ABOUT MBU EARLY COLLEGE PARTNERSHIPS and ACHIEVE
MBU Early College Partnerships (MBU ECP), formerly known as “EXCEL,” was established in 1983 at Missouri Baptist University. MBU ECP is a program that allows high school students to earn university credit. Its primary mission is to offer qualified high school students the opportunity to enroll in challenging courses normally taken by MBU students during their freshman and sophomore years of college.
MBU ECP serves over 40 high schools located in the St. Louis metro area and in eastern and mid-Missouri communities. The program includes public and private high schools and provides classes in schools as large as 2,500 students and as small as 100 students.
Early College Partnerships offers MBU credit through various methods of delivery: EXCEL Dual Credit, Achieve Credit-by-Exam, or Dual Enrollment.
Achieve is a model for earning college credit through University-created exams or assessments. Missouri Baptist University receives an increasing number of requests for alternatives to dual credit in high schools challenged to find teaching candidates with suitable credentials for dual credit teaching. Through MBU Achieve, students who register will complete University-created assessments which are written and graded by an assigned MBU faculty member known as the Achieve Instructor of Record (IOR). Assessments most commonly are in the form of exams, but they can also be in the form of papers, essays, projects, labs, and final exams. Students will be required to complete three assessments for a 3-hour course, four assessments for a 4-hour course, or 5 assessments for a 5-hour course. The assessment score average will determine the final letter grade that will appear on the transcript.
Achieve can be a more challenging model than EXCEL dual credit or dual enrollment because
Courses in the MBU Achieve program will be transcripted as regular college courses with course numbers, titles, and credit hours matching those used in the on-campus, face-to-face classes.
PURPOSE AND BENEFITS OF ACHIEVE
Achieve offers regular MBU courses, typically general education courses taken by college freshmen and sophomores, in biology, chemistry, English and math.
Students and their parents should consider Achieve because it
IDENTIFYING ACHIEVE OFFERINGS
A course may be identified as a candidate for Achieve because a) it has been offered in the past as an EXCEL dual credit class through a credentialed teacher, b) it is a course that is tested by Advanced Placement or c) it is an advanced or honors level class that contains the rigor necessary for a catalogued class on the MBU campus.
Courses taught for Achieve must be approved by the appropriate MBU division chair or dean. To obtain approval for an Achieve course, the following criteria must be met:
ACHIEVE INSTRUCTOR OF RECORD
The Achieve Instructor of Record (IOR) will be a full-time or adjunct MBU faculty member who has the qualifications to teach the course(s) on campus. Achieve IORs will be assigned by the division chair or dean. Assignments will be made on the basis of expertise and availability. Occasionally, there are no suitable MBU faculty available to serve as IORs and the Achieve course will be cancelled or not approved.
MINIMUM ACHIEVE OFFERING SIZES
Due to the use of MBU Faculty, some requests for Achieve courses may not be accommodated. Courses which have larger enrollments will be prioritized and those with fewer than 15 students may not be approved.
PROCESS OF OBTAINING A NEW ACHIEVE COURSE OFFERING
ACHIEVE HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER APPROVAL
Teachers seeking to teach Missouri Baptist University courses through Achieve should demonstrate strong credentials in the chosen discipline, experience in teaching the subject, a recommendation by their high school administrators, and a dedication to offering students a challenging college course in the high school setting.
Process of High School Teacher Review
Maintaining Achieve High School Teacher Status
To maintain the approval to offer Achieve courses and to receive an annual tuition concession for one graduate course, Achieve instructors:
The vast majority of Achieve teachers maintain full compliance to the policies and procedures. In the rare case that an instructor is found to be in non-compliance, the Director of MBU ECP will make every effort to increase engagement to bring the instructor into compliance. Instructors who continuously do not meet the expectations are considered non-compliant.
CONCESSIONS FOR MBU ECP PARTNERS AND COORDINATORS
Content of the Assessments
The MBU IOR will strive to assess the students over the content that has been covered in their classroom for the given period. This includes using nomenclature and phrasing that is used in the classroom. The first time an assessment is given in a certain school or district, the MBU IOR will provide a preview of the assessment to the teacher(s) at least one (1) week prior to the scheduled exam. This allows the MBU IOR time to edit the exam and/or the teacher to inform the students of the additional content. Grading rubrics may be shared at this time.
The expectation is for each Achieve course to include a final, comprehensive assessment, regardless of the policy at the high school.
