College partners with area high schools to offer college-level instruction in high school classrooms
Many Southeast-area high school students are ready for college-level work, but commuting to campus and online coursework may not be an option. Fortunately, high school concurrent enrollment partnerships with Minnesota State College Southeast make it possible for high school teachers to deliver college-credit courses right in their own school classrooms.
MSC Southeast has been an accredited provider of concurrent enrollment for the past five years. On May 1, the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) announced that MSC Southeast had attained reaccreditation for the next seven years.
“Being a NACEP accredited college is an indicator of the quality and care MSC Southeast prides itself on,” said MSC Southeast Vice President of Academic Affairs Chad Dull. “Concurrent enrollment opens doorways to a bright future for our students, their families, and our communities. It is one of most valuable partnerships we can offer.”
The 2019-20 Chair of NACEP’s Accreditation Commission, Dr. Diana Johnson of NorthWest Arkansas Community College, remarked, “I’m very pleased to recognize the Connect 2 College Program at Minnesota State College Southeast as one of a select group of 116 concurrent enrollment partnerships nationwide accredited through NACEP’s extensive peer-review process. Minnesota State College Southeast 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.”
Jeannie Meidlinger, MSC Southeast director of secondary relations, noted that the students are beginning college in an environment where they have access to high quality resources and support. “They are starting a college academic record before they complete high school,” she explained. “It cuts down on the time that may be required to earn their degree and can save them some of the expense of college tuition.”
In the concurrent enrollment partnership, each high school teacher is assigned a college instructor to mentor them, provide support, and assure that the curriculum is taught at a college level. Concurrent enrollment provides professional development to the high school teachers and strengthens their instructional skills.
MSC Southeast History Instructor Chris Stout mentors high school teachers through the concurrent enrollment program. He said he especially enjoys visiting their classes and getting to know their students. “In today’s world, students can take a class from anywhere. But the chance to get to know a college instructor in several guest lectures and interactions is something unique that we offer,” said Stout.
High school student participants also commented positively about their concurrent enrollment classes. One said, “I enjoyed the challenge and the one-on-one aspect of the class.” Another student reported that, “The course is one of the most challenging classes that I have taken on.” And a third student said, “Tests are definitely more rigorous than I thought they would be, but then again it is a college course.”
In the 2019-2020 academic year, over 400 high school students from across the region took college level classes through concurrent enrollment at Minnesota State College Southeast. They earned dual credit – both high school and college credits – that will benefit them as they pursue their future educational goals.
“The great thing about it is that that many are taking prerequisites for their college major. For example, prospective nursing students can complete all of their pre-reqs in high school before they even start in a nursing major at MSC Southeast,” said Jeannie Meidlinger. “Having this seven-year NACEP accreditation ensures that the students are truly having an opportunity to take classes that are at a college level of academic rigor.”
About Minnesota State College Southeast
Minnesota State College Southeast is a two-year technical and community college that prepares students for a lifetime of learning by providing education for employment, skill enhancement, retraining, and transfer, to meet the needs of students and the community. The Winona campus opened in 1949, merging with the Red Wing campus in 1992 and updating its name to Minnesota State College Southeast in 2016 with the change of mission to offer both technical training and the associate of arts degree. Minnesota State College Southeast is a member of Minnesota State. For more information, visit www.southeastmn.edu.