CWU News

CWU College in the High School Earns Prestigious National Accreditation

CWU College in the High School graphic

CWU's College in the High School program is now accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.

Central Washington University’s College in the High School (CiHS) program achieved national accreditation from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) this spring after a multi-year process.

NACEP accreditation—which involves providing documentation and evidence to meet standards, a virtual site visit, and peer review—verifies that CWU CiHS courses offered to high school students are as rigorous as the courses offered at any University Center or instructional site. The program helps prospective students transition to college with CWU credits while maintaining their high school experience. 

“College in the High School programs are a great example of how CWU provides quality services to meet educational needs in our state,” Dean for Extended and Global Education Ediz Kaykayoglu said. “This accomplishment proves that we are fulfilling our mission with the highest level of academic quality and assisting students and their families by expanding educational access in their communities.”

During the 2021-22 academic year, CWU CiHS continued to collaborate with nearly 400 teachers in 150 high schools across Washington. The program benefits partner teachers with meaningful, ongoing professional development while providing access for more than 6,000 students to earn academic credits from Central. 

CWU CiHS first became eligible for the accreditation in 2018. The department underwent another year of self-study to assess program objectives and performance before submitting a pre-application to NACEP in 2019. 

Once the NACEP commission approved the pre-application, the official Accreditation Application was compiled in preparation to submit for peer review in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the NACEP to table all applications for more than a year, which meant the final CWU CiHS accreditation application could not be delivered until July 2021. As a result, the accreditation was awarded in April of this year.  

CWU’s Director of Concurrent Enrollment Kyle Carrigan was an integral member of the team that led the accreditation process, saying he and the team are very proud to have received such a prestigious recognition. 

“Going through the accreditation process was very time consuming but rewarding; it was very much a team effort,” Carrigan said. “I could not be prouder of the work that the CWU Faculty Liaisons do, such as visiting sites and mentoring the high school teachers, and the work that the staff in High School Partnerships does to keep the program running. Achieving NACEP accreditation shows the quality of our program and the rigor of the CWU classes across the state.”

NACEP accreditation attests to educational quality assurance and improvement, and indicates a stable, supported program that follows best practices. Carrigan noted that a peer-reviewed, non-governmental regulatory approach is critical for the reputation of the CWU CiHS program, and it will aid in the successful transfer of credits from partner high schools to the university. 

Since 2004, NACEP has served as the only national accrediting body for concurrent enrollment, ensuring College in the High School programs adhere to national standards. The organization uses measurable criteria in five categories that are markers of excellent, concurrent enrollment partnerships: curriculum, faculty, students, assessment, and program evaluation.

Carrigan and Kaykayoglu agree that accreditation for CiHS and the CWU community is an important recognition of the quality of the faculty, institution, and program partners who are delivering equitable and inclusive education to minority and underrepresented students statewide. All four colleges at CWU deliver CiHS courses, and the program features endorsed instructors for 34 different disciplines. 

Provost Michelle DenBeste expressed her pride in the team that pursued and achieved this important accreditation, noting that it will “ensure the continued success of concurrent enrollment programs at CWU and with our partners.”

“Achieving accreditation though the NACEP acknowledges our outstanding programs and positions us to better serve our current and future students,” she said.

Media Contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1518