Local research shows students who enter college with 15 or more credits are twice as likely to graduate with a degree. The “Power of 15” initiative boosts college affordability by providing access to college credits in high school. The program allows District 214 students to take college classes in high school that can simultaneously count toward their high school diploma and college degree.
High School District 214 is committed to offering students a variety of opportunities to earn college credits while they still are in high school, with an ultimate goal of ensuring our students leave our doors poised to excel.
Our early college credit opportunities – Advanced Placement courses, Credit by Exam and Dual Credit courses – help improve students' study skills and critical thinking, while also saving them time in college and money on tuition.
As a result of our efforts, District 214 students in 2016-2017 were enrolled in more than 3,000 dual-credit courses, simultaneously earning high school and college credit. Additionally, they were enrolled in more than 9,600 Advanced Placement courses, positioning them for college credits following the successful completion of an exam.
What began as a concerted effort to ensure our students have diverse opportunities to achieve early college credits has now become second nature. We know that if they learn how to be successful in college when they are here with us, they will be prepared, with tremendous potential, for success when they leave our doors.
Here are some of the ways to earn early credit:
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses: District 214 offers more than 30 AP courses, beginning as early as freshman year. These classes are rigorous, mirroring college-level work, and successful completion prepares the students for a corresponding Advanced Placement examination. The AP exams are given every spring in every AP subject, at a cost of approximately $90 per exam, and each presents the opportunity for three or more early college credits. Students who earn a score of "3" or higher on the 5-point exam are guaranteed college credit at any public state college or university in Illinois. Additionally, colleges across the nation accept AP credit; however, the scores they use to determine credit may differ by subject and institution.
Credit by Exam: A program through which some colleges grant course credit based on a standardized or local assessment developed by the college.
Dual Credit Courses: District 214 currently offers more than 60 dual credit course opportunities, partnering with colleges including Eastern Illinois University, Harper College, National Louis University and Northeastern Illinois University to offer classes that simultaneously deliver both high school and college credit. These classes tie directly into District 214's Career Pathways, allowing students to explore career interests with college-level coursework. These classes are taught either by a qualified District 214 instructor or by a college professor, typically at the District 214 school. In some cases, these classes are offered on the college campus.