In some schools, there are common mid-term and final course exams that are given to all students. The Achieve IOR may choose to use these exams as a part of the MBU grade if they have reviewed the assessments and deemed them to have the content and rigor required for an MBU course. In most cases, however, the Achieve IOR writes the final assessments.
In many high schools, final assessments are weighted as 10% of the grade. Achieve IORs may choose a weighting system that is consistent with the high school policies. Achieve IORs may also choose to use the final assessment as a replacement grade for a missing or low test grade if it is consistent with their on-campus policies.
Instructor-specific policies such as time allowed, exam weights, the use of note cards, calculators, replacement exams, etc. can be determined by the MBU IOR. Generally, this determination is made through consultation with the high school teachers and tends to be a combination of the high school policies and the instructor’s on-campus policy. MBU IOR’s should not allow policies in the high school that they would not also allow for on-campus courses.
Assessment Dates and Times
Dates and times for the assessments and make-up assessments will be established before the start of the fall semester for fall and year-long courses, and before the start of the spring semester for spring courses. Many districts choose to give the assessment outside of normal classroom hours either in the evening or the afternoon of early-release days. Dates and times of assessments should be clearly communicated to students at the beginning of the term so that they can make allowances in their schedules. When establishing dates, after-school activities and competitions should be taken into consideration and schools are encouraged to establish times that would not prevent students from taking the Achieve course due to their involvement in extra-curricular activities. Schools that choose to give the assessment during normal classroom hours may give the assessment to non-Achieve students. However, proctors should submit only the assessments of the students who have registered for the Achieve course. The MBU IOR will not grade assessments of non-Achieve students.
Make-up exams are allowed only for students who are unable to attend due to school related activities. Exceptions may be made according to the MBU IOR on-campus policies and must be approved by the MBU IOR. The MBU IOR is not expected to write a separate make-up exam for students and maintaining the integrity of the exam will be considered. Policies such as dropping the lowest test grade, replacing the lowest test grade with the final exam, and other such replacement policies should be established prior to the start of the semester and clearly communicated to the students.
The Achieve model can be more challenging than other modes of delivery, and it is unique to MBU. Therefore, students may be ill prepared for the amount of content tested and the rigor in a college level assessment and some students choose to drop the Achieve offering. Achieve IORs should work with the high schools to ensure that the first assessment can be completed and graded by the stated drop dates. Click here for drop procedures.
Proctors will be assigned for each exam. Proctors may be teachers or administrators in the high school. Proctors cannot be other high school students. If a proctor cannot be provided by the high school, arrangements should be made well in advance with the MBU ECP office to provide proctors. It is recommended that proctors are chosen who are familiar with the content. Proctors should not answer questions from students that would be considered “helping” the students to arrive at the proper answer, but they may answer questions of clarification.
Proctors are expected to securely gather exams and transmit them per the agreement made at their school. This may include scanning, emailing, or mailing the exams.
Proctors are paid a stipend of $75/exam and they can receive payment by completing the online Proctor Payment Form. Payment forms must be submitted by the end of the academic year in which the exam was proctored. Payments are made through the MBU Accounts Payable office, and proctors should allow up to six weeks for processing.
Administration of Assessments
Depending on the technology available at the high school, the high school’s proximity to MBU, and the Achieve IOR’s location, there are various options for administering and transporting the assessments. The preferred method is to transfer the documents electronically as it provides the shortest turn around time, it is the most cost effective, it is the most secure, and it provides the best documentation.
In all cases, the Achieve IOR will write the assessment and post it to a Canvas module that has been provided for the Achieve course. The Achieve high school teachers must activate their MyMBU account and their MBU Canvas account, and they will become “students” on the Achieve IOR Canvas shell. The Achieve IOR will post the assessment at least one week prior to the scheduled date. The Achieve IOR will post the assessment feedback to Canvas once the assessment has been graded.
OPTION 1: ASSESSMENTS GIVEN THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL LMS AND RETURNED TO MBU ELECTRONICALLY
OPTION 2: ASSESSMENTS GIVEN AS HARD COPIES AND RETURNED TO MBU ELECTRONICALLY
OPTION 3: ASSESSMENTS GIVEN AS HARD COPIES AND RETURNED TO MBU AS HARD COPIES
Site visits provide opportunities for MBU on-campus faculty and MBU ECP staff to maintain contact with participating high school administrators, counselors, teachers, and students and to offer support to each participant.
MBU ECP staff, at the invitation of the high schools, complete classroom visits to speak to both students and teachers for registration. In addition, regular courtesy visits are made by one of the staff to answer questions or provide materials.
