March 2, 2018

CARTERVILLE — The superintendent of the state’s second-largest high school district spoke today at John A. Logan College emphasizing how important dual credit enrollment is to students’ futures.

Dr. Ron House, president of John A. Logan College, welcomed Dr. David R. Schuler to campus this morning. Schuler, superintendent of High School District 214 in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, discussed “The Power of 15,” explaining that research shows high school students who enter college with 15 or more college credits are twice as likely to graduate with a four-year degree.

Schuler was invited to speak at the Logan as part of the College’s Dual Credit Summit organized by Melanie Pecord, acting vice-president for instruction. The purpose of the event was to emphasize to local educators the importance of dual credit enrollment — the ability to earn college and high school credit simultaneously — and how it benefits students in the long run.

Also speaking today was Jordan Chesler, LPC, NCC, PPS, who is in her third year as high school counselor in rural Idaho. She piloted a process to allow students in her school to graduate high school with their associate’s degree, as well as a study skills program that identifies at-risk students, allowing them to receive extra one-on-one support in their core academic classes.

“This was a great event that gave the College the opportunity to hear from others about their dual credit successes while also being able to highlight the successes of dual credit we’ve experienced at Logan,” House said.

Schuler, who is the 2018 Superintendent of the Year in Illinois has also been named as a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year. Schuler’s “The Power of 15” is a partnership between High School District 214 and Harper College providing increased opportunities for college credit before high school graduation. 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. Successful completion with a grade of C or better will result in transferrable college credit on a Harper transcript.

Last year, John A. Logan College became only the second college in Illinois and one of only 105 nationwide to receive a prestigious accreditation for its dual credit program. The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) awarded the accreditation.

The mission of JALC’s dual credit program is to give high school students who attend high schools in the John A. Logan College district — 11 in all — or home school students who reside in the College’s district the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school.

In some cases, the program allows high school students to graduate from JALC at the same time they graduate from high school. In any case, it gives high school students participating in dual credit a head start toward earning a college degree or certification.

And its popularity is growing, says Scott Wernsman, director of Partnerships and Dual Credit at John A. Logan College. From the fall 2012 semester to the fall 2016 semester, credit hours through the dual credit program increased by nearly 84 percent.

Wernsman works closely with high schools and home schools to promote enrollment and opportunities through dual credit.