Growth in Dual-Credit Course Offerings

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After implementing the first year of dual-credit courses, high student achievement and enrollment has helped the program to grow for the 2012-2013 academic year.

High School District 211 has partnered with William Rainey Harper College to offer college credit for the following courses: Child Development; Fashion Independent Study; Fashion Retail and Merchandising; Art in Contemporary Society; Chemistry of Foods; Spanish 4; French 4; and College Algebra. Dual-credit allows District 211 students to earn entry-level college credit for a course they also earn credit for in high school.

“The opportunity for students to earn college credit while earning high school credit is relatively new and has a number of benefits,” said Terri Busch, assistant superintendent for Instruction at District 211. “Earning college credit while still in high school saves money for parents and students in terms of tuition dollars, and as students prepare to leave high school they must be college and career ready.”

Nearly all students completed necessary requirements in their dual-credit courses to earn college credit last school year. The Certified Nursing Assistant course had 26 of 29 students pass the state certification exam, which is a huge accomplishment for the program’s first year. The course grew from one class at Conant High School to three at CHS and three at Palatine High School.

Additionally, all students enrolled in the University of Illinois’ Differential Equations calculus course passed, which is a difficult math course that some of the District’s brightest math students enrolled in.

The idea to add and modify courses to allow opportunities for career training and college credit is a shift that is happening in education throughout the country. District 211 recognized the need for students to access education and training after they graduate high school. By allowing early college credit, students are essentially taking a first-year college course that can transfer to a college after they graduate. This potentially can save money for a student’s first year of college or technical training, while preparing them for the coursework they will encounter once they begin their studies.

District 211 is looking forward to another successful year for dual credit courses in hopes of helping students excel after they leave high school.

“We strive to pick classes that will particularly mean something down the road for our students,” Busch said, “whether that means the course transfers, eliminates a prerequisite in college coursework, or helps students save money on college tuition in the future.”

For more information about dual-credit, please read the first article in the series here.