WATERLOO, Iowa --- A national organization has recognized Hawkeye Community College for the quality of courses offered to high school students.

The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships announced this week that Hawkeye and 21 other colleges and universities have earned accreditation for their concurrent enrollment programs. Of those, 11 were Iowa community colleges.

Accreditation validates the quality of programs that provide college courses to high school students. Nationwide, there are 83 programs currently accredited by NACEP.

"Hawkeye Community College is very pleased to receive this prestigious national recognition," President Linda Allen said in a news release. "It clearly demonstrates Hawkeye's commitment to high quality standards."

Hawkeye currently serves all 27 school districts in its service area through the concurrent enrollment program known as CollegeNow. During the last year, 1,804 high school students enrolled in Hawkeye's college-level courses with an average of two per person.

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Roger Utman, administrator of the Iowa Department of Education's division of community colleges, noted the accomplishment of Hawkeye and the other institutions in a news release.

"This significant achievement demonstrates the high quality of community college concurrent enrollment programs," he said. "These colleges are to be commended for their hard work and commitment to meeting national standards."

Iowa's standards for concurrent enrollment programs align closely with NACEP standards. Those standards ensure that college courses offered in high school settings are of the same quality and rigor as courses offered on a college campus. One in four Iowa community college students is jointly enrolled in high school, a rate that U.S. Department of Education leaders have said they want to duplicate in all states.

According to NACEP, students are better prepared for college by gaining exposure to college expectations and workload. Concurrent enrollment also allows families to save on college tuition.

For information on CollegeNow, call Hawkeye's admissions office at 296-4000.

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