Connect 2020: The NACEP Digital Forum



NACEP invites you to Connect 2020: The NACEP Digital Forum was live on October 26 and 27, 2020. Although the live portion is over, you may watch on-demand.

This is the perfect professional development opportunity for all those interested in the field of concurrent and dual enrollment including secondary and post-secondary educators and administrators, policymakers, state education agency staff, and education organizations.

For more information or questions, please email

Registration Information

Connect 2020 is your forum, in real-time or on your time. Your registration now opens on-demand access to all forum content.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to build, lead, and innovate through concurrent and dual enrollment register for on-demand Connect 2020 today!

Cost for Members is $175 and Non-Members is $225.

Register Now

Virtual Accreditation Institute

The Virtual Accreditation Institute has ended.

Led by experienced professionals from NACEP-accredited concurrent enrollment programs, this in-depth institute features strategies for implementing NACEP’s national standards to enhance the quality of concurrent enrollment programs. NACEP Accreditation Institutes are perfect for programs preparing for accreditation, seeking re-accreditation, or interested in improvement through the application of NACEP standards. This event has engaging content for concurrent enrollment teams, college and high school faculty, institution academic officers, as well as college and high school leadership.

Attendance at this event fulfills the requirement of attending an Accreditation Institute for programs interested in submitting an application for the 2021-2022 cycle.

Cost for this workshop is $75.

Register Now

Attendee Information
  • Register for Connect2020 On-Demand here.
  • Attendees must use the email you registered with to gain access to the event.
  • Learn the platform! Check out our Welcome Video so you know what to expect as an attendee. 
  • Utilize the Social Lounge to network during the event.
  • Attendees will have access the conference content until December 26.

NACEP Connect 2020 Session Snapshots

With a variety of timely and timeless topics, Connect 2020 had something for everyone.

Printable Draft Schedule

Monday Keynote: Anne Kim, Author and Journalist

The pandemic has been especially catastrophic for young people. Many are deferring college plans or deciding not to go at all; others have lost jobs since so many of the jobs that have disappeared have been lower-wage jobs in service industries where young people are disproportionately employed; and still others at risk of disengagement from school are dropping out or simply left out as education reconfigures to adapt to the pandemic. The number of young people who are "disconnected" - out of school and out of work - has likely skyrocketed over the last six months. By one estimate, as many as 6 million young people could be disconnected as a result of the pandemic recession. This is a huge loss of potential and a huge potential cost to society. Reaching this population is also a big part of the equation for achieving equity and inclusion. Fortunately, this is a problem where the expansion of programs like dual and concurrent enrollment can help. These programs help to thwart disconnection by creating clearer connections between school and career so young people don't fall through the cracks.

Studio portraits for Anne Kim. Photo by Louis Tinsley/DC Corporate Headshots.

Author and journalist, Anne Kim, kicks off Connect 2020 by bringing this issue, and education’s role in the solution, into focus through a discussion of her recent book, Abandoned: America’s Lost Youth and the Crisis of Disconnection, shortlisted for Goddard Riverside Book Prize for Social Justice.

Our conversation with the author will explore the broader context of youth "disconnection" from school and work. Learn about who is disconnected, how youth fall out of the economic and educational mainstream, and the power of dual and concurrent enrollment programs as national strategy to build connections between school and work during this an increasingly important transitional period in student lives.

Tuesday Keynote: Katherine Prince, Vice President, Strategic Foresight at Knowledgeworks

A New Era of Learning: Futures Thinking for Education Programs, Knowledgeworks

A new era is unfolding, inviting us to imagine new kinds of education structures, practices, roles, and programs that support the healthy development of young people, effective lifelong learning, and community vitality. Even as we navigate near-term disruption, five drivers of change are shaping what is possible for the future of learning. Explore how educators can keep their eyes on the horizon and pursue their visions for learning in face of ongoing uncertainty.

Katherine Prince Bio

One of the United States’ foremost educational futurists, Katherine Prince leads KnowledgeWorks’ exploration of the future of learning. As Vice President, Strategic Foresight, she speaks and writes about the trends shaping education over the next decade and helps education stakeholders strategize about how to become active agents of change in shaping the future. Before joining KnowledgeWorks in 2006, Katherine supported large-scale changes in working practice at Britain’s Open University and helped U.S. federal agencies and other clients increase service quality by incorporating a customer perspective into their organizational planning. Katherine holds a BA in English from Ohio Wesleyan University; an MA in English from the University of Iowa; and an MBA from The Open University. She earned a certificate in Foresight from the University of Houston and is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists.


