Pulling together a state meeting or conference has its challenges, but typically the payoff for an event provides more value than the effort of the preparation. The Utah Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (UACEP) tradition of annual conferences or quarterly meetings started more than 15 years ago with a few people in the higher education system contacting each other to say, “let’s get in the same room together with some of our K-12 partners and have a good conversation about what’s happening in the realm of concurrent enrollment.”
The group formally organized as a NACEP state chapter in 2016. The chapter has 83 members and held its 15th annual meeting in March. It is great to be a part of such a vibrant group of people.
With the rise of state organizations affiliating with NACEP, I encourage you to be the ONE that makes the first phone call to concurrent/dual enrollment programs across your state or region. You be the ONE to pull six to eight people together and ask questions like:
• “What does your program look like?”
• “How do you work with your admission office on campus in formally admitting concurrent enrollment students?”
• “How have you worked with your departments on campus to increase awareness of your program?”
• “How have your worked through challenges with establishing professional development between departments and the high school instructors”
• “How have you worked with high schools to get program information to parents and students?”
These suggestions just barely scratch the surface on the conversations you can have with people within your state and region. If you have already found success with your post-secondary friends then move to the next level of getting together with your K-12 districts and school administration to start conversations on issues and concerns or program successes found within your program circle. Conversations I have recently had with my partnerships are:
• “How can we start conversations in 8th and 9th grades to help student prepare for the opportunities of dual enrollment in 10-12th grades?”
• “Let’s start having conversations in the general education dual enrollment classes on the idea of becoming a learner. What are ways high school administration can and will support this conversation happening in the classrooms?”
• “High School Guidance Counselor workload is hefty. How can university academic advisors help alleviate the advising load from the high school counselors?”
• “What assistance and support do your high school concurrent enrollment teachers need to feel successful and supported in their advanced roll in the high school?”
One of my favorite things about dual/concurrent enrollment programs is the collaboration that happens when people get together as start asking questions about programs and students. The “ah-ha” moments are frequent, minds start dreaming up ways to make respective programs better and partnerships grow stronger giving students better access to post-secondary education. Be the one in your state or region that makes the first call. Reach out to other CEP professionals for best practice ideas. I promise, from experience, your program will be better because of the relationships you are creating and the questions you are answering.