Dual Credit Program

Dual Credit Program is a structured program between secondary schools and Elgin Community College. If you meet the requirements, you'll be able to take college-level courses at ECC, you'll get college credit and satisfy your high school graduation requirements. 

Arrangements and offerings are determined by each participating high school. Is your high school a dual credit partner institution? See the Partner Institutions sections of the carts below.

  • Save time and money by starting your college courses early.
  • Learn important study habits and experience the demands of college courses while in high school.
  • Choose from general education or elective courses.

Full-Time Programs

Academically qualified juniors and seniors may enroll at Elgin Community College full-time (minimum of 12 credit hours per semester) and complete all of their coursework at the ECC campus. Courses are approved by each participating school district to ensure students fulfill all high school graduation requirements. There are two pathways available:

Accelerate College 2-Year Program
Enroll your sophmore year and start courses the fall of your junior year to earn 60 transferable credits and complete either an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science.

Accelerate College 1-Year Program
Apply your junior year and start courses the fall of your senior year to earn 30+ transferable credits.

  • Partner Institutions

    District 300 (Cambridge Lakes Charter School, Dundee-Crown High School, Hampshire High School, and Jacobs High School)

    District 303 (St. Charles East High School and St. Charles North High School)

    District U-46 (Bartlett High School, Elgin High School, Larkin High School, South Elgin High School, Streamwood High School)

    Private Schools (The Einstein Academy)

  • Costs
    The school district typically pays some of the tuition for dual credit courses. Please consult with your high school for more information.
  • Minimum credit hours per semester

    Full-time; 4-5 courses each semester; Minimum of 12 credit hours.

    Accelerate College 2-Year Program

    • Courses are chosen with the guidance of ECC Academic Advisor and approved by the Dual Credit Department and High School. The priority is given to college courses that fulfill high school graduation requirements. All students will complete the requirements of an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree.

    Accelerate College 1-Year Program

    • Courses are chosen with the guidance of ECC Academic Advisor and approved by the Dual Credit Department and High School. The priority is given to college courses that fulfill high school graduation requirements. Courses are selected from a list of offerings aligned to the Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree. Limited courses are available.
  • Location
    Courses are held at the ECC main campus.
  • Schedules*
    Scheduled Monday through Friday. You may be in class from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. ECC’s academic calendar may differ from each participating school district calendar.
  • When to apply

    Accelerate College 2-Year Program

    • Current sophomores may apply. The application and testing cycle runs from November to March each academic year. Enrollment is limited and determined by each participating high school.

    Accelerate College 1-Year Program

    • Current juniors may apply. The application and testing cycle runs from November to March each academic year. Enrollment is limited and determined by each participating high school.
  • Qualifications
    • Minimum 3.0 out of 4.0 unweighted GPA.
    • ECC placement tests to demonstrate college-readiness.
      • Math – Score of 46 or higher
      • Reading – Score of 95 or higher
      • Writing – Score of 55 or higher
    • Additional high school requirements may be considered. Please consult with your high school for more information.
  • Credit
    You'll receive credit toward a college degree as well as high school graduation requirements. Students complete courses required for a transfer degree (Associate in Arts or Associate in Science).
  • The path forward

    Accelerate College 2-Year Program

    • Complete an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree. Transfer to a 4-year university (in-state or out-of-state).

    Accelerate College 1-Year Program

    • Aligned to either an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree. Class are highly transferable to other institutions, including 4-year universities (in-state and out-of-state).
  • Next steps
    Meet with your high school counselor. They will work with you to schedule any required writing, reading, and/or mathematics placement tests.**
  • You are expected to commit to this timeframe and must be aware that the Dual Credit office manages all scheduling of class meeting times. Days and times are pre-selected to meet the needs of the program and your academic plans.
    Benchmark scores are based on the college’s minimum competencies as stated on the course catalog.

Part-Time Programs

Ideal for students who want to earn college credit while continuing in Advance Placement courses at their high school. This option allows you to earn an academic and/or industry certification. Students select from general education, career-technical, or elective courses. There are two programs available:

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program
The Career and Technical Education (CTE) program option allows you to choose a career-technical education pathway. Most CTE programs provide you with the opportunity to earn an academic and/or industry certification. It's ideal for high school students who want to earn college credit for coursework in subjects like accounting, culinary arts, fire science, and health professions. Plus, as a CTE student, you can immerse yourself in on the Elgin Community College Campus.

General Education (Gen Ed) Program
The General Education (Gen Ed) Program option is for academically qualified juniors and seniors to enroll at ECC part-time. If you choose this track, complete one to two college courses each semester, with classes meeting on different days and times of the week. Courses are selected from a variety of academic subject areas (i.e., English, math, history, science, etc.). Plus, as a Gen Ed student, you can immerse yourself in student life on the Elgin Community College Campus.

  • Partner Institutions

    District 300 (Cambridge Lakes Charter School, Dundee-Crown High School, Hampshire High School, and Jacobs High School)

    District 301 (Central High School)

    District 303 (St. Charles East High School and St. Charles North High School)

    Private Schools (The Einstein Academy)

  • Costs
    The school district typically pays some of the tuition for dual credit courses. Please consult with your high school for more information.
  • Minimum credit hours per semester

    Part-time; 1-2 courses each semester; Minimum of 6 credit hours. For a list of programs offered, please visit your high school's course selection guide.

  • Location
    Courses are held at the ECC main campus or your high school.
  • Schedules*
    Scheduled Monday through Friday. You may be in class from 12 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Some programs require you to enroll at ECC in evening courses due to availability.
  • When to apply

    Current sophomores and juniors may apply. The application and testing cycle runs from November to March each academic year. Enrollment is limited and determined by each participating high school.

  • High school credit, college credit or both

    Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program

    • You'll receive credit toward a college degree as well as high school graduation requirements. Credits earned may not transfer to a four-year college or university depending on the program.

    General Education (Gen Ed) Program

    • You'll receive credit toward a college degree as well as high school graduation requirements.
  • The path forward

    Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program

    • The path forward is aligned to employment or one of ECC's Associate of Applied Science degrees (i.e. automotive, culinary arts, paralegal, etc.).

    General Education (Gen Ed) Program

    • Aligned to either an Associate in Arts or Associate in Science degree. Class are highly transferable to other institutions, including 4-year universities (in-state and out-of-state).
  • Next steps
    Review the program options and meet with your high school counselor.
  • Qualifications

    Career and Technical Education (CTE) Program

    • Minimum 2.0 out of 4.0 unweighted GPA.

    General Education (Gen Ed) Program

    • Minimum 3.0 out of 4.0 unweighted GPA.

    Both Programs

    • ECC placement tests to demonstrate college-readiness. Benchmark scores are based on the college's minimum competencies.

    • Additional high school requirements may be considered (i.e. good attendance record).