To meet the demands from a growing number of high school students wanting to start college classes early, Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) offers opportunities for students to earn college credit in “concurrent enrollment programs.” One of the programs offered, College Now, consists of students who are enrolled in a set of LLCC courses that fulfill the requirements within the general education core curriculum guidelines and/or a specific academic discipline at LLCC. The courses offered through the College Now program are taught on the LLCC main campus, at outreach centers and online.
Noel, a College Now student completed 16 credit hours
of general education requirements before attending Illinois State University (ISU). Completing high school a year early and taking college level courses required sacrifices, discipline and initiative for Noel. Because of her College Now courses, Noel was able to immediately begin taking classes required for her major of Interior Design at ISU. “My College Now experience helped me immensely. I got several of my general education requirements out of the way before going to ISU, and it gave me a feel for the atmosphere and expectations of college,” says Noel.
Being directly admitted into the interior design program felt like a dream come true to Noel and that her efforts had paid off. Her ultimate dream is to start her own interior design company that focuses on environmental sustainability. “I want to create homes (maybe businesses too at some point) that use materials and décor that are aseco-friendly as possible. While raising awareness for climate change, I want to show people that living sustainably doesn’t have to be expensive, and that everyone can contribute to a cleaner and more conscientious society.”
The investment in College Now does pay off. Data shows that students who participate in College Now have a 90 percent success rate in passing their classes, and those seniors that enroll at Lincoln Land Community College continue to thrive as college students. The cost to participate in College Now can be daunting for some. The average fee for tuition and books for two courses is $1,100. Because high school students are not eligible for financial aid, many do not have the resources to participate in College Now without the help of scholarships.
A Workforce Careers Expo was held on LLCC’s Springfield campus on September 21, in conjunction with the annual lineworker’s safety rodeo. Approximately 900 students from 32 area high school students were on LLCC’s campus to learn more about affordable training for high-demand, high-wage occupations.
In addition to the high-school students, nearly 70 area businesses and trade organizations participated as exhibitors bringing heavy equipment for a more hands-on approach for attendees. “The goal for the expo was to give students the chance to explore workforce careers while giving employers an opportunity to interact with potential future employees”, said Nancy Sweet, dean LLCC Workforce Institute.
The LLCC Workforce Institute offers certificate classes with convenient start dates that focus on trades at half the cost as private institutes in the areas such as automotive and diesel technology, welding, HVAC, construction and aviation.