CollegeNow Receives National Reaccreditation
May 6, 2016
Tompkins Cortland Community College’s CollegeNow has been reaccredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). The only national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnerships, NACEP assures programs like CollegeNow adhere to the highest standards. The NACEP accreditation lasts for seven years. CollegeNow was initially accredited in 2009 and remains one of only 98 programs nationwide to receive the designation.
“This signals to our partner high schools, students, and families that the rigor and quality of CollegeNow courses meet the expectations of Tompkins Cortland Community College,” said CollegeNow Director Victoria Zeppelin. NACEP awards accreditation to programs only after a comprehensive peer review. Applicants must document how the college implements NACEP’s national standards for program quality in the areas of curriculum, faculty, students, assessment, and program evaluation.
“Tompkins Cortland Community College has a long history of working closely with school districts to enhance the opportunity and accessibility of education for students in Central New York,” said Zeppelin. CollegeNow, which is the largest concurrent enrollment program in the SUNY system, creates opportunities for high school students to earn college credit right in their own high school. “This program enables students to take challenging, college-level courses in high school, strengthen the transition from high school to college, and earn college credits that can be used at Tompkins Cortland or transferred to many colleges and universities in New York and throughout the country.”
Unlike Advanced Placement, where college credit is determined by performance on one high-stakes exam, students earn college credit based on their performance over the course of a complete college-level course. Concurrent enrollment instructors are high school teachers who become authorized adjuncts of Tompkins Cortland Community College, teach their course to the College’s master course syllabi, and use college-level texts. Each district has a contract with the College which states the high school will pay various costs associated with the program, including instructor salaries, facility use, tutoring, and advising services. The value of these services provided by the district completely offsets the tuition charge so there is no net cost to the school district or the students.
“Students who participate in the CollegeNow program not only reap academic and financial advantage, but also strengthen their college applications and develop tools for college success,” said Zeppelin, who was appointed chair of the NACEP Accreditation Commission earlier this month. “By taking courses through CollegeNow, high school students gain an understanding of college-level expectations and further develop the college-ready skillset necessary for academic success in higher education.”
This year, 4,814 students across 59 high schools are registered to earn a total of 31,839 college credits through CollegeNow. Last year, 2,186 high school seniors graduated with a total of 23,621 credits from Tompkins Cortland community College. Several students earned more than a semester’s worth of college credit: 567 seniors earned at least 15 credits and 159 earned at least 30 credits. Last year, 19 students completed the requirements and earned an Associate’s degree while in high school, thanks to the CollegeNow program.