NACEP Conference


By Carissa Rutkauskas


UConn OECP Executive Director, Christopher Todd; Outreach and Evaluation Specialist, Carissa Rutkauskas; and Consultant, Pamela Peters attended the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) 2022 conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota in early November. In addition to networking, a keynote from John O’Brien, President and CEO of EDUCAUSE, breakout sessions, and workshops, UConn ECE presented a session in the research strand, accepted their re-accreditation plaque, and paid tribute to Prince by visiting the First Avenue Night Club.


Peters and Rutkauskas presented “Developing a Long-term Integrated Plan for Data Collection and Analysis,” where Rutkauskas introduced UConn Early College Experience and Peters discussed how she improved the UConn ECE Alumni Survey and aligned it with other surveys and data collection points, with the ultimate goal of having a cohesive data set for continual program improvement. Todd and Rutkauskas attended the accreditation and re-accreditation luncheon where they accepted the UConn ECE NACEP re-accreditation plaque, indicating that the UConn ECE program meets NACEP standards and will hold this accreditation for the next seven years. UConn ECE is the only program in New England to hold NACEP accreditation
and has continuously held this achievement since their initial accreditation in 2007.


All three attendees came away from the conference with great information, insights, and connections. Peters, a doctoral student in the UConn Neag School of Education’s Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation program, with a background in gifted education, states her biggest takeaway was “how hard people are working to maximize the benefits and experience dual/concurrent enrollment students are having and how widespread these programs are”. Rutkauskas is excited to start using what she learned about National Student Clearinghouse data to gain a better sense of what UConn ECE Alumni do once they graduate high school. She is also grateful for sample student self-advising forms that colleagues shared from their programs and will use these as a model for UConn ECE. Todd is still in his first year in his role and, like Peters, was a first time NACEP conference attendee. For Todd, the NACEP conference highlighted the lack of Connecticut presence within the national concurrent/ dual enrollment dialogue, despite UConn Early College Experience being recognized as the oldest, and one of the largest single concurrent enrollment programs in the nation. Todd stated, “NACEP highlighted the need to have ongoing and frequent communications as part of a community of practice with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), partner school districts, instructors, students and fellow concurrent/ dual enrollment programs across the
state to build momentum for growth, support for access and to ultimately ensure high program quality”.


UConn ECE News Briefs


By Carissa Rutkauskas



NACEP 2020 Connect 2020: The NACEP Digital Forum

Brian Boecherer, UConn ECE’s Executive Director and Carissa Rutkauskas, Program Specialist for Outreach and Evaluation, presented “Pivoting to Online During COVID – Data and Trends” on October 26th for the annual national NACEP Conference: Connect 2020. Seventy attendees from around the country streamed the 40-minute session. The presentation touched on topics like communication strategies that foster a stronger community, solutions to common classroom problems, best and worst practices from the UConn ECE professionals, qualitative and quantitative student data, and UConn’s new practice of recording high school teachers and their lessons.
NACEP 2020 Accreditation Commission


On November 4th, Brian Boecherer, UConn ECE’s Executive Director, presented at NACEP’s Accreditation Commission, and spoke about UConn ECE’s approach to accreditation standards. Familiar with the process, UConn ECE has been accredited with NACEP since 2007. UConn is one of 116 concurrent enrollment programs throughout the country that holds this distinction and the only program in New England.



NACEP 2020 Concurrent Enrollment Review
On November 5th, Brian Boecherer, UConn ECE’s Executive Director, presented with colleagues Fabiola Juarez-Coca of Boise State University and Melanie Nappa-Carroll of Syracuse University on the much-anticipated peer-reviewed concurrent enrollment journal: The Concurrent Enrollment Review (CER). This peer-reviewed academic journal on concurrent enrollment, which is three years in the making, will be the first to offer educational professionals, researchers, and policymakers insight into this interdisciplinary model of education.





UConn ECE 101
What is UConn ECE? What courses are offered at my school? How much do courses cost? How does it differ from Advanced Placement? Answers to these questions and more can be found on our new UConn ECE 101 page.



Meet our Community
Who are the people of UConn ECE? Visit our newly updated “Meet our Community” page for insights from UConn ECE Students, Alumni, Instructors, Site Representative, Principals, and Faculty Coordinators. Complete the form to be featured on our website as well!



