MCC enhances dual-credit courses through grant


McHenry County College is enhancing its dual-credit offerings for high school students this fall through new grant funding.

The Crystal Lake college received a $10,000 grant from the Illinois Community College Board for the program, which allows high school students to earn college credit.

The grant funds enrichment activities for culinary, horticulture and computer courses, said Tony Capalbo, MCC associate dean for college and career readiness.

Dual-credit culinary classes will be available to students at Crystal Lake South High School -- Intro to Professional Hospitality and Food Sanitation and Safety. Grant funds will be used to purchase textbooks and for a field trip to the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. Students who complete the sanitation and safety course can sit for the Illinois Food Service Safety test, qualifying them for employment in a restaurant.

MCC is partnering with Huntley High School to offer a lab science course, Introduction to Plant Science, in an online, blended format. Students will complete online coursework and use the high school science lab to conduct experiments. It's the first time Huntley is offering a blended lab science course. The grant provides funding for professional development training for the instructor, biology teacher Zach Davidson.

Huntley offers dual-credit college algebra and English composition classes with MCC. Huntley teachers must have a master's degree in the subject area to teach a dual-credit class.

"We're trying to grow the dual-credit offerings so that we could be able to cover the basic requirements (in English, math and science) for either an associate of arts or associate of science degree at the high school," said Shelly Kish, Huntley High associate principal of curriculum, instruction and assessment. "Next year, we are going to be offering dual-credit speech."

Grant funds also will help MCC train high school instructors to continue teaching Computer Literacy for Windows. Roughly 500 students from eight area high schools -- including Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake Central and South, Prairie Ridge and McHenry West -- complete the class each school year making it one of MCC's most popular dual-credit courses.

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