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ABOUT MBU EARLY COLLEGE PARTNERSHIPS and ACHIEVE

HISTORY

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 

  • grades are based only on MBU assessments,
  • there are no other opportunities for credit such as quiz grades, attendance, or homework, and 
  • each assessments covers a large portion of the course content. 

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

  • introduces students to college level coursework in a more controlled environment and often at a somewhat slower pace,
  • provides a cost-effective way for students to start their college career,
  • may eliminate the duplication of general education courses during the freshman and sophomore college years,
  • provides students with flexibility once enrolled in college, reducing the need to carry a heavy course load each semester,
  • provides students the opportunity to finish college a semester early or double major in the same amount of time it would normally take to graduate with a single major, and
  • provides flexibility for students to study abroad if they wish, without being penalized for missing coursework at their home college or university.

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:

  • Course alignment which includes a review of course content, assessments, and texts that ensure the high school course fulfills the stated learning objectives and meets the rigor of the University course.  
  • Qualified high school teachers
  • An available MBU Achieve IOR
  • Sufficient high school enrollment

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

COURSE ALIGNMENT

  1. A district or high school administrator, curriculum coordinator, or guidance counselor contacts MBU to request a review of a possible Achieve offering. 
  2. The MBU ECP director sends a course description and sample syllabus to the high school for initial review of course content.  If the content appears to be aligned, the high school teacher or administrator submits an Achieve Course Approval Form which includes a syllabus of the high school course under consideration.  The syllabus should contain learning objectives, text(s), and scope and sequence.   The materials will be reviewed by an MBU faculty member to further determine alignment with the MBU course.
  3. Upon receipt of the proposed Achieve syllabus, the appropriate MBU faculty member (usually the academic division chair and/or the instructor for the on-campus course) reviews the syllabus and other curriculum materials to determine if the high school can deliver the course content, appropriate text, and methods to align with the MBU course and assessments.  The high school may be asked to submit detailed curriculum materials such as lab assignments, quizzes, unit exams, homework assignments, text books, scope and sequence, online resources, or rubrics.  The MBU IOR will verify course alignment and rigor.  If there are MBU learning objectives lacking from the high school class, the high school teacher must verify that they will be added to the curriculum. 
  4. If there is some discrepancy between the MBU syllabus and the proposed syllabus, the MBU faculty member may work with the high school teacher and, in some districts, with the appropriate curriculum director, to modify the high school course. If the University determines the high school cannot meet the expectations of the on-campus course, the high school does not receive approval to offer the MBU course.
  5. Once an Achieve course has been identified, the Director of MBU ECP will work with the dean or division chair to obtain a suitable Achieve IOR.  If there is not an Achieve IOR available, the high school will be notified. Concurrently, the high school must identify the Achieve teacher(s) and submit the Achieve Faculty Information Forms to the Director of MBU ECP.
  6. If it is determined that course objectives and rigor can be met, the high school teacher has been approved, the MBU Achieve IOR has been identified, and there are sufficient projected enrollment numbers, the course will be approved and an Achieve offering will be created.  The Achieve Course Approval Form includes three signatures: a high school administrator’s signature, the appropriate MBU division chair’s or dean’s signature, and the signature of the Director of MBU ECP.   The Director of MBU ECP Student Services then arranges registration procedures with the designated coordinator at the high school

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

  1. The candidate will be asked to complete the Achieve Faculty Information Form.  The Director reviews the form for qualifications such as education, years of teaching experience, and certifications.  The Director may consult with the division chair or dean.
  2. If the candidate is approved, the Director will notify the high school teacher and coordinator.  Candidates will be invited to attend the annual MBU ECP summer workshop to obtain orientation and workshop training to prepare to teach the course. 

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:

  • Are encouraged to attend an MBU ECP summer workshop to obtain annual professional development and MBU ECP program updates.  
  • Work with the Achieve IOR to schedule exams, a classroom visit, and provide any requested documentation pertaining to the course.  
  • Maintain communication with the MBU ECP office.

