Probably one of the most memorable times in a person’s life is the time they spend in high school. Many “first time” events occur during the high school years including driving a car, perhaps a first job, and for some it may also include their first opportunity to take a college course. Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) partners with both public and private high schools in the district to offer various opportunities for college credit. One of these college credit opportunities is called dual credit. Dual credit is credit awarded at both the high school and the college for a college course taken by a high school student.
The goal of the dual credit program is: 1) to provide educational opportunities for high school juniors and seniors in the LLCC district, 2) to enhance the current high school curriculum, 3) to address students’ unique interests, abilities, and attitudes, 4) to prepare students for work and/or further educational endeavors, and 5) to improve the transition of students from high school to college.
Lincoln Land Community College dual credit is governed by the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Dual Credit Quality Act to ensure instructors, course content and students all meet the same requirements as the college campus offerings. Academic quality and standards are important to ensure course transferability from institution to institution. It is important to know that college credit can be earned in both academic course work as well as career and technical education (CTE) course work. Students may have the opportunity to earn college credit in courses like math and English as well as autobody and welding.
The LLCC dual credit program is called JumpStart, and it offers different opportunities for students to earn dual credit. The most common dual credit opportunity is course work offered during the day at the high school. Due to the varying qualifications of high school faculty, offerings at the high school will be different. LLCC will work individually with high schools and their faculty to approve courses. LLCC provides most of these dual credit opportunities to students at no cost by waiving tuition and fees.
Some of our rural schools have allowed the students to enroll in online courses and some schools allow the students to take a morning or afternoon class on campus working around their high school schedule. Students can enroll in evening classes during the school year and can take classes during the summer. These options have costs associated with them but LLCC costs are considerably less than most four-year institutions. Students are always advised to talk to their high school counselors prior to taking college classes if they want to use the college credit to apply toward high school graduation.
There are many different options for students to consider when it comes to participating in dual credit, and students can participate in any combination of options. For example, students taking a combination of dual credit courses while in high school along with additional LLCC college classes outside their high school day often accumulate a year or more of college credit by the time they graduate from high school! LLCC can work with high schools to develop programs that will meet the needs of their students.
Dual credit is an opportunity to begin earning college credit and provides an opportunity to shorten the time to degree completion. Dual credit will provide students with a better understanding of the requirements of college level work and can ease the transition from high school to college. Summer and fall registration begins in April, and high school students interested in taking online college courses or courses outside of their high school day are encouraged to register early. If you have questions about dual credit, visit the website at www.llcc.edu/jumpstart or call 217.786.2384.