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ECC unique partnership offers dual credit for Juvenile Justice Center students

Elgin Community College is participating with the Kane County Regional Office of Education and the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center to help students at the center prepare for college and a career. Two dual-credit courses-College 101 and General Student Development 120-will be offered to up to 12 students at the center, 37W655 Ill. 38, St Charles.

“College 101 will teach self-management and self-awareness, while general student development is intended to aid students to learn more about occupational fields that are closely related to academic training,” said Darlene Harris, instructor for both classes from ECC.

ECC has been working with the Kane County ROE since March to develop this summer pilot program, which began Wednesday, June 15. Students chosen to participate in the program were identified by their quality work habits and reading comprehension scores.

“We needed to partner with an organization that would be willing to work outside of the campus in a new environment like the Juvenile Justice Center,” said Patricia Dal Santo, Kane County ROE regional superintendent.

Elizabeth Roeger, EdD, dean of developmental education and college transitions at ECC, said the project is unique in that the college is teaching the class at the Juvenile Justice Center in a format that will work for its students within the restrictions of its facility-such as limited internet access. The program allows students to receive ECC distance learning resources like Desire2Learn and its online library.

Although students are likely to be at the center for the duration of the course offering, there are measures in place to make sure they don't jeopardize their academic standing in case they are transferred or have an early release, said Rodrigo Lopez, director of partnerships for college and career success at ECC.

Those who complete the program receive college credit and gain a more positive outlook for college after graduating from high school.

“The classes that we are offering should help build college and career readiness and are infused with its affective learning or emotional intelligence growth.” Roeger said. “We want to help the students become motivated to see a positive future and believe they can get there.”

In addition, the center will offer three electives this summer for students, as well as English, social studies, math and science classes.

“As students transition back to their home school and community, they will have experienced success, and therefore will seek out additional career paths and college opportunities,” said Shirley LeClere, director of professional development for Kane County ROE. “This program will give students ages 14 and up a chance to mature.” 


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