High School Students Seeking More College Credit at JWCC

High School Students Seeking More College Credit at JWCC

Planning for Fall Semester Includes College Courses for Increasing Number of High School Students

As demand for college credit offerings for high school students continues to grow, John Wood Community College is offering varying ways to help students jumpstart their college career.

 “Now is the time that many students plan for the following year, and more often than not, that includes college classes for seniors and even juniors in high school,” Melanie Lechtenberg, dean of enrollment services, said. “Today’s high school students are so busy that fitting in college classes into their regular school day can be tough.  That’s why we’ve been getting creative in terms of how we deliver courses to students, and we are starting to see an increase in enrollment as a result.”

 From 2015 to 2017, the number of high school students taking college credit at JWCC increased by more than 20 percent. In 2015, 403 high school students enrolled in 2,573 credit hours at JWCC.  In 2017, the numbers jumped to 492 students taking 3,099 credit hours.

 The most recent Illinois Community College Board data from 2015-16 show that a total of 10,740 dual credit courses were offered by Illinois community colleges, which marks a 7 percent increase from the prior year. Courses taken to transfer to four-year universities made up 63 percent of dual credit offerings while career and technical courses accounted for the remaining 37 percent. More than 100,000 students enrolled in courses across the state that year.  JWCC received a dual credit enhancement grant from the Illinois Community College Board to help promote opportunities to high schools in the college’s district.

 “Families are thinking ahead at the time and money they can save by having their sons and daughters take one, two, and sometimes multiple college classes in their last two years of high school,” Lechtenberg shared. “It’s important that they understand the extra time and expectations involved in college classes, so it is important for any high school student to talk with their guidance counselor to make sure they are successful.”

 High school students can complete college credit in a number of different ways through JWCC. Students can earn dual credit, where they receive both high school and college credit for one course.  Dual credit classes are typically delivered by an instructor at their high school who meets both secondary and JWCC’s credentialing requirements.


Dual enrollment is another option for high school students to obtain college credits.  In this case, students enroll in a college course while also enrolled at their high school, but only receive college credit. These classes are normally taught by a JWCC instructor at one of the College’s centers or on-site at high schools. 

 Online classes are also considered dual enrollment.  JWCC’s new Smart Start 2x2 online program is an accelerated option designed for high-achieving students to complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree online. Students who enter the program as juniors may complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree by the time they graduate high school. Students can transfer courses from the Smart Start 2x2 program to four-year colleges and universities across the country.

 More details are available at www.jwcc.edu/smartstart, or by contacting Lechtenberg at 217.641.4310 or mlechtenberg@jwcc.edu

John Wood Community College is the educational link between business and community. JWCC collaboratively creates innovative and relevant academic and training programs with business leaders to educate young people and the workforce for today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. JWCC has centers in Quincy, Pittsfield, Baylis and Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Programs include a comprehensive baccalaureate transfer curriculum, customized business training, career/technical degrees and certificates and personal enrichment courses.

Learn more at: www.jwcc.edu.