Huntley Community School District 158 (Huntley CSD 158) and McHenry County College (MCC) have partnered to launch a new Dual Degree program for Huntley High School (HHS) students. The program gives HHS students the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree at the same time. Eligible students begin the course sequence the summer before their junior year. For the final two years of high school, their classes will include a combination of HHS internal courses, dual credit courses taught at HHS, credit courses taught through MCC, and optional qualifying AP courses.
“In Huntley 158, we put a strong emphasis on students' preparation for academic rigor after high school, but we also work to foster their readiness to enter into a career, trade, or technical pursuit after graduation,” said Huntley Superintendent, Dr. Scott Rowe. “This opportunity to earn an Associate of Arts degree concurrently with a high school diploma offers an affordable and accessible means of preparation for a variety of pathways after high school. We are confident this partnership with MCC will strengthen our commitment to a well-rounded and personalized educational experience for all of our students,” Rowe added.
Students will be responsible for one-third of the cost of any classes taken through MCC, as well as books, fees, and supplies. As the average cost of college in Illinois rises to nearly $25,000 per year, many students and their parents are forced to make difficult decisions about post-secondary education. In addition to gaining experience in college-level coursework, the dual degree program gives students the added financial advantage of earning many college credits at a lower cost.
“We’re excited to partner with Huntley CSD 158 and expand access to higher education to more individuals in our county,” said Dr. Clint Gabbard, MCC President. “As the community’s college, MCC is committed to providing as many opportunities as possible to help students get to that next step—whatever that may be.”
Huntley CSD 158 is the third school to partner with MCC to offer a dual degree program to students; MCC also has dual degree partnerships with Woodstock D200 and Harvard D50. “The dual degree programs are designed to set students up for life-long success,” said Myka Kennedy, Director of College and Career Readiness at MCC. “We know that students with an associate degree earn on average $157 more per week than those with only a high school diploma. Associate degrees can open doors to a variety of new career opportunities and give students a better chance of finding a career they love.” Students who are unable to complete the program and obtain an associate degree will still have significant college credits to transfer to their future college, whether at MCC or elsewhere.