Non-Compliance Policy

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.

  • Non-compliant instructors will receive notice by e-mail from the Director of MBU ECP, their Achieve IOR, and/or the MBU ECP coordinator at their high school sites specifying the area of non-compliance, corrective actions that must be taken, and a deadline for corrective actions.  The high school coordinator will also be notified.
  • In the event the instructor does not address the issue by the deadline designated in the first notice, the instructor will be considered in a probationary period and will receive a notice as such from the Director of MBU ECP designating any areas of instructor non-compliance and a deadline for correction.
  • If compliance has not been reached by the deadline stated in Step #2, the Director of MBU ECP will notify the high school administration stating that the instructor is no longer approved to teach a Missouri Baptist University Achieve course.

CONCESSIONS FOR MBU ECP PARTNERS AND COORDINATORS

  • During each calendar year, a high school teacher, counselor, or administrator who works directly with the MBU ECP program may receive a concession for one free Missouri Baptist University graduate course. The interested partner should contact the MBU ECP office to verify course schedules, request the graduate registration materials, and submit the MBU ECP Concession Form. 
  • MBU ECP partners whose children are registered for MBU ECP courses may receive a concession for those courses.  An MBU ECP Concession Form should be submitted to the MBU ECP Office. 

ACHIEVE ASSESSMENTS

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.  

Final Assessments

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

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 Assessments

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.

Drop Dates

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.

Exam Proctors

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

  1. The Achieve IOR posts the exam on the Canvas shell and informs the high school teachers of its availability to download.  The assessment due date, time, and duration must be clearly stated and communicated to the students.  
  2. The high school teachers transfer the assessment to the high school LMS for students who are enrolled in Achieve.  Students should be informed that their exams will be transmitted electronically to the MBU IOR and illegible answers will not be graded.  Care must be taken by the students to write clearly and boldly.
  3. A suitable proctor is assigned and all available online proctoring methods should be employed to ensure the integrity and security of the assessment.  The proctor will monitor the students for the appointed time and electronically “gather” the completed assessments.
  4. The high school will collaborate with the Achieve IOR to develop a system whereby the assessments are submitted on Canvas to the Achieve IOR by a designated representative.  This may be a proctor, the high school teacher, or a coordinator.  An agreement should be made between the high school and the Achieve IOR whether make-up assessments should be sent separately.
  5. The MBU IOR will grade the assessments and provide the grade and other feedback to the teacher via Canvas.  The content of the feedback will be agreed upon by the MBU IOR and the teacher.  The MBU IOR may request that the students not be allowed to keep their graded assessments.  The MBU IOR will provide a grade within 10 days of receipt of all student assessments, including the make-up assessments.

OPTION 2:  ASSESSMENTS GIVEN AS HARD COPIES AND RETURNED TO MBU ELECTRONICALLY

  1.  The Achieve IOR posts the exam on the Canvas shell and informs the high school teachers of its availability to download.  The assessment due date, time, and duration must be clearly stated and communicated to the students.  
  2. The high school teachers print out hard copies of the assessments for students who are enrolled in Achieve.  Students should be informed that their exams will be transmitted electronically to the MBU IOR and illegible answers will not be graded.  Care must be taken by the students to write clearly and boldly.
  3. A suitable proctor is assigned, and all available proctoring methods should be employed to ensure the integrity and security of the assessment.  The proctor will monitor the students for the appointed time and collect the completed assessments.
  4. The high school will collaborate with the Achieve IOR to develop a system whereby the assessments are scanned and submitted on Canvas to the Achieve IOR by a designated representative.  This may be a proctor, the high school teacher, or a coordinator.  An agreement should be made between the high school and the Achieve IOR whether make-up assessments should be sent separately.
  5. The MBU IOR will grade the assessment and provide the grade and other feedback to the teacher via Canvas.  The content of the feedback will be agreed upon by the MBU IOR and the teacher.  The MBU IOR may request that the students not be allowed to keep their graded assessments.  The MBU IOR will provide a grade within 10 days of receipt of all student assessments, including the make-up assessments.