These sessions focus on the fundamental nuts and bolts of these programs including partnerships, logistics, processes, coordination, program supports, and building continuity and capacity. Session attendees leave with a concrete understanding of program structure and function as well as useful tips and tools to work on one or more of the elements needed to build, grow, and sustain concurrent and dual enrollment programs.

Power of Partnership: Working Together to Achieve Accreditation & More

This engaging presentation will chronicle the processes that the concurrent enrollment program (CEP) at South Central College (SCC) established while pursuing initial NACEP accreditation, which was approved in the Spring of 2020. A critical aspect of this success, was the partnership that was established between the program director, faculty, staff, and administration. Session presenters will describe the structure of the CEP and internal team, the responsibilities and contributions of each team member, application strategies that worked well (and those that didn't) and the processes that will continue to be utilized moving forward with increasing CEP enrollment and course offerings.

Collaboration is Critical in an Online Educational World

South Texas College (STC) Dual Credit Programs has approximately 16,000 dual credit students and over 380 Dual Credit Faculty teaching dual credit courses at their respective high school campus within 23 partnering school districts. As COVID-19 halted face-to-face instruction and a shelter-in-place was ordered in Spring 2020, STC mandated all Dual Credit Faculty to complete a 3-tier Online Certifications Training to continue instruction via the STC approved Learning Management System, in collaboration with the College’s Distance Learning Division. By attending this session, attendees will learn how STC was able to transition over 1,500 dual credit courses to online learning while ensuring student success.

KonMari for NACEP: Find Joy in Keeping Your Program Organized!

Are you approaching your self study for accreditation, but the amount of documentation overwhelms you?  Have you tried organization systems like Teams or Google docs, only to find it was a short term fix? Does the process of tracking feel like you're in a constant paper chase? Do you wish Marie Kondo, star of the Netflix show "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" could come and tidy up your NACEP process?  This session will demonstrate how one school found a system of organization that "brings them joy" rather than frustration using their campus Learning Management System-resulting in a well organized (and successful) reaccreditation application!

The Pursuit of Rigor

The presenters will discuss an initiative undertaken at Houston Community College (HCC) to address the rigor question in college courses taught for dual credit.  We’ll discuss how our pursuit of rigor developed and then culminated in the founding of a Dual Credit Rigor Institute; emphasis will be placed on the partnerships and collaborations between HCC and ISD’s to include both administration and faculty. Additionally, the presenters will discuss challenges faced by the Dual Credit Rigor Institute.

Attendees at this presentation will gain insight into building partnerships with local high schools to develop and execute a successful institute, which addressed questions of rigor, pedagogy, and assessment. We will discuss the evolution of the four separate rigor institutes and discuss the role of college-level standards, rigor, and expectations in addressing the rigor question in dual credit courses. The presenters will discuss how community college and high school faculty who teach in the same academic discipline were able to collaborate to identify critical subject-matter knowledge, core concepts, and pedagogical strategies that promote rigor.

As greater collaborations between high schools and post-secondary institutions are needed, faculty and administrators can learn how the presenters implemented a rigor institute and began a collaborative journey to build partnerships and embrace rigor in courses taught for dual credit.

Community Colleges and Dual Enrollment: Guidance for Teaching and Learning

Community colleges are a vital component of dual enrollment policy; 75% of all dual credit is awarded via a community college (Lochmiller et al., 2016).  To ensure that all dual enrollment students are served properly, community college full-time faculty, adjuncts, and administrators require specific guidance and training that can help them serve their dual enrollment students in both the concurrent and traditional models.  This session will highlight the findings and recommendations from a forthcoming chapter of New Directions for Community Colleges that identify the specific opportunities and challenges that come with teaching dual enrollment students in both modalities.  This session will situate the recommendation for practice and teaching within the context of the community college, where most dual credit is awarded.  A unique feature of this session is the ability to blend research and practice in a way that will help the audience leave with practical steps to enhance their dual enrollment program. 


These sessions focus on ways that the field can lead substantive change in education, build a bigger voice, and generally elevate the understanding, role, or utilization of concurrent and dual enrollment programs in America’s education landscape. Session attendees leave inspired with a concrete understanding about the vital role of these programs in transforming education in ways that serve our students and our communities.

