MCALLEN, Texas – One of the top education events of the year in the Rio Grande Valley occurred in October when South Texas College celebrated securing an important accreditation for its dual credit programs.

STC is the first college in Texas to earn an accreditation from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.

Rebecca De Leon

Dr. Rebecca De Leon, STC’s dean for dual credit programs and school district partnerships, said the accreditation proves STC is providing the highest level of instruction that can be offered for dual students.

The actual accreditation from NACEP came in May 2020 but the award could not be made at the time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an exclusive interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, Dr. De Leon pointed out that STC had to follow a rigorous two-year process of adhering to NACEP’s concurrent enrollment standards. She said STC had to ensure that:

• College courses offered in the high school are of the same quality and rigor as the courses offered on-campus at the sponsoring college or university.

• Students enrolled in concurrent enrollment courses are held to the same standards of achievement as students in on-campus courses.

• Instructors teaching college courses through the concurrent enrollment program meet the academic requirements for faculty and instructors teaching in the sponsoring postsecondary institution and are trained in course delivery and provided ongoing discipline-specific professional development.

• Concurrent enrollment programs display greater accountability through program evaluation.

“That’s what this NACEP accreditation is. It’s a testament that South Texas College’s Dual Credit Programs is to the highest quality and the highest level that a college-level course should be held at a high school site,” De Leon said. “It’s a testament to our students, parents and community so they know that the courses their students are able to take at their high school sites through STC is an opportunity for these students to get ahead and start on the right path towards their college degree.”

Dr. De Leon pointed out that NACEP is the sole national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnerships.

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