WENATCHEE — Wenatchee Valley College’s College in the High School program has earned national accreditation.
The program allows high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to earn college credit. The classes use college curricula and are taught by qualified high school teachers with oversight by participating colleges.
The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) issued the certificate in April that shows WVC courses offered at high schools are as rigorous as those offered on campus.
“CIHS courses give students a really good idea of what to expect when they set foot on a college campus,” said Holly Bringman, WVC’s dean of liberal arts and sciences. “Earning NACEP accreditation also means CIHS credits are more likely to be accepted at other colleges and universities.”
Accreditation applicants must provide evidence documenting how the college implements NACEP’s standards for program quality, looking at curriculum, faculty, students, assessment, partnerships and program evaluation. The process for WVC took about a year and a half, Bingman said.
WVC has been offering the program for 10-plus years and now has about 20 CIHS courses, a mix of English, social science, natural science, physical education, humanities and math, with an average of 100 students participating each year. Students enrolled in CIHS receive a tuition discount.
Bridgeport High School offers the largest number of CIHS courses in WVC’s service district. This spring, six students received a high school diploma and an associate degree without physically attending classes on one of the WVC campuses, said Principal Tamra Jackson, who also is a member of WVC’s board of trustees.
In addition to Bridgeport, WVC’s CIHS classes are offered at Eastmont, Mansfield and Lake Roosevelt high schools.
Eastmont has participated in the CIHS program for more than 10 years, said Principal Lance Noell, offering classes through WVC and Central Washington University based on student need and interest. About 150 students participate on average, he said, though the numbers vary.
WVC classes currently offered at Eastmont include U.S. history and math, and CWU’s classes include statistics, precalculus and art history. Courses through the University of Washington and Eastern Washington University have been offered in the past, based on demand.
Four more high schools are expected to join WVC’s program this fall, said María Christina Monroe, the college’s director of concurrent enrollment programs.
Wenatchee High School currently offers CIHS classes through UW (French 103), CWU (precalculus, calculus, English and English literature) and EWU (German, history, geography and political science).
WHS had 223 students participating in the CIHS program this year, said Principal Eric Anderson. An agreement with WVC is in the works for the coming year, he said.
Costs vary by institution and credit. One of the school’s informational brochures says the range is between $220 and $370 for four or five credits.