The Dual Enrollment Playbook: New Research Findings to Advance Equity

In partnership with state educational agencies, The Aspen Institute and Community College Research Center identified nine partnerships of high schools and community colleges across Florida, Washington, and Ohio with high participation and strong outcomes for Black and Latinx students taking dual enrollment courses. Across the past year, Aspen and CCRC visited these partnerships and interviewed hundreds of administrators, counselors, faculty, students, and parents. This fall, Aspen and CCRC released the research findings from these visits in The Dual Enrollment Playbook: A Guide to Equitable Acceleration for Students. This session will provide an overview of the Playbook’s high-impact practices to advance equity in dual enrollment programs.

Credits with a Purpose:  Designing Systems to Avoid Excess Credit

While early college opportunities present so many benefits, early credits without purpose can have unintended impacts on college plans and progress. Many early college program managers and coordinators are well-versed in access and opportunity but may be new to the college-side of course advising and allocation. In this short session, we will outline some of the common areas where students run into trouble with excess, unusable credit in college:   transferability, SAP & financial aid, and college standing. As more students access early credit in high school, it is important to make sure students choose their courses with intention. We will also outline some different ways that programs can structure or support offerings to empower informed student choice. Participants will have an opportunity to offer solutions and perspectives from their own programs.

Early College Equity Building Strategies: Right Students, Right Start

Windward Community College (WCC) has partnered with high schools to target outreach and supports for students who are less likely to go to college. The program targets Native Hawaiian, first-generation, and economically disadvantaged high school students. The intentional work with high schools and students build fidelity to mission and values, an application process that prioritizes these populations, and unique course offerings linked to high school, college, and career pathways. Success coaches placed in every class and high touch, intrusive counseling model, compliment annual leadership events to help generate high success program rates.

Leveraging Cross-Sector Partnerships Amidst the Pandemic in Louisiana

As part of an ambitious effort to provide universal access to dual enrollment, Louisiana released earlier this year recommendations for a statewide framework to expand equitable access to dual enrollment, particularly for low-income, rural, African-American, and Hispanic students. Led by a cross-sector task force established by the state legislature, this innovative work has been grounded in building partnerships with practitioners on-the-ground to highlight best practices and shared challenges in communities across the state. In response to barriers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana recently enacted an emergency policy to revise the eligibility requirements for dual enrollment, one of the key recommendations from the statewide task force. Enacting this legislation necessitated the Louisiana Board of Regents and the Louisiana Department of Education to act quickly in responding to the call from community stakeholders to increase the transparency and access to information on dual enrollment policies. Side-by-side, the two-state agencies partnered together to communicate a shared vision for dual enrollment access for the state’s traditionally underserved students. As the next iteration of this work, the state has committed $250,000 to develop a dual enrollment portal that will put valuable information and resources directly into the hands of K-12 and higher education practitioners across the state. During this session, participants will learn more about Louisiana’s process for engaging stakeholders, fostering partnerships, and knocking down silos—and how the state plans to continue empowering local communities to expand dual enrollment access.

From The School Bus to The Couch

Students with disabilities who receive special education services comprise over 14% (over 6 million) of the U.S. high school population. An additional 1.1 million students receive accommodations for disabilities which do not require special instruction under Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Like their peers without disabilities, many aspire to post-secondary education. However, students with disabilities participate in dual credit programs at substantially lower rates than their peers, they are less likely to enroll in post-secondary institutions following high school graduation, and if they do enroll, they are also less likely to persist in attaining a degree or certification.

In addition to working hard to manage and/or overcome challenges resulting from their disabilities, policy barriers and unclear guidance from education leaders make participation in dual enrollment coursework more difficult than it should be for these students. This session examines some of the challenges and barriers to entry for this sizeable population of students and proposes low/no-cost solutions including enhancing educator awareness and training for universal design of dual credit classes.

Impacts of Colorado Concurrent Enrollment on Postsecondary and Workforce Success

Colorado has set bold goals in terms of postsecondary education.  The Colorado Department of Higher Education’s goal of reaching 66 percent postsecondary educational attainment by 2025 along with a commitment to contain costs and ensure affordability of higher education require the state to leverage innovative interventions supported by rigorous research that bolster student success.

CDHE received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences to carry out cutting edge research on the postsecondary benefits of the state’s Concurrent Enrollment program.  Additionally, the University of Colorado at Boulder received a grant from the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab to continue this work and measure the impact of Concurrent Enrollment of workforce outcomes.

A collaborative team came together to link and analyze data across state agencies and found Colorado’s Concurrent Enrollment program to be highly effective in increasing college graduation, persistence, and completion for high school students in Colorado.  The study also showed increased earnings outcomes for Concurrent Enrollment students after postsecondary completion.