Community Reviews
You can read reviews about restaurants and hotels before you go… here is your opportunity to read about UConn ECE before taking a course. Take advantage of this new program feature to discover first hand experiences of others, or complete a review to share your own UConn ECE experience:



Middle School Outreach

On November 25th , UConn ECE staff spoke with students at Mansfield Middle School for the third year in a row during their College and Career Readiness Day. Although we were unable to be in person this year, we were still able to interact virtually and play a dynamic game of UConn ECE and College Ready Jeopardy with the students. If you know of a middle school who would like more information on UConn ECE and outreach activities for their students, please contact us at

2019 Conference National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships


By Carissa Rutkauskas

As only 2 of over 1,000 participants in attendance at the National Association of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, UConn Early College Experience Executive Director Brian Boecherer and I had the opportunity to share, learn, and network with colleagues from around the U.S. and Canada. It was a very memorable conference as it marked NACEP’s 20th anniversary as an established association.

The pre-conference started with Brian’s participation on the “Concurrent Enrollment 201” panel, geared towards programs that have built the foundation of their program and are looking to move it to the next level. The session focused on managing growth, advising, program improvement, professional development, sharing of best practices, and effects of accreditation. As a 20-year veteran of a 64-year old program, Brian had a lot to share! Meanwhile, I attended the Program Evaluation workshop where presenters covered methods and approaches to evaluate program effectiveness and student success and most importantly reviewed NACEP’s new E2 standard: Regular and On-Going Evaluation of Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP). I then had the opportunity to meet with fellow peer reviewers to collectively offer our suggestions and guidance to representatives from a Midwestern community college who are working on their NACEP reaccreditation application.


On days one and two, Brian and I had the opportunity to attend the plenary sessions, each equally engaging. Keynote speaker, Dr. Jim Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship in the Kenan-Flagler Business School and Director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center in the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, presented his research on the Six Disruptive Demographics that Will Change the U.S. Forever: (1) The South Rises – Again; (2) The Browning of America; (3) Marrying Out is “In”; (4) The Silver Tsunami is About to Hit; (5) The End of Men?; and (6) Cooling Water from Grandma’s Well… and Grandpa’s Too! Based in U.S. decennial census and American Community Survey data, Dr. Johnson’s charisma showed through as he discussed these demographic trends, challenges, and opportunities of our changing population and how that related to secondary and post-secondary education.


Day two’s plenary session was titled “A Tale of Two Utah’s,” a panel discussion that included an urban superintendent, two college concurrent enrollment (CE) faculty, and Utah’s Lt. Governor, Spencer Cox. The panel was impressive, but it was Utah’s Lt. Governor who captivated the audience. Lt. Governor Cox’s experience growing up in an extremely rural area (where he still lives and commutes 100 miles each way, (each day) spoke of how his CE experience shaped his life and how state-wide legislation benefits the students. It was evident that all 4 speakers appreciated each other, their work, and their passion for student success. Prior to the session, the day opened with a showing of “UConn ECE: The Video” projected on two large screens. We were honored that our animated program overview video was one of the top 3 finalists in the 2019 video marketing contest.

A collaborative spirit was apparent in the beehive state. Commissioners, peer-reviewers, and newly accredited colleges came together and celebrated the successful NACEP accreditation and re-accreditation of two dozen colleges and universities! There were also “state” lunches which provided the opportunity for those that share a governor to come together and discuss practices, courses, and opportunities. Most notably, there was positive interest shown during a session that Brian hosted, alongside administrators from Syracuse University’s Project Advance and Boise State University Concurrent Enrollment Program, to discuss the development of an independent, peer-reviewed, academic journal dedicated to research and scholarship in CE.

Brian stayed an extra day to attend the post-conference Accreditation Institute on strategies for implementing NACEP standards for UConn’s upcoming reaccreditation in 2020. Though reaccreditation is a lengthy and time-consuming process consisting of a one-year programmatic self-study review, application, peer-review, and interview, UConn ECE believes that NACEP’s work to ensure quality standards applicable to concurrent enrollment partnerships is one to follow. UConn ECE is a founding member of NACEP (2002) and has contributed to NACEP’s success and national standing through generous start-up support and through staff service. We will be working hard for the next few months to gather all our application materials and look forward to submitting it in July.

