In today’s fast-paced world, most people are looking for the most efficient path toward their goals. Dual credit is one of those rare, timesaving pathways that delivers real dividends.

A dual credit course is a college-level class that earns both high school and college credit at the same time. Dual credit can alleviate many challenges in education, such as reducing college costs for families, accelerating student progress toward degree completion, challenging advanced students and providing a seamless transition to college.

The National Center for Education Statistics keeps track of dual credit enrollments across the country. In a study released in 2013, they reported that during the 2010–11 school year, 82 percent of high schools reported that students were enrolled in dual credit courses, accounting for a total of 2 million enrollments. Of those, most students (76 percent) were enrolled in dual credit courses with an academic focus, while the rest were enrolled in dual credit courses with a career and technical/vocational focus.

At Waubonsee Community College, partnerships with local high schools allow students to take dual credit classes at their home high school. For those schools that do not offer dual credit courses on campus, students can still pursue dual credit through taking a Waubonsee course on one of our conveniently located four campuses or online. A majority of dual credit courses offered through Waubonsee Community College transfer seamlessly to other state post-secondary institutions thanks to the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI).

Studies have demonstrated that dual credit provides many benefits to the community as well. According to the Illinois Community College Board, dual credit amplifies the usefulness of the 11th and 12th grade, maximizes state and local education resources, and provides a platform that encourages collaboration among high schools and colleges.

Students can get ahead in an academic and in a career path through dual credit enrollments. If you are a high school student who already has a strong commitment toward pursuing a certain career, trying a dual credit course within that career field would both allow you to sample that field and acquire college credit towards that degree, while still in high school. In addition to offering several career and technical courses within high schools, Waubonsee partners with two career and technical centers to provide extensive career-focused dual credit programs for high school students.

When choosing where to attend college, today’s high school students consider career path options and cost. Dual credit programs allow students to accelerate their education and career pathways at an affordable cost. It’s one of the few easy decisions to be made when charting your educational path.