NACEP’s Summer Accreditation Institute in Austin Highlights Program Excellence

August 18, 2017

Hosted by Austin Community College District's Early College High School and Dual Credit Programs, 90 concurrent enrollment and dual credit professionals recently gathered for an intensive day-long workshop in Austin, Texas to learn effective approaches to managing college courses taught by high school instructors.   The attendees came from 40 colleges and universities across 15 states.

The day began with workshop facilitators from three leading NACEP-accredited programs sharing their colleges' journeys to excellence: Kent Scheffel of Lewis & Clark Community College (Illinois), Brett DeLaria, Saint Louis University (Missouri), and Katie McGowan Bucci, Broome Community College (New York).  Each one described how their college strengthened their programs by aligning with NACEP's national standards, and the benefits they've seen from holding accreditation.

Taking a break at the summer accreditation institute

Participants broke into smaller groups to delve deeply into understanding the intent behind each of NACEP's standards for program quality, the expectations for programs pursuing accreditation, and the differences between the existing standards and new standards coming into effect in the 2018-19 school year. Over three sessions they covered the six clusters of standards: partnership, students, faculty, curriculum, assessment, and program evaluation.

Following lunch, Dr. Belle Wheelan, President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) spoke about dual enrollment from an institutional accreditor's perspective.  She emphasized those aspects of SACS Criteria for Accreditation that are critical to uphold in dual and concurrent enrollment courses, and the importance of college and university oversight to ensure that these courses align with institutional practices.

Belle Whelan, , President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) , addressed the attendees.

NACEP Executive Director Adam Lowe provided guidance on for programs on conducting a self-study, preparing an accreditation application, and navigating the peer review process.  Workshop facilitators met with teams from each college or university to assist them as they conducted rapid self-assessment of quality practices in place at their institution and to begin crafting an implementation a self-study timeline.

NACEP's next Accreditation Institute will be held October 8, 2017 in Washington, D.C., immediately prior to NACEP's national conference.  If you are interested in hosting an accreditation institute or other training in your region, please contact NACEP's Director of Accreditation and Member Services

About the Author

Adam is the Executive Director of NACEP. He has been with the organization since 2009 when he became the NACEP's first Executive Secretary and helped to steer a previously all volunteer organization through a period of rapid growth and maturation.