National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) 2016 Conference

By Nella Quasnitschka
On October 16th, a group of UConn ECE staff hoofed it to Louisville, KY to attend NACEP’s 2016 National Conference themed, The Triple Crown: Quality, Collaboration & Transition. With over 770 educational leaders from almost every state in attendance, it was a year of change for NACEP as The Board of Directors presented a new strategic plan to help the organization move forward in the coming years.
The conference committee offered copious opportunities to learn, share new practices and network in over 60 breakout sessions that focused on all aspects of concurrent enrollment. Various tracks included
effective program management, policy & advocacy, standards & accreditation, and research & program evaluation. Included in the long list of workshop presenters was our very own thoroughbred, Magdalena Narozniak, Program Coordinator for Research and Development. Magda’s presentation titled, “Demystifying Assessments: Quality Outcomes and Quality Data Presentation,” focused on which outcomes related to enrollment are best suited to assess programs and examples of how UConn ECE presents and uses assessment data for impactful improvement.
Since 2004, NACEP has served as a national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnership
programs. Applicants must present evidence documenting how their college or university has implemented NACEP’s national standards in the areas of: curriculum, faculty, students, assessment, and
program evaluation. This year, eleven colleges and universities earned accreditation and were recognized at the Accreditation Recognition Ceremony. This extensive accreditation process helps institutions validate the quality of college courses offered in high schools and ensures the academic rigor matches the standards of the sponsoring post-secondary institution.
A team of six well-bred ECE staff represented UConn at the conference. We submitted a third place poster into the Marketing Competition, presented a workshop, and shared best practices. We even had a
little fun with our colleagues at a dueling piano bar after a long day of workshops and meetings. We learned, networked, and impressed others with our knowledge of running the oldest, and one of the largest, most successful concurrent enrollment program in the nation! Our poster didn’t clinch the win but we plan to train hard and go back next year stronger than ever! See you in 2017.
Jess and Melanie at NACEPThe group at NACEP

National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) 2015 Conference: Reaching New Heights

By Melanie Ochoa, Program Assistant for Academic Standards
The 2015 NACEP Conference was held in the Mile High City – Denver, Colorado. With record-breaking
attendance, this year 850 concurrent enrollment partners from 46 states and the District of Columbia attended the conference.
The three day conference, Reaching New Heights, featured over 60 sessions focusing on the introduction of new broad-reaching ideas and practices; reinforcing specific program effective practices, innovations, research, and policies; as well as facilitating open discussion-based sessions to allow participants to process information while engaging in conversations. The sessions offered a great value by learning and sharing concurrent enrollment practices while meeting peers from across the nation.
Five UConn ECE staff members had the opportunity to attend the conference. Magdalena Narozniak, Program Coordinator for Research and Development, presented “NACEP Evaluation: Why and How” along with William Newell, Associate Director, from Syracuse University. This session targeted the NACEP Evaluation Standards by highlighting the challenge of why and how evaluations can spark meaningful change in a program from collected data. Brian Boecherer, Executive Director, and Tim Stetter, Director and NACEP President-elect, held the “Sunrise, Sunset: Considerations for Piloting and Phasing out CEP Courses” session. Concurrent enrollment courses can come and go due to campus changes or high school requests, as these changes can be very difficult this session focused on key considerations and best practices for piloting new courses and phasing out current courses.
As always, we work together to ensure that our courses offered at the high schools are as rigorous as the courses taught at the University of Connecticut for student success.
NACEP Conference NACEP Conference NACEP Conference


by Gillian B. Thorne
2014 was an alphabet soup kind of year for UConn ECE! We were notified in April of our successful
reaccreditation in NACEP (National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships). Many of our instructors in the high schools helped up with our application by submitting required documentation we requested. UConn ECE will not face reaccreditation again until 2021. Our experience did, however, leave us with several important program improvement goals. Two primary goals that affect our partner high schools are (1) collection and archiving of UConn course syllabi, and (2) promoting clearer grading
standards coming from UConn departments for the courses that we offer.
In addition to providing important support for managing a standards-based concurrent enrollment program, NACEP organizes professional development and networking opportunities at the annual conference. The 2014 conference was held in the Windy City in late October. We were told we were lucky to have great weather, as Chicago does not always remain temperate at that time of year! Five of our UConn ECE staff members attended the conference. Each of us contributed to the conference as one or more of the following: session presenter, panel moderator, or session host. We all returned having made new professional contacts, and having learned and shared valuable information and ideas relating to concurrent enrollment.
During 2014, several of our staff members have been involved inorganizing and supporting the establishment of the first regional chapter of NACEP, which includes the six New England states, and is aptly called NEACEP (New England Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships). While concurrent enrollment and NACEP have taken root and blossomed in most areas of the country, New England has been a latecomer to the table. UConn ECE has long promoted and encouraged NACEP standards and standards-based concurrent enrollment throughout New England by offering conferences and professional development opportunities. It is wonderful to see the development of NEACEP as a supportive professional development organization for concurrent enrollment.
The regional accreditation body for New England high schools and colleges, NEASC, also chose 2014 to establish standards for concurrent enrollment programs, although referred to as “dual” enrollment in the actual document. As has happened in other areas of the country at either the state or regional level, NEASC’s standards closely align with NACEP standards. UConn ECE welcomes the development of the NEASC standards; we believe that this is an important additional support for standards-based concurrent enrollment throughout New England and specifically in Connecticut.
Many of our partner high schools also have programs with a Connecticut community college structured similarly to concurrent enrollment, usually under College Career Pathways. UConn ECE’s Director Jill Thorne is a member of the Board of Regents’ Early College Steering Committee in Connecticut, and has been a part of the effort helping the community colleges to bring their programs in line with both NACEP and NEASC standards. Since this topic is likely to be of great interest to our partner high schools, UConn ECE plans to address this the day of our annual Site Representative Conference, in a companion session in the afternoon showcasing both the academic rigor of standards-based concurrent enrollment programs, and discussing how Connecticut’s concurrent enrollment programs’ staffs plan to collaborate at the high school level to help coordinate opportunities for students.
We look forward to seeing many of you at the conference, February 23rd. Together we will help you navigate the Alphabet Soup Sea!
Photo of Gillian Thorne Jess and Magda at NACEP

