As a community college, we know the importance of being connected to the community we serve. This includes strong connections with the school districts of our community.
The Waubonsee Community College district includes 12 public school districts, 13 public high schools, and eight private high schools. We work closely with school and district leaders and officials to provide services that promote a headstart and smooth transition to college.
Area students can take college classes while in high school through Waubonsee's . These programs put students several steps ahead on their way to their academic and professional goals. Classes are available within many district high schools, at the Fox Valley Career Center, Indian Valley Vocational Center, and Kishwaukee Education Consortium as well as Waubonsee’s Plano Campus. Classes offered are in a wide variety of subjects, including business, English, history, math, and more.
Recently, we worked with East Aurora High School to create the program. Through the program, East Aurora High School students have the opportunity to take dual credit classes at a Waubonsee Community College campus that helps them complete their high school diploma while also counting toward a college degree. Tuition costs and transportation are provided by East Aurora High School.
Our Summer Opportunities for Advancement and Recovery or SOAR Program offers high school level courses to area high school students during the summer. Offered at the Sugar Grove and Aurora Downtown Campuses, SOAR allows high school students to get ahead or stay on track for high school graduation by completing additional courses or making up courses.
Through Upward Bound, a federally-funded college preparatory program, Waubonsee assists low income and potential first-generation college students to complete high school and earn a college degree. These programs are based at East and West Aurora High School and offer tutoring, educational and career planning, college visits, cultural enrichment activities, and assistance with the college admissions process.
Waubonsee also hosts every year in October. Representatives from more than 125 colleges and universities from across the country come to our Sugar Grove Campus to answer questions from students and parents. This event draws approximately 2,000 people annually because of the value it provides to people exploring college options. And with at Waubonsee, high school students can be better prepared for these tests which are frequently utilized by colleges to make admissions and scholarship decisions.
We regularly host meetings and events for area high school counselors and administrators such as our annual High School Counselors Breakfast. These meetings, and the relationships built through them, help us keep the people who are so influential in the lives of high school students informed about programs and opportunities at Waubonsee. By attending meetings and discussions, not only do these influencers stay informed about Waubonsee, but we learn from them about the ever-changing needs of students.
In addition, we work closely with the Valley Education for Employment System (VALEES) in many partnerships that provide area teachers with professional development opportunities in career and technical education as well as numerous career pathway exploration activities and events for students.
Last year we launched a reinvention process at Waubonsee designed to better serve our students and our community. One of the six drivers of that reinvention is the enhancement and documentation of our school district partnerships. I am excited about the work that Waubonsee continues to do to help young people throughout the area achieve their academic and professional goals.