Wiregrass becomes first college in Georgia to receive NACEP accreditation
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Wiregrass Georgia Technical College received official accreditation by the Accreditation Commission of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). The Dual Enrollment program at Wiregrass met NACEP’s rigorous national standards for program quality.
The 2017-18 Chair of NACEP's Accreditation Commission Victoria Zeppelin of the Tompkins Cortland Community College remarked: "I'm very pleased to recognize the Dual Enrollment Program at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College as one of a select group of one hundred and seven concurrent enrollment partnerships nationwide accredited through NACEP's extensive peer-review process. Wiregrass Georgia Technical 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."
NACEP accreditation standards review a form of dual enrollment called concurrent enrollment. Concurrent enrollment is when a certified K12 teacher is credentialed to teach college level coursework for a college or university according to the college’s regional accrediting policies. Wiregrass is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The NACEP accreditation process reviewed the courses and policies surrounding course offerings taught by local K12 teachers in Wiregrass’s dual enrollment program. NACEP works to ensure that college courses offered by high school teachers are as rigorous as courses offered on college campuses, such as Wiregrass Tech, and that all college admissions and enrollment policies are consistently administered. The process took around 18 months to complete. NACEP helps programs like Wiregrass’ Dual Enrollment program to provide the highest standards so students experience a seamless transition to college and teachers benefit from meaningful, ongoing professional development.
“We are excited that Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is the first college in Georgia to earn the NACEP accreditation for their Dual Enrollment program,” said Matt Arthur, Commissioner of Technical College System of Georgia. “As more high school students in Georgia earn college credit at one of our 22 TCSG colleges, we remain committed to offering programs of the highest quality. The NACEP accreditation is validation of the tremendous work being done at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.”
Wiregrass’s dual enrollment program allows students in grades 9 – 12 to take college credits while in high school at no cost for tuition or fees and textbooks are provided. The high school students can take degree level core courses that may transfer to colleges and universities in the University System and the Technical College System of Georgia and nationwide; or choose from a variety of occupational courses in high-demand career fields. The credits students earn do not count against HOPE and Zell Miller caps.
Parents saved over $3 million dollars in tuition and fees last year. “Wiregrass has served just over 2,000 high school students this year earning them over 17,000 college credits,” shared Brooke Jaramillo, Executive Director of High School Services for Wiregrass.
Wiregrass’ Dual Enrollment program has recently been recognized as having the second highest enrollment in the State of Georgia for Fall 2017. Wiregrass was first in the state with the highest dual enrollment market penetration for FY17. “What this accreditation means to parents in our 11-county service area is that Wiregrass Tech has gone above and beyond to make sure the college courses we provide their student is above par,” added Wiregrass Tech President Dr. Tina K. Anderson. “This accreditation was not required, but one that we wanted. Students and parents have the assurance that our courses meet national rigorous standards and program quality.”
The National Accreditation will benefit students like Abigail Blanchett a Senior at Irwin High School, Chris Scarborough from Valdosta High School and Matthew Hardy from Lanier High School. They will graduate knowing that the classes taken through Wiregrass’ Dual Enrollment program have met national standards in terms of faculty credentials, curriculum, student assessment, student support, and program evaluation.
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