Thursday, October 6, 2016

Midland College dual enrollment program receives high rating from accrediting agency

• Rare for dual enrollment programs to receive such a high rating

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

On Wednesday through Friday, September 28-30, a peer review committee from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) visited the Midland College (MC) main campus, Midland High School, Midland Lee High School and Fort Stockton High School in order to observe dual enrollment programs (courses where students receive both college and high school credit). Each of the three high schools offer more than 50 percent of courses needed for an Associate of Arts degree or Associate of Science degree. The visit was part of MC’s routine accreditation process. The accrediting agency reviews instructor credentials, libraries and curriculum.

Dr. Kurt Ewen of Valencia College, chair of the visiting review team, reported “no recommendations,” meaning that the committee found no inadequacies at all in MC’s dual enrollment programs. Ewen stated that it is very rare for dual enrollment programs to receive such a high rating.

MC’s extensive dual credit program consists of college courses taken by high school students. Students earn both college and high school credits at the same time. The courses have been agreed upon between the school district and Midland College. “We take great pride in our dual credit offerings,” said MC Executive Vice President Dr. Richard Jolly, who serves as the college’s chief instructional officer. “We value the fact that our dual credit instruction taught at area high schools adheres to the same rigor and guidelines as courses taught at our main campus, our branch campus in Fort Stockton and all other MC facilities.”

MC Special Advisor to the President Dr. Deana Savage serves as the college’s accrediting liaison and coordinated MC’s self-study report prepared in advance of the peer review visit. Dr. Ewen commended faculty, staff and students and stated, “It is refreshing to see good people doing good work.”

MC President Dr. Steve Thomas said, “Dual credit programs are a major part of Midland College’s mission. We currently have 1,093 high school students enrolled in MC dual credit courses. These courses are an excellent opportunity for high school students to receive college credit at MC’s reduced tuition rate and to experience college coursework before they graduate from high school. I thank Dr. Savage for her efforts in coordinating the accrediting review. I also extend my appreciation to personnel at Midland College, Midland High, Lee High and Fort Stockton High for the superb job they are doing to ensure that students receive quality education in environments that are conducive to teaching and learning.”

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