Credit Report is well aligned to a different report released recently about dual credit in Illinois; Expanding Equity in Dual Credit published by Stand for Children Illinois, which provides both a series of state policy recommendations but also school district and college level guidance for implementing equitable practices.

About ILACEP

The Illinois Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships began in 2014 as a grassroot cadre of concurrent enrollment practitioners and advocates from across Illinois meeting to discuss best practices, opportunities, and challenges. The purpose of this organization is to support concurrent enrollment programs through the advocacy of best practices, research, and collaboration that promote student access and completion, program development, professional development, communication, and high-quality standards.

About CHSA

The College in High School Alliance (CHSA) is a coalition of leading national and state organizations that works towards a future in which every state, and the federal government, has a policy framework that ensures that student access, participation and success in college in high school programs accurately reflects the geographic, demographic, and economic make-up of the nation’s high school students.

About NACEP

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) is the leading membership organization supporting programs that successfully transition students from high school to college through college credit-bearing courses.  We promote quality programming through national standards, accreditation, and professional development.  Our members offer college courses to high school students through a variety of delivery methods and use a range of terms such as concurrent enrollment, dual enrollment, dual credit, and early college.  NACEP’s national network of over 400 colleges and universities, 60 high schools and school districts and 30 state agencies and system offices actively share the latest knowledge about best practices, research, and advocacy.