NACEP Receives Grant to Address the Fundamental Challenges Faced by States in Ensuring Equitable Access to Quality

[Chapel Hill, North Carolina] - The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) is proud to announce new work studying state policy in dual enrollment program quality. The result of this work, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will provide the states with adaptable options to craft a more equitable and effective dual enrollment policy landscape. This grant represents a significant milestone in NACEP’s ongoing commitment to ensure that all high school students have equitable access to quality college courses that support their postsecondary goals.

At a time when states, institutions, students, and parents are increasingly seeking and embracing dual enrollment opportunities, NACEP continues to be the steadfast advocate for establishing measurable standards for program quality. This grant will support NACEP's work to address the fundamental challenges faced by states in ensuring equitable access to quality programs through the right mixture of policy, incentives, guidance, and training. “Without quality, there is no equity. NACEP is committed to broadening the discourse on quality, shifting it from being solely a program-level responsibility to a statewide imperative,” noted NACEP Executive Director, Amy Williams. 

"We are extremely grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the support of this grant, which comes at an important time for the field," reflects Dianne Barker, NACEP's Director of State Engagement.  "News of the grant award has generated excitement in the dual enrollment community where this work is seen as incredibly timely and integral to the continued successful and sustainable scaling of these programs."

Harmony Little, Executive Director of Credentialing Strategies for Kentucky Community & Technical College System elevated the importance of a coordinated approach to quality for states, “Ensuring quality in dual credit programs is essential to program and student success. Operating dual enrollment programs is complex, with multiple stakeholders, varying structures and budgets, data requirements, accountability measures, and regulations. Pursuing quality programs is vital to ensure these differences do not hinder students from enrolling in rigorous and well-structured courses that meet their postsecondary goals. Quality programs will help maintain program standards for the schools providing dual enrollment, which will foster confidence in students, parents, teachers, and the educational community and provide legitimacy and value to the program.”

One of the key strengths of NACEP leading this work is the organization’s deep knowledge of the program and policy landscape nationally. NACEP has the in-house expertise and a strong track record working with states to build flexible, adaptable solutions. Amy Hubbard, Executive Director of Early College, University of Maine System stated, “As stewards of a state-sponsored program, the University of Maine System's Early College program has the responsibility of providing high-quality programs that focus on access, equity, and student success. Our enrollment has grown significantly in the past few years due to a shared commitment to remove academic and financial barriers. At the same time, we have improved the quality of our programs by using NACEP Program Quality Standards as best practice expectations. The success of our early college students during high school and in college demonstrates that enrollment growth, quality, and student achievement are not mutually exclusive but are instead mutually beneficial.”

“This grant will enable NACEP to explore fundamental questions about the appropriate role of state policy, guidance, and training in ensuring quality in these programs that currently straddle two distinct policy landscapes. We are excited about the opportunities this grant affords us to give states tools to strengthen the policy ecosystem surrounding dual enrollment and make a lasting difference in the field for decades to come,” said Amy Williams, NACEP's Executive Director.


For media inquiries or more information about our organization and the impact of this grant, please contact:

Miranda Rodriguez

Director of Communications and Member Services, NACEP



NACEP is the leading advocate for advancing the quality and effectiveness of dual enrollment programs across the United States. With a rich history of working with state and local education policies, our organization is dedicated to fostering collaboration among states and creating a standardized policy framework that supports high-quality dual enrollment experiences for all students.