Friday, March 16, 2012
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After successful 1st year, LCHS and Lincoln College make dual-enrollment plans for next year

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[March 16, 2012]  Angela Kelley is a senior at Lincoln Community High School. Next fall, she will attend North Central College in Naperville. When she arrives, she will be one of a growing number of incoming college freshmen who already has college credit to her name, thanks to the dual-enrollment program offered at LCHS through Lincoln College.

HardwareKelley has earned 12 college credits in English and mathematics through the program, which started last August.

"It's going to be nice to have those completed by the time I start (at North Central)," said Kelley, who plans on studying business in college. "I'm hoping it will allow me to take some more classes that are related to my major."

Kelley is one of 48 LCHS students who will receive college credit through the program.

LCHS will host an informational meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday about next year's dual-enrollment classes. Lincoln College officials will be there to answer questions. Any students with interest in taking the dual-enrollment classes, or their parents, are invited to attend.

Both LCHS and Lincoln College officials hope they can build on this year's success with next year's courses. Course offerings are expected to expand to include a science course next year.

"The program has been successful enough for us to expand it in to the science department next year," said LCHS Principal Todd Poelker. "Working with Lincoln College has been great. This joint venture has given LCHS the opportunity to use existing local resources, like Lincoln College, to expand our course offerings and ensure a relevant and demanding curriculum for our college-bound students."

Lincoln College's vice president of enrollment management, Tony Cardenas, echoed Poelker's sentiments that the first year has been a great success.

"I think, in just the first year, it's been apparent that this has been one of those special things in education that is a win-win for everyone," said Cardenas, who has overseen the program in partnership with the admissions and transition services offices at Lincoln College and the guidance and administration offices at LCHS.

"It's a win for the high school by expanding course offerings and offering an additional service to their students. It's a win for Lincoln College because it helps strengthen our relationships locally and gives us a foot in the door, so to speak, with dual-enrollment, which is a growing trend in higher education," Cardenas said.


"But the biggest winners are the students, who are taking a considerable step towards achieving a college degree and doing it at a relatively affordable price. That's the most exciting part. This partnership is definitely something the community should be excited about, going forward."

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The price of tuition for each class this past year was $130 per credit hour.

The classes are taught at LCHS, by LCHS teachers. English courses are taught by Michelle Ryan, while mathematics courses are taught by Chris Hammer.

Ryan said she has seen her students benefit from the amount of writing required for her class.

"Just today, my students were commenting about how easy it is for them to write papers in other classes, when a teacher might require a two- or three-page paper," said Ryan. "That ease comes from the amount of work that they are required to do in this (dual-credit) course."

Hammer is pleased with how his students have responded to the challenges of college-level math.

"Our LCHS students have responded wonderfully to the coursework," said Hammer. "They are challenged, but that is what they need, to be prepared for college. I would like to see more students taking the courses, although we do have 33 students taking statistics this semester."

Kelley said taking courses with LCHS teachers she is familiar with has been her favorite part of the dual-credit courses, saying Ryan and Hammer can teach to her "more on a personal level."

Kelley's classmate Anna Maxwell, who will attend Lincoln College next fall, agreed.

"Having a teacher that I know has helped get me through it," said Maxwell, who plans on using the Lincoln College credits she has earned this year to accelerate her pursuit of an associate degree from Lincoln College. "It's not as scary as some people think it is. People think, ‘Oh, it's a college class.' But, since you're taking it at the high school, in some ways, it feels like a more accelerated high school class.

"I think it works out best in the end, because you're taking college credits that are less expensive than paying for it at a bigger university. You're taking the same (general education classes) as everyone else is at those schools."

For more information about the dual-enrollment classes in advance of the meeting on March 22, contact the admissions office at Lincoln College, 732-3155, or contact LCHS at 732-4131.

[Text from file received from Lincoln College]

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