National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships grants full re-accreditation to NICC

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) Accreditation Commission granted full seven-year re-accreditation to Northeast Iowa Community College earlier this year.

NACEP first accredited the College’s concurrent enrollment programming and partnerships with northeast Iowa school districts in 2012.

As the nation’s only accrediting body for these unique and impactful educational partnerships, NACEP standards serve as the model criteria for ensuring parity in faculty, course content, student outcomes and support. The NACEP reaccreditation indicates that NICC met the nation’s most rigorous standard in concurrent enrollment programs.

“I’m very pleased to recognize Northeast Iowa Community College’s High School Partnerships Program as one of a select group of 112 concurrent enrollment partnerships nationwide accredited through NACEP’s extensive peer-review process. Northeast Iowa Community College has demonstrated to its peers that the college courses it offers in high schools are of the same high quality as college courses offered on campus,” stated 2018-19 NACEP chair of the accreditation commission, Diana Johnson.

From 2017-2018, high school students enrolled in 21,875 college credits through NICC and saved an estimated $11.3 million in college tuition.

School district officials reaffirmed their successful concurrent enrollment partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College and the opportunities offered to students.

“The partnership between Northeast Iowa Community College and South Winneshiek High School provides so many opportunities for our students from the concurrent enrollment classes to the career pathways. I feel we are truly blessed to have NICC in our backyard, and we are committed to expanding our horizons with the College, which will benefit our students,” stated Kris Einck, superintendent of South Winneshiek Community School District and principal of South Winneshiek High School.

“Western Dubuque Schools is very fortunate to have a great partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College,” added Rick Colpitts, superintendent of Western Dubuque Community School District. “Our relationship provides our students with opportunities to earn college credit and explore many different career pathways while still attending high school.”

NICC administrators acknowledged the efforts of faculty and staff members who continue to nurture and grow the College’ concurrent enrollment partnerships with 25 school districts in northeast Iowa.

“The Northeast Iowa Community College High School Partnerships office, under the direction of Katie Gilbert, works very diligently to serve high schools, expand access of quality credit courses and career pathways for their students, and to ensure that high school faculty members meet and exceed instructional standards established by NACEP,” stated Kathleen Nacos-Burds, Ph. D., NICC vice president of learning and student success.

NICC Associate Dean of High School Partnerships Katie Gilbert attributes the successful reaccreditation in large part to the strong connections and partnerships the College has established with high schools and concurrent enrollment faculty members.

“Our concurrent enrollment instructors in the high schools are working very hard in the College’s district to ensure that these credit courses match the quality and rigor as those we offer at our campuses and service areas. High school instructors and staff members also align the courses to meet transferability requirements for Northeast Iowa Community College and with four-year colleges and universities,” explained Gilbert. “We are proud of the high schools we partner with to establish college-level academic expectations, and NACEP is recognizing our collective efforts through this re-accreditation.”

NICC and partnering high schools offer eight unique career pathways for their students, including: agriculture and animal sciences; auto tech, power mechanics and transportation; business, marketing and hospitality; eduation, human and public services; health sciences; information technology; STEM, advanced manufacturing and construction. The College offered 95 total course offerings to high school students in these pathways in 2018-2019.

During the accreditation body’ Higher Learning Commission (HLC) site visits at NICC in 2018, the commission also evaluated several off-campus high school sites where students could access 50 percent or more of the credits required to complete an NICC program, including sites at Cascade High School and Clayton Ridge High School in Elkader. The HLC praised the College’s quality programming and the high school faculty’s engagement and course consistency in its February 2019 report that awarded NICC reaccreditation.