Tag Archives: dual credit

Heading to College? What’s Your ETA?

Parkland College is excited to offer District 505 high school and home-schooled students a great new opportunity to complete college general education courses while still in high school.

Parkland’s new Early Transfer Academy (ETA) is a fast track to college that gives students in their last two years of high school a new, structured opportunity to complete the general education courses required at nearly all four-year institutions. High school and home-schooled students age 15 and older  who meet Parkland’s reading, writing, and math placement requirements will be able to register for selected courses offered at times planned to fit their schedule.

  • Students in the first year of the two-year program will take classes with faculty who have incorporated learning skills into their curriculum. Students participating in the ETA will not only earn transferable college credit but will gain experiences that will increase their chances of success as they move on to a four-year university. While in the first year, students will gain experience in time management, online learning, academic planning, and organization of workload.
  • In the second year, ETA participating students will be able to choose from a wider range of general education courses that allow them take classes apart from the group. The two-year schedule helps students gradually become comfortable with the college environment, so that they are ready for the next step upon graduating from high school.

Courses offered through the ETA will fulfill the requirements of the General Education Core Curriculum as identified by the Illinois Articulation Act. This public act states that upon completion of the GECC, no student will be required to take additional lower-division general education courses at any public college or university in Illinois. All public colleges and most private institutions in Illinois accept the courses in the GECC. The GECC includes courses in humanities, fine arts, social sciences, mathematics, and physical and life sciences.

A high school student who enters the ETA as a junior could complete the entire GECC package by the time he or she graduates from high school. That same student could potentially complete an associate’s degree at Parkland in one year after high school and then transfer to a four-year institution with only two years needed to complete a bachelor’s degree. Alternatively, a student completing the GECC through the ETA could transfer those credits directly to a four-year institution and complete a bachelor’s degree in three years or less. Participation in the ETA could mean significant savings in college costs as well as a greater chance at college success because of the experiences gained on Parkland’s campus.

Who/What: The ETA is an early college program for high school juniors and seniors designed to help students move through coursework included in the General Education Core Curriculum requirements for college. Students will get a head start on their college degree/program completion and, at the same time, receive support from faculty and staff who are dedicated to helping students successfully navigate the transition from high school to higher education.

Where/When: ETA students will choose between a morning or afternoon track to complete three different courses each semester. Morning classes will meet 8–9:15 a.m. Monday–Friday, and afternoon classes will meet 4–5:15 p.m. Monday–Friday, at the Parkland College main campus in Champaign.

How: Registration is open to incoming juniors and seniors, 15 years of age or older. The registration window is February 1–June 1, 2018. Students will work with their high school counselors to complete the necessary registration requirements and determine dual credit eligibility. To register, students will need to submit:

  • a non-degree-seeking admissions form to Parkland College
  • a dual credit/dual enrollment request form
  • qualifying ACT or SAT scores, or complete the appropriate Parkland College placement test

Program Details:

  • Students can choose either the 8–9:15 a.m. track or the 4–5:15 p.m. track. Both have identical course offerings. Classes will meet M–F.
  • Students must meet the placement requirements for each course, either through Parkland placement testing, SAT, or ACT.
  • ETA Year 1 students will be in a cohort together.
  • Cost for the ETA will include Parkland College in-district tuition, fees, and books.
  • Payment plans will be available to help families distribute the cost throughout the semester. We are currently exploring scholarship opportunities but do not want to present that as an option until we are 100 percent certain funds will be available.
  • All courses meet the requirements set forth by the Illinois Articulation Initiative, meaning they are part of the General Education Core Curriculum and will transfer.
  • Friday classes are hybrid. This means that the class will meet every Friday, but 50 percent of the class will be conducted online, using Parkland’s online course management platform, COBRA. Through these courses, students will learn how to succeed in an online college course.
  • High schools will determine whether or not enrollment in ETA will simultaneously earn high school credit. The enrollment process will remain the same either way; the only difference is whether the student is granted high school credits.
  • ETA Year 2 classes will include life/physical science courses, mathematics, and communications.
  • Year 2 students will have more options for their schedule and will be mixed into classes with ‘general population’ students. Parkland will make every attempt to modify the Year 2 schedule if a student can earn dual credits through their home high school. For example, if a student is able to take a Year 2 class at their home high school, we will substitute another required course in its place.

