December 1, 2011
‘Penn College NOW’
Partners Honored, Accreditation Celebrated
Pennsylvania College of Technology recently honored its partners in the Penn College NOW program, an initiative enabling high school students to earn college credits through dual enrollment in college-level courses.
The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships has granted accreditation to Penn College for its Penn College NOW program, which is administered by the college’s Outreach for K-12 Office. Penn College is the first higher-education institution in Pennsylvania to receive accreditation from NACEP, which supports a network of more than 200 colleges and universities nationwide.
To celebrate the accreditation – and to thank the 21 area high schools and career and technical centers that participate in Penn College NOW – the college invited representatives of the schools and centers to an event held on campus Nov. 1.
Penn College NOW classes are taught by approved high school teachers at students’ home high schools or career and technology centers. Since the program’s inception in 2005, more than 1,600 students have enrolled, saving them, and their parents, more than $2 million worth of tuition and fees for college credits they have earned. Some students enter college with as many as 15 credits, and Penn College NOW participants tend to outperform other students academically, officials report.
To obtain NACEP accreditation, a program must undergo an extensive self-study, document how its program adheres to certain standards and present careful documentation to peer reviewers from NACEP-accredited programs. The NACEP standards ensure that college courses offered in high school are of the same quality and rigor as those offered on campus.
“NACEP accreditation represents a significant milestone for the program, which was designed six years ago based on NACEP standards,” said Beverly A. Hunsberger, a college transition specialist in the Outreach for K-12 Office who manages the day-to-day operations of Penn College NOW. “Due to the rigorous standards and
the accreditation process, we have implemented a program with enhanced integrity so that we can better serve our partnering schools.”
At the Nov. 1 event, Adam I. Lowe, executive secretary for NACEP, offered remarks via a live video call. Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour and Outreach for K-12 Director Jeannette F. Carter spoke on behalf of the college.
Penn College NOW is partially funded by Workforce Leadership Grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 through the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and by Penn College. Additional support is provided by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program.
Area schools and centers currently participating in Penn College NOW are: Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, Clearfield County Career & Technology Center, Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School, Hughesville High School, Indiana County Technology Center, Jersey Shore Area High School, Keystone Central Career & Technology Center, Loyalsock Township High School, Lycoming Career & Technology Center, Milton High School, Monroe Career & Technical
Institute, Montgomery Area High School, Montoursville Area High School, Northern Tier Career Center, Northumberland County AVTS, Seneca Highlands Career &
Technology Center, South Williamsport Area High School, State College Area High School, Sullivan County High School, SUN Area Technical Institute, and Williamsport
Area High School.
For more information about Penn College NOW, visit www.pct.edu/k12/penncollegenow.