VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) - Vincennes University's Project EXCEL program is one of 22 programs to receive national accreditation, according to an announcement on Monday by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP).
NACEP accreditation validates the quality of college courses offered in high schools and ensures that the course content and student expectations match the standards of the sponsoring postsecondary institution.
"Through NACEP's rigorous accreditation peer-review process, Vincennes University has once again demonstrated that it integrates high-quality, standards-based practices across its concurrent enrollment program," said NACEP President Lynn Burbank. "We are pleased to award continued accreditation to Vincennes University's Project EXCEL, which initially earned NACEP accreditation in 2005. Vincennes University remains a national leader as one of 83 concurrent enrollment partnerships nationwide accredited by NACEP."
VU's Project EXCEL served 7,166 unduplicated students and generated 41,054 credit hours (1,368 full-time equivalency enrollments) in the 2011-12 academic year.
NACEP's standards represent nationally acknowledged best practices, ensuring that the college courses offered in the high school are the same as the courses offered on the sponsoring college campus. The intensive accreditation process includes a comprehensive, programmatic self-study; documentation of adherence to the standards; and a peer review by experienced, accredited members of NACEP.
Recent national research shows that high school students who participate in an accelerated learning option, such as concurrent enrollment, benefit greatly from exposure to high expectations, participation in challenging courses, and the momentum gained by earning college credits while still in high school. VU's Project EXCEL program offers thousands of Indiana students that access to rigorous college courses in their high schools.
Heather Moffat, director of VU's Project EXCEL dual-credit program, states that the intensive accreditation process wouldn't be possible without support from partnering high school faculty and VU college faculty liaisons. "Faculty dedication and commitment serve as the foundation for a program of excellence. High school and college faculty build strong relationships around best practices in teaching and learning. As the first dual-credit program in Indiana, Project EXCEL has a long history enabling eligible high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit at their high schools," Moffat said.
VU ensures that all of its on- and off-campus courses are consistent in both content and rigor. "Consistency is critical, and we strive to ensure that students participating in our classes in the high school environment achieve the same standards and outcomes as those who take a course on campus," Moffat said.
To earn accreditation from NACEP, concurrent enrollment programs conduct a self-study, document how their programs adhere to NACEP's 17 standards, and are evaluated by peer reviewers from NACEP-accredited programs. NACEP's standards were developed and refined over many years, serve as a model for quality standards in 15 states, and are adaptable to a wide range of higher education institutions.
"This accreditation demonstrates the commitment of Vincennes University to academic rigor both on and off campus," said VU President Dick Helton. "We are proud of the service and education provided by Project EXCEL, and we look forward to providing continued leadership in the state's dual enrollment programs in the future."
The full listing of 83 programs nationwide currently accredited by NACEP can be found at http://nacep.org.
The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) works to ensure that college courses offered in high schools are as rigorous as courses offered on the sponsoring college campus. As the sole accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnerships, NACEP helps these programs adhere to the highest standards so students experience a seamless transition to college and teachers benefit from meaningful, ongoing professional development. To advance the field and support its national network of over 225 colleges and universities and 50 high school and state partners, NACEP actively shares the latest knowledge about best practices, research, and advocacy. Its annual conference in Seattle, Washington, Oct.
28-30, will once again be the premier destination for college officials, high school leaders, policymakers, and researchers interested in creating an effective academic bridge between high school and college.
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