***Parkland College is hosting an ETA Information Session on Monday, January 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Interested students and their parents are invited to attend to learn more about the program. Registration to the open house is available at parkland.edu/ETAopenhouse.***

[Nancy Sutton , Ed.D., is dean of the division of arts and sciences at Parkland College and one of the ETA coordinators.]

High School Student Learns to Fly

[McKenzie Krutsinger, a Parkland dual credit student in Aviation, shares her thrill at learning to fly while still at Tolono’s Unity High School.]

Why Learn to Fly?
Learning to fly is extremely exhilarating. You get to be among the clouds and look down at all the towns, lakes, fields, cars, etc., and it’s so crazy. Every time I go up and look down on everything, it sort of brings the world into perspective, and I realize how big our world really is. You get an incredible amount of courage and sense of achievement when you’re on a cross country flight and you get to your destination right on time using only pilotage (the map and the compass). I truly think flying is something everyone should experience once in their lifetime.

How They Make It Work for Me
Since I’m in high school and play sports, I have to be taking enough classes to make me eligible. I need five classes. I had to ask my school board, IHSA, and Parkland College if I could take Aviation as a dual credit class. Thankfully, everyone approved.

I have a flight period scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, so instead of two classes at my high school, I get to leave in the middle of the day and go fly. It’s amazing. Afterwards, I go back to school for three hours, then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I go back to the airport for ground school. Last semester, I had ground school during my break from school.

I am so thankful for everyone at the Institute of Aviation for working with my schedule and allowing me to do this. If you want to fly and earn your private pilot certificate while still in high school, they will make it work. Everyone is so understanding and willing to make it work for you.

Reaching Toward My Future
I would like to use my pilot certificate and continue earning all my other ratings and certificates. The ultimate goal is to be either a commercial or corporate pilot. Women only make up about 7% of commercial pilots. I want to be one of those 7%, and I hope to see that number grow. We have quite a few females at the Institute and I love it. It’s so easy to connect with them. We all know we are the underdogs and we have to prove ourselves to everyone out there.

Amelia Earhart and Softball
Sybil Phillips helped me find a scholarship through the Amelia Rose Earhart foundation. I applied for the scholarship, and they paid for a fun flight for me to go on. After that, I actually ended up winning. It was a great feeling, but I couldn’t have done it without Sybil’s help. I’m also very active in softball; I play at my high school and for a travel team from Chicago. Softball is basically year-round for me. I earned a scholarship to play at Florida Institute of Technology. That is where I will be finishing out my flight school.

I’m so thankful for Parkland getting me a head start on my flying career. I’m glad I got the chance to experience this opportunity in high school because it helped solidify that this was the path I wanted to take. By solidifying that, I could start looking for schools I wanted to go to. If flying interests you at all, I encourage you to take a fun flight. You get to experience what your flight training might be like. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois has given me.

Early College & Career Academy Coming Fall 2015

Do you know an area high school student who wants a head start on a new career? Education for Employment System #330, along with Parkland College, is happy to announce the launch of its Early College and Career Academy, or ECCA, beginning fall 2015.

The new academy will allow high school juniors and seniors to enroll in dual credit classes at the Parkland campus. Six programs will be offered in its debut:  automotive technology, computer networking, criminal justice, certified nursing assistant, emergency medical services, and manufacturing.

Of course, Parkland has offered dual credit classes for some time now. However, ECCA students will not only receive dual credit; they will learn valuable hands-on skills to prepare them for the workforce. Several programs are even aligned with Parkland certificates and/or state licenses.

Transportation to and from Parkland, as well as funding provided for the program, will be determined by the students’ home high schools. This is a great opportunity for students in our area to experience higher education while still in high school and get a head start on their career goals.

Students who are interested should contact their high school guidance counselor. Information is also available at www.parkland.edu/ecca. The EFE #330/ECCA office can be reached at 217/355-1382.


[Renae Kirkton is the special projects coordinator for EFE System #330.]