Advocacy in the Age of COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered educational work on all levels. In the midst of political debates about how best to support K-12 and college education, it is important not to let concurrent enrollment get lost in the shuffle. This session will provide an overview of policy issues that have affected concurrent enrollment, dual credit, and early college high schools over the past six months, with a discussion of how decisions made today might impact our work in the future. It will also provide tips and best practices on how you can help advocate for continued support for your programs moving forward.


These sessions highlight solutions, novel approaches, and new directions for new or existing programs. Session attendees leave with new perspectives, insights, and tools that will help them innovate, from small changes to total program overhaul.

Promoting Post-Secondary Opportunities for Foster Care Alumni Through Dual Credit

Foster care alumni (youth who have spent even one day in foster care) both graduate from high school and complete post-secondary credentials at alarmingly lower rates than their peers. A 2019 study found as few as 50% will graduate from high school or earn a GED, less than 2% will earn a bachelor's degree with 6 years, and only 2% will earn a community college credential within 6 years. We can use the benefits of dual credit to change these dismal outcomes. The presenter will provide data sources, foster care alumni resources, and strategies participants can implement in their communities to improve the post-secondary outcomes for foster care alumni. The session will be valuable to secondary educators and leaders, post-secondary educators and leaders, policymakers, and parents.

Latino Male College Engagement After Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent Enrollment programs support Latino males in building Cultural Capital, which sustains continued hopes and dreams for their academic futures, but is it enough to disrupt academic inequalities in performance outcomes? This session presents data collected from Latino males enrolled at two Hispanic Serving community colleges in Colorado to show how CE impacts their GPAs, aspirations to go to college, aspirations to get a college degree, and college navigational skills. Focus on Latinos as a homogeneous group lends way to four recommendations for CE Educators to address institutionalized equity issues. Sample CE student handouts and instructional activities will also be presented as suggestions to engage minoritized students throughout their CE program.

The Power of Networks: Collaboration & Support in Challenging Times

COVID-19 has dramatically changed how we work, lead, and teach students.  What do you do when you are asked to create completely different systems for teaching, learning, communication, student recognition, graduation, etc.?  You rely on your friends and your professional networks. This session will showcase how principals in an established network of early college high schools leveraged one another’s expertise to address problems of practice in navigating the constant change of schooling that has now defined in 2020.  Principals in the Early College Network (ECN) tapped into the “hive brain” of the network to help solve their most pressing challenges and learn from their peers.  Hear first-hand accounts from principals and network leaders about how this network began, the design tenets that make it work, and how the network strengthened when challenges peaked and support weakened. Do you have a network of trusted peers across institutions and district settings?  Could you benefit from one? We think so.

Pivoting to Online during COVID - Data & Trends

On March 16th, Connecticut closed its schools and pivoted to online teaching and learning due to COVID-19.  With little more than the mandate to close, the University of Connecticut, UConn Early College Experience (UConn ECE) took the lead in the State to document how high schools transitioned to distance education so that we could assure that our UConn courses would continue.  Throughout the spring, we also collected qualitative and quantitative data on Best and Worse practices in online teaching and surveyed students on their experience taking more than half of their spring semester online.  We have analyzed the data and have a mountain of best practices, worst practices, and advice for the next pivot. 

Attendees to this 40-minute session will learn: how UConn recorded high school teaching practice, our communication strategies which fostered a stronger community, solutions to common classroom problems (grading, absenteeism, motivation), best and worst practices from the UConn ECE professionals, and both qualitative and quantitative data from the students who took the classes.

New Horizons in Dual/Concurrent Enrollment Research

This session aims to create a dialogue of how DE/CE research informs practice, and how DE/CE practice informs research.  In this session, DE/CE researchers and practitioners come together to discuss new horizons of DE/CE research amid the contemporary context of a global pandemic and elevated attention to longstanding racial inequities. Panelists will engage in a dialogue that addresses three core issues and questions:

  • What are the most pressing DE/CE research needs in the short-term given COVID and racial inequities, and how can research be used to inform policy and practice to address the contemporary realities?
  • What does existing DE/CE research tell us about how we should structure and deliver the highest quality DE/CE programs?
  • What is the future of DE/CE research? What are the most critical policy- & practice-relevant research questions to answer?

Panelists will discuss both the recurring DE/CE issues such as DE/CE quality and administration, transfer of DE/CE credits, teaching and learning, recruitment and marketing. Panelists will also engage more contemporary issues such as the intersection of DE/CE and racial injustice, COVID-19 impacts on DE/CE, and the broad role of DE/CE in educational attainment.