Dual Credit Programs leadership at South Texas College say they are nearing the end of the accreditation process by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), which will be among the top priorities for the college as it begins a new year partnering with school districts from across the Valley. Leaders with the Dual Credit Programs say they should have an answer by May 2020 about its accreditation with NACEP, a rigorous two-year process that will enable STC to become a model for all dual credit programs across the nation. NACEP is the sole national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnerships, and represents best practices of educational partnerships as well as a guarantee that an institution has met rigorous national standards. “We are one of two schools in the state of Texas who submitted an application, and we are seeking to be the first in Texas to receive this accreditation. It’s one of the key initiatives on the horizon for us,” said Dr. Rebecca De Leon, Dean of Dual Credit Programs and School District Partnerships at STC. “I believe it’s very exciting when a new academic year kicks off,” De Leon said. “It’s all about assessing where we were previously, and now determining what needs to be done to continue moving forward. It’s all for our students.” STC held its annual Superintendents Leadership Meeting on Friday, Sept. 13. The event was a roundtable-style meeting with STC administrators and Valley leaders from collaborating school districts to prepare for the school year ahead. The roundtable meeting included four superintendents, five assistant superintendents, and more than 12 directors, deans, and chief academic officers from the 13 school districts in attendance. STC President Dr. Shirley A. Reed gave the opening address, and the roughly two-hour meeting was moderated by Dr. Anahid Petrosian, Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at South Texas College. “A lot is happening with our Dual Programs,” Dr. Reed told attendees at the meeting. “We are constantly trying to improve the program, and we want to make sure we are on the same page by reviewing data regarding the performance of students in your dual credit programs. “We are taking this very seriously because just as school districts are accountable for the performance of high school students, we are very accountable to the Coordinating Board and to our accrediting agencies for the performance of dual credit students as college students,” Dr. Reed said. Since 2000, STC has served over 106,000 dual credit students tuition free. The Dual Credit Programs currently serves two counties, 24 school districts, 70 high school sites and includes over 13,000 students, 1,500 courses, and more than 570 faculty. Topics at Friday’s meeting included a review of the state of the Dual Credit Programs as well as the most recent data, revisions for the new fiscal year, and discussions of the Texas Pathways Project aligning high school endorsements with STC meta-majors. Student advising is also among the top priorities for the coming school year. STC has developed a first time dual credit student module, which will introduce new dual credit students to the program as well as introduce the many resources available to them on campus. “We are just appreciative always of the collaboration that South Texas College has had with the school district,” said Sharyland Superintendent Dr. Maria M. Vidaurri. “As with everything, there is always refinement and this is a refinement process which we totally appreciate. We are looking at it from an ISD perspective considering how this is going to impact us, and how are we still going to be able to allow our students to have these different opportunities. “It has been an incredible collaboration,” Dr. Vidaurri said.