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Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, MN

FDLTCC’s College in the Schools Program Receives National Accreditation

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) Accreditation Commission granted accreditation to Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s concurrent enrollment program. The College in the Schools program at the college is one of just 116 accredited programs in the United States, spanning twenty-four states.

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships is the leading membership organization supporting academic programs that successfully transition students from high school to college through college credit-bearing courses taken while students are in high school.

“Earning and receiving this national accreditation is the culmination of several years of program review, self-study, data collection and analysis, and adjusting processes to make sure we have the best possible program in place,” said Damien Paulson, Academic Adviser and College in the Schools Coordinator at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. “We have been operating an excellent concurrent enrollment program for more than 20 years, so this designation confirms we provide a rigorous academic program of college courses delivered in high school classrooms.”

As the nation’s only accrediting body for these unique and impactful educational partnerships, NACEP’s standards serve as the model criteria for ensuring parity in faculty, course content, student outcomes, and support. Receiving NACEP accreditation means an institution has met the nation’s most rigorous standard in concurrent enrollment program development, management, and evaluation across multiple, multifaceted program areas.

“NACEP accreditation demonstrates a commitment to academic integrity and the delivery of an authentic college experience to the high school student and is a goal that every concurrent enrollment program should aspire to and work towards,” said NACEP Executive Director, Amy Williams.

The College in the Schools Program at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College met established best practices in the areas of curriculum, faculty, students, assessment, partnership, and program evaluation.

“Our longstanding program maintains strong partnerships with participating school districts that create opportunities for student success,” said Paulson. “Our program’s overall success is possible through the on-going support of our college’s administration, faculty, and staff, and our 17 partnering high schools. Through our College in the Schools program we provide early access to college courses that help students prove they can complete college-level curriculum and earn college credits toward a degree. For most students, this is their very first experience with college courses and the accompanying academic expectations.”

To earn accreditation from NACEP, concurrent enrollment programs conduct a self-study, document how their programs adhere to NACEP’s sixteen standards, and undergo a rigorous peer-review process conducted by a team of representatives from NACEP‐accredited programs as well as the NACEP Accreditation Commission. NACEP’s accreditation is valid for five years for initial accreditation and then seven years for re-accreditation, during which time programs are expected to uphold NACEP’s standards and report annually on program practices.

“Ensuring program, and ultimately student success, requires strong partnerships between secondary and postsecondary education and a mutual commitment to quality in all aspects of a program,” said NACEP Executive Director, Amy Williams. “Concurrent enrollment increases student’s college aspirations, engagement, and success, plus concurrent enrollment programs hold tremendous potential for increasing college completion and addressing national attainment gaps.”