For the fall 2019 semester, high school’s that have Joliet Junior College dual credits available will now be charged $50 per course. The action was voted 7-0 by the JJC board on their meeting Oct. 8.
Amy Kittle, manager of dual credit, said that it will help promote access and help make investment and help maintain eligibility of the program.
The board agreed this was a fair price for the class. The students will only pay about an eighth of what taking the class on campus would actually cost. A three credit class is usually in the lower $400 range. Some schools such as Minooka Community High School even supply the textbooks for their students to use for the semester.
“Personally, if the money is used to continue educating the teachers for higher standards than it is a good idea. Comparing to taking the class at the college you get a really good discount. I think it will have a good outcome,” Rebecca Ashbacher, student government vice president said.
Students who pay the fee will be eligible to receive reimbursement of the payment if they choose to attend Joliet Junior College 15 months after graduating high school. It will be given to the student as scholarship.
At the meeting, both representatives from the Plainfield and Coal City school districts were opposed to the fee. Plainfield school district 202 says the reason they opposed was because of the extra cost to their students.
“I think it ended up good compromise. Originally it started off as $160, then to $80, and then finally lowered it more. I think it will be good because it will put dual credit is up to the standards of where they need to be, and that students can come here prepared,” Alonso Rodriguez, student trustee, said.
Kittle says the colleges main goal is to get students that were enrolled in the dual credit classes to become students at the high school after graduation.
Students who partake in the free or reduced lunch programs do not have to pay for the course. Students in vocational centers will not have to pay the fee. High school students in vocational centers also will not have to pay the fee.
JJC will be following this in example of the Dual Credit Quality Act. The act was initiated on Aug. 23 but will go into effect Jan 1. of 2019. It is a 2-year trial to see how many students will be paying and if the enrollment stays the same.
“I’ve been in dual credit classes since I was a freshman,” Jefferson Cherrington, student government member, said. “I’m happier they lowered it to $50 but I’m still not happy it was a graduated rate over time. It can be more of a risk than an award for students. I get why we are doing it, but I feel like we will lose some people. In my particular demographic, we are the kind that are right above financial aid but we are to poor for anything else.”
Taking dual credit classes during a students high school career has many benefits, including getting many general education classes out of the way and guaranteeing a fast track to graduation.
Overall, this situation may cause students to be unable to attend dual credit classes from now on due to the cost. It is also unknown if the price will rise in the future. On the other hand, it may be helpful in assisting our teachers to teach at a higher standard and give students great education.
It also encourages students to attend JJC after graduating high school, giving JJC a chance to recover from the slight enrollment slump it’s currently going through right now.