Monday, August 22, 2011

Rio's Dual Enrollment Program Receives Reaccreditation

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships recently certified that Rio Salado College’s dual enrollment program complies with NACEP’s standards for best practices in concurrent enrollment program administration. The professional organization perpetuates early college options by promoting secondary and post-secondary collaborations. There are currently 66 institutions accredited by NACEP with Rio Salado as one of four to have been reaccredited this year under revised standards adopted in 2009.

“Rio Salado strives to be a leader in providing early college options to meet the needs of our students and our community. Rio Salado’s dual enrollment program continues to be the only NACEP accredited program in the state. The process is not easy, and the standards are high, but we feel this distinction is an important indicator of the quality and commitment we provide,” said Rio Salado College Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Vernon Smith.

NACEP’s standards promote the implementation of policies and practices to ensure that:

  • Students enrolled in concurrent enrollment courses are held to the same standards of achievement as students in on-campus courses.

  • Instructors teaching college courses through the concurrent enrollment program meet the academic requirements for faculty teaching in the sponsoring postsecondary institution and are provided discipline-specific professional development.

  • Concurrent enrollment programs display greater accountability through required impact studies, student surveys, and course and program evaluations.

“We’re proud to be NACEP accredited,” Rio Salado Director of Dual Enrollment EJ Anderson said. “It’s always nice to have a third party come in and reinforce that we are doing things the way they need to be done. Not only is it a pat on the back, but it lends credibility to the entire program which helps us better serve our students.”

Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to get a jump start on their college degree. Rio Salado dual enrollment courses are taught by high school teachers on-site at local high schools including Tempe, Dysart, Deer Valley, Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa and Paradise Valley.

Motivated students can save time and money by simultaneously earning high school and college credits. Dual enrollment courses are designed to teach both high school and college proficiencies, and the credits earned are transferable to any Rio Salado College university partner.

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) is the sole accrediting body for programs that provide opportunities for high school students to simultaneously earn high school and transcripted college credit for college courses taught by high school teachers at their high school.

Rio Salado College was founded in 1978 and serves one of the largest online enrollments nationwide. The college was recently recognized as one of eight highly productive institutions of higher education in the nation by McKinsey & Company. Rio Salado offers general education courses as well as a variety of degree and certificate programs with more than 62,000 students enrolled annually. It is also Arizona’s largest provider of Adult Basic Education.

The Maricopa Community College District is one of the largest community college districts in the nation and serves more than 250,000 students annually. It includes 10 colleges - Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Estrella Mountain Community College, GateWay Community College, Glendale Community College, Mesa Community College, Paradise Valley Community College, Phoenix College, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale Community College and South Mountain Community College. The District also includes the Maricopa Skill Center, SouthWest Skill Center, several satellite campuses and business/industry, technical and customized training institutes.

Media Contact:
Delynn Bodine, Rio Salado College
480.517.8205 (w)