Riverland enrollment partnerships accredited

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships recently granted accreditation to Riverland Community College’s concurrent enrollment program because the college has demonstrated their commitment to offering high quality concurrent enrollment programming.

The Board of Directors granted accreditation to Riverland’s concurrent enrollment programs at its April 2010 meeting.

Concurrent enrollment program courses are postsecondary courses taught by high school teachers in the high school during the regular school day to high school students; students earn both high school and college credit. Currently, Albert Lea, Alden-Conger, Austin and Glenville-Emmons and Owatonna high schools participate in partnerships. Families save money by taking the courses in the high school, and the students receive grades on an official college transcript.

Email newsletter signup

NACEP accreditation distinguishes a select group of 53 high quality concurrent enrollment programs nationwide. 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.

As stated in the Minnesota Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships website: Minnesota’s concurrent enrollment programs are offering thousands of Minnesota students access to rigorous college courses in their high schools. 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.

Jan Waller, dean of academic affairs and Riverland’s concurrent enrollment coordinator states that the intensive accreditation process wouldn’t be possible without support from partnering high school faculty and their college faculty mentors. Faculty dedication and commitment to concurrent enrollment serve as the foundation for a program of excellence. High school and college faculty build strong relationships around best practices in teaching and learning. The principals and deans at the high schools work with the college to coordinate course offerings each academic year. Riverland’s Concurrent Enrollment Partnership has a rich history enabling eligible high school juniors and seniors to earn college credit at their high schools. 

Riverland Community College, a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is a regional comprehensive community college inspiring learning for living through a personalized educational environment. Approximately 4,000 students are served annually through a wide range of credit-based educational opportunities. An additional 5,600 students are annually served in non-credit courses. Facilities are located in Albert Lea, Austin, and Owatonna. Riverland may be found on the Internet at www.riverland.edu.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 250,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 140,000 students in non-credit courses.