A New England Regional Chapter of NACEP?

UConn teams with other concurrent enrollment programs in the region
November 5, Manchester NH UConn ECE Director Jill Thorne and Assistant Director Wendi Richardson attended a meeting November 5 in Manchester, New Hampshire, to help form a regional chapter of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). The meeting was attended by about forty representatives from other concurrent enrollment programs across the New England states. “It is helpful that NACEP has established this pathway to start regional chapters,” said Thorne. “Concurrent enrollment is not as well-known in New England as it is in other areas of the United States. It’s been difficult to start a state chapter, but this will enable us to pool our resources and enthusiasm across New England.”
Kim Mobley, NACEP Director of Communications and Member Services, facilitated the meeting, which was graciously hosted by Manchester Community College (NH). We were able to share common goals for the creation of our regional NACEP chapter, and identify a steering committee made up of volunteers from different New England states. We look forward to a meeting in the spring for the election of officers and voting on proposed by- laws, both of which are necessary steps for NACEP’s formal recognition of our chapter. This is an exciting step for concurrent enrollment in New England!!

UConn ECE Undergoes NACEP Reaccreditation in 2013

UConn ECE program will be undergoing reaccreditation with NACEP (National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships) during 2013. All of our materials will be submitted by July 31, 2013, but the earliest that reaccreditation would be awarded is April 2014.
NACEP reaccreditation is a self study based on NACEP standards (see, which UConn ECE instructors and partner high schools are familiar with to a great extent. Our application will follow a well-defined protocol of evidence for each standard, and will undergo a peer review by a NACEP-appointed review team. Our ECE faculty coordinators will assist in providing essential evidence for many of the standards, but our administrative team also keeps documentation annually in compliance with the standards. It is possible that some of our instructors in the high schools will be asked to provide specific evidence in support of our application, but this will done on a timely basis. Director Gillian Thorne and
Associate Director Brian A. Boecherer have both served on peer review accreditation teams for other programs, which is helpful now that we are going through the process ourselves.
We are proud of our affiliation with NACEP. The reaccreditation process is quite valuable in developing, shaping, and refining credible and accountable academically rigorous concurrent enrollment programs.

Regional Concurrent Enrollment Conference to be held at UConn

Uconn ECE and NACEP will co-sponsor a regional conference on May 29, 2013 in the Student Union Ballroom on the Storrs Campus. This conference will showcase successful partnerships and state initiatives that provide pathways for students to navigate the transition from high school to college. Highlights of the conference include a welcome from UConn past president, Philip Austin, keynote speaker, Nicholas Donohue, President & CEO, Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and a panel discussion featuring members of the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE). All members of UConn community are welcome to attend. For more information about the conference, please contact Wendi Richardson at (860)486-0702.

UConn ECE Wins 2012 NACEP Research Grant

The UConn ECE and Office of Early College Programs is proud to announce funding for a new project that will advance interest in improving the transferability of concurrent enrollment credits. As winners of the 2012 NACEP Small Grant Competition, Magdalena Narozniak and Brian A. Boecherer, will investigate the credit transfer frequency of UConn ECE credits to higher education institutions all over Northern America. The successful transfer of credits is a common concern among students, parents, program administrators, and policymakers. Data will be collected on the type of credit earned and rejected, transfer policy, student experience during the transfer process, demographics of participating higher education institutions, and the perception of concurrent enrollment among higher education administrators. The researchers hope that an evidence based understanding of concurrent enrollment credit transfer could inform policymakers and program administrators toward data-driven action. If you have any questions about this project, please contact the ECE office by emailing
NACEP Award 2013