Is your concurrent enrollment program considering (or being pushed) to a completely online administrative process? NACEP institutions have encountered numerous challenges as they’ve attempted the transition from paper-based to web-based processes for admissions and registration including how to handle parental consent requirements, lack of student compliance and accuracy, disgruntled high school administrators, and information system incompatibility with CE program policies. Some CE programs, however, have found solutions that work.
Pete Belk, Program Director, Admissions/Adjunct Assistant Professor at Johnson County Community College, noted their program began requiring students to use online registration in 2005 partly as a response to the program’s growth. The program uses its website – www.jccc.edu/collegenow – to link students to the online admissions and enrollment process. The website includes step-by-step instructions and an extensive FAQ page to guide students and their parents through the process.
This year, the program adopted a unique application for its College Now Program participants, including program specific fields. One such field includes check boxes for a student to indicate he or she understands that prior to enrollment at JCCC, “I must submit a high school authorization form (available in my high school counselors office) signed by my principal; …must enroll at JCCC for the classes I wish to earn college credit for. I further understand that I must pay tuition for my JCCC coursework.” and “I understand that if I have to drop my course for any reason, I must do so at JCCC to avoid having an F on my permanent transcript.”
Once a student is admitted, he or she is notified via email and postcard to log into a MyJCCC account to enroll. Students have the option to enroll over the phone or in person.
At Tompkins Cortland Community College, the transition to online registration for concurrent enrollment classes is being launched in phases. Each semester Tompkins Cortland CC converts a few schools to its online process. The director, Karl Madeo, conducts training with CE teachers and/or other high school staff who then guide the students through the online registration process. “We also provide the schools with detailed step-by-step handouts to use with the students,” he said. The high schools have come to prefer the web-based method. Although it took a great deal of planning with the college’s information technology department to design an efficient system on the front end, the process has saved time once used to enter registration information.
Other CE programs, such as the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Advanced Credit Program, have implemented a two-step process so the program has its own online system that later feeds into the university system. After students register they must print out a permission form that must be signed by parents and counselors. This gives the program a back-up paper trail while relieving the staff from entering all the data.