OPTION 3:  ASSESSMENTS GIVEN AS HARD COPIES AND RETURNED TO MBU AS HARD COPIES

  1. The Achieve IOR posts the exam on the Canvas shell and informs the high school teachers of its availability to download.  The assessment due date, time, and duration must be clearly stated and communicated to the students.  
  2. The high school teachers print out hard copies of the assessments for students who are enrolled in Achieve.  Students should be informed that illegible answers will not be graded.  Care must be taken by the students to write clearly and boldly.
  3. A suitable proctor is assigned, and all available proctoring methods should be employed to ensure the integrity and security of the assessment.  The proctor will monitor the students for the appointed time and collect the completed assessments.
  4. The high school must develop a system whereby the assessments are gathered and transported to the Achieve IOR by a designated representative.   This may be a proctor, the high school teacher, or a coordinator.  An agreement should be made between the high school and the Achieve IOR whether make-up assessments should be sent later when completed, or if all assessments should be sent together when make-ups have been completed.  Transportation of completed hard copy assessments can be sent via a designated courier or through the US postal service.

    A. High schools that are near MBU or to their Achieve IOR may choose to utilize a courier for exams.  The courier could be an MBU ECP staff member, a faculty member, or the Achieve IOR.  If several classes and schools have taken the test, the high school should consolidate all the assessments into one pick-up for the courier and clearly communicate the date, time, and location of the pick-up.  High school proctors are strongly advised to scan all exams prior to sending them on for pick-up in case the package is misplaced or lost during transportation.

    B. High schools that are far from MBU or their Achieve IOR may choose to utilize the US Postal Service.  Flat rate envelopes and postage will be provided to the high school for the duration of the Achieve offering.  If several classes and schools have taken the test, the high school should consolidate all the assessments and send them in the fewest number of flat rate envelopes as feasible.  The assessments should be mailed directly to the Achieve IOR to the address provided.  High school proctors are strongly advised to scan all exams prior to sending them in case the package is misplaced or lost during in shipment.  Allow 4 business days for the flat rate envelopes to arrive at their destination.
  5. The MBU IOR will grade the assessment and provide the grade and other feedback to the teacher.  The content of the feedback will be agreed upon by the MBU IOR and the teacher.  The MBU IOR may request that the students not be allowed to keep their graded assessments.  The MBU IOR will provide a grade within 10 days of receipt of all student assessments, including the make-up assessments.

SITE VISITS

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    

  • Become familiar with the registration process and be able to answer students’ questions or direct them to the Director of MBU ECP Student Services.
  • Assist students with the online registration process and submit course evaluations to the MBU ECP Office by the assigned date.
  • Notify MBU ECP of anticipated changes in course content and/or text, overall curriculum, instructor, or any other situation, which may affect the quality or suitability of an Achieve course.
  • When appropriate, speak with students about the transferability of Achieve courses within Missouri and outside the state.  If students have questions that you can’t answer, please direct the students to the MBU ECP office rather than leaving them with incomplete or incorrect information.  Encourage the students to check with the colleges/universities they are considering because the choices of institutions and majors can make a significant difference in how courses transfer.
  • Serve as a liaison between your students and the Achieve IOR.  Students who wish to communicate with the Achieve IOR should do so through the high school teacher.

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.

STUDENT ELIGIBILITY

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: 

90-100%A
80-89%B
70-79%C
60-69%D
59% and belowF
WithdrawW
Stopped AttendingXF

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.

STUDENT EVALUATIONS

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.

TRANSCRIPT REQUESTS

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.

TRANSFERABILITY

The MBU ECP website provides information on transferability. Please click here for more information.