Forty-two Elgin Area School District U-46 high school students were recognized during the first Accelerate College dual credit recognition event on Wednesday, May 23.
The event celebrated the accomplishments of the first cohort of students who finished their high school educations while getting a head start on their college careers by earning a full year of college credit at Elgin Community College during the 2017-18 academic year.
"We are proud to celebrate the success of U-46's inaugural Accelerate College cohort," said Rodrigo Lopez, ECC director of High School Partnerships and Transitions. "Not only have these students had the opportunity to earn college credit while completing their senior year requirements for high school graduation, they have also learned valuable skills for the next stage of their academic careers."
ECC President David Sam, PhD, JD, LLM and Elgin Area School District U-46 Chief Executive Officer Tony Sanders spoke during the reception.
Students then received a special stole to wear during their high school graduation the following weekend.
A majority of the Accelerate College graduates plan on transferring to a four-year institution.
A partnership between ECC and local school districts, the Accelerate College program provides academically driven high schoolers the opportunity to earn both college and high school course credit by taking college-level courses at ECC.
During its pilot year in 2016, the program offered high school seniors the opportunity to earn up to 32 college credits during their final year of high school. It has since expanded to include high school juniors who can earn up to two years of college credit and complete an associate degree.
High school students interested in Accelerate College must demonstrate the academic ability and self-discipline to succeed in college. Once accepted into the program, they are supported through regular meetings with their ECC and high school academic advisors, monthly workshops and other various college resources. While tuition is covered by state tuition dollars provided to each participating school district, students are responsible for covering the cost of books and supplies.
The Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300 and St. Charles Unit District 303 are also partners in the Accelerate College program.
For more information on Accelerate College and other dual credit programs, visit elgin.edu/admissions/apply/high-school-students.