The Achieve IOR will make at least 1 visit to the classroom for each term. These visits should be coordinated through the Achieve teacher at the high school and they may be conducted virtually or in-person.
ANNUAL ACHIEVE ADMINISTRATIVE OUTLINE
An Annual Achieve Administrative Outline will be completed and signed by the Achieve IOR. The Achieve Agreement will outline the details regarding courses, teachers, IORs, assessment policies, content, schedule, and administration. The signed agreement will be first sent to the Director of MBU ECP, and it will be forwarded to the Achieve teachers, high school counselor, high school principal, and MBU division chair or dean.
ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS: WORKING WITH THE MBU ECP OFFICE TO SERVE YOUR STUDENTS
INFORMATION REGARDING ACHIEVE STUDENTS
We find that MBU ECP students take their course work seriously and make the most of their high school classes. A student guide, which can be found on the MBU ECP website, answers many questions often posed by students and their parents or guardians. It is important that students and their families read the guide.
Within limits mandated by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education in Missouri’s 2015 Dual Credit Policy and by Missouri Baptist University requirements, selection of students is left to the discretion of the school administrators, teachers, and guidance counselors, who know the student best. Achieve students will be evaluated under the same policy and they must be approved by the designated MBU ECP coordinator in their high school (typically a principal or counselor) whose signature on the registration form signifies the approval. Completed registration forms that have been sent from the email address of the designated MBU ECP coordinator also signify approval. The coordinator also lists the GPA on the form. Click here for student criteria
STUDENT REGISTRATION PROCESS
Achieve students will register through MBU ECP. Click here for the registration process.
STUDENT MYMBU ACCOUNT
After a student’s registration form has been processed, the student will be assigned an official MBU student number and MyMBU account. This account is extremely important as it will be used to communicate with the student. Instructions on how to set up MyMBU account can be found here The MyMBU account can be used to pay a bill online, view grades online, and print an unofficial transcript.
BILLING: HOW AND WHEN DO STUDENTS PAY FOR THE COURSE?
Payment deadlines are published for each semester in bills sent to the student-designated address. If the student bill remains unpaid, a letter with the final bill due date is sent to the address. Final bill due dates are also published on the MBU ECP web pages on the calendar. If the final payment deadline is missed, then the University drops the course from the transcript.
The fee per credit hour for Achieve courses is published by July 1.
CREDITS AND GRADING
To receive credit on a Missouri Baptist University transcript, students must fulfill the minimum student criteria, obtain parent or guardian approval, obtain approval by the designated high school administrator or coordinator, and pay for the course. The MBU grading system for each individual course will be explained to the students by the high school teacher. Achieve IORs assign grades to their registered students based solely on the MBU assessments. Students earn course grades after completing the entire course, and the final grade is assigned by the MBU IOR.
Questions about grades should be communicated through the high school instructor to the Achieve IOR.
Final grades will be based on the MBU grading scale:
|59% and below||F|
REPORTING AND SUBMITTING GRADES
Achieve IORs should provide the high school teachers with a spreadsheet for each assessment for each registered Achieve student and report the final letter grade at the end of the course. Achieve IORs will submit their final course grades directly through the MyMBU Portal. Students will receive grade reports from the MBU ECP office after the Achieve IOR has submitted grades and after they have been entered into the student MBU transcripts. Because the Achieve grade is based solely on MBU assessments, it is possible for a student to earn a different grade in their high school class than is earned through Achieve. If the course covers the entire school year, one final grade is assigned at the end of the yearlong course.
ACHIEVE ATTENDANCE POLICY
Like students on campus at Missouri Baptist University, Achieve students are expected to attend classes regularly. The Achieve program accepts the high school’s policy for absence from an Achieve course.
As it does for on-campus courses, Missouri Baptist University provides opportunities for MBU ECP students and teachers to evaluate the Achieve courses offered at the high school sites. All students enrolled in an MBU ECP course are asked to evaluate the course through an online evaluation form. Teachers are asked to provide students with the link to the online form and are encouraged to provide a few minutes of class time to complete the evaluation. Information received on the evaluation will be treated confidentially, and only group results will be reported to the instructor.
Transcripts of students’ MBU ECP courses are available at any time during the year. Click here for MBU ECP transcript request information.
WITHDRAWAL FROM A COURSE
Students who wish to officially drop a course, please click here for more information.
The MBU ECP website provides information on transferability. Please click here for more information.