In the fall of 2011, Spoon River Valley High School partnered with Spoon River College to provide eligible juniors and seniors the opportunity to get a head start on their college education through the college’s dual credit program. Already more than 60 SRV students have taken advantage of that opportunity.
Taylor Negley is one of them. Negley, the son of Tim and Carolyn Negley of Fairview, said he learned about the dual credit program from the high school’s academic counselor Sarah Wills.
“I thought it sounded like a great way to get a head start on my college education,” said Negley. “I completed English Comp I and Psychology during the fall, and now I’m taking English Comp II and Human Growth and Development.”
Students earn both high school and college credit for dual credit classes. All courses are college level classes that meet college standards, use college textbooks, and are taught by teachers that meet the college’s qualifications. The credits earned are transferable to most educational institutions.
The tuition rate for dual credit courses is less than half the normal tuition costs, and the SRC Foundation offers a dual credit scholarship to eligible students.
“This is a great opportunity for high school students,” said Taylor’s mother Carolyn Negley. “It provides a significant cost savings plus a boost to the start of their college education.” She added that Taylor enjoys his classes and is excelling in them.
Spoon River Valley teacher Kenny Knox teaches the English courses. Wills teaches the Psychology courses, which she wrote and received a grant for from the American Psychological Association.
“Psychology is quickly becoming a course needed for every college and career major, so I felt it was important to bring it here to Spoon River Valley,” said Wills. As a side note, Wills noted that Kindles had been purchased to replace traditional textbooks for the Psychology classes.
“The students have been very excited to utilize this new technology.”
In addition to face-to-face dual credit classes, several Spoon River Valley seniors are taking online classes through Spoon River College via the program, choosing classes based on their particular college path or future career goal.
“I would recommend that students check this program out. I have several friends who are also taking the dual credit classes and we all are very happy we did,” said Negley, who plans to attend Illinois State University and major in Communications.
Wills hopes the partnership continues for a very long time.
“So far, everything is going very smoothly, and I am grateful for all the support I get from Missy Wilkinson (interim dean of student services at Spoon River College), and from our school board and administration,” Wills said. “I want our students to have every opportunity we can offer that will aid in their success in college and in their careers.”
For more information about the dual credit or dual enrollment programs at Spoon River College, visit http://bit.ly/zaWw8Q or call (309) 649-6400.
Pictured are Spoon River Valley students who are participating in the Human Growth
and Development dual credit class taught by SRV teacher Sarah Wills (standing).
Spoon River Valley high school students show off the Kindles that were purchashed
by the high school for use in the Psychology courses that are being offered as
dual credit classes in partnership with Spoon River College.