Yessica Tello graduates twice this weekend.
On Friday she acquired an associate degree from Elgin Group School. Saturday she’ll in line to obtain her highschool diploma from Jacobs Excessive Faculty in Algonquin.
“I’m undoubtedly feeling anxious,” Tello, 18, of Carpentersville, stated earlier than her ECC graduation. “Nevertheless it’s a very good sort of anxious.”
Tello was one among 10 college students from Faculty District 300 high faculties who earned affiliate levels via the Accelerate School dual-credit score program — the primary D300 students to do so. The program allows students to achieve school credit score that goes towards both their highschool and associate levels with a aim of completing both packages simultaneously.
“You’ve a leg up in your buddies,” ECC President David Sam advised the graduates Friday. “Lots of your mates will probably be freshmen and freshwomen this fall. And hey: you’re juniors in school or university this fall.”
Whereas Friday’s graduation ceremony was smaller than the standard group school graduation, attended by just the scholars, their families, and ECC and D300 employees, it was a historic day for all those involved.
District Superintendent Fred Heid lauded district and school officers for taking a chance on the dual-credit score concept when he broached it three years ago. There was concern that sixteen- and 17-yr-olds won’t be prepared for more rigorous school courses or won’t have the ability to deal with the duty that comes with being an unbiased scholar, he stated
“The fact that you’re now transferring as each highschool seniors and incoming (school) juniors — having saved tuition, having addressed all of your conditions — is an unimaginable accomplishment,” Heid stated.
“Each single barrier and every single barrier that was ever introduced, you’ve got confirmed improper,” he stated.
Subsequent yr, a fair bigger number will graduate by means of the program, with college students from Faculty District 303 in St. Charles joining these from D300, stated Rodrigo Lopez, ECC’s assistant dean of faculty partnerships and school transitions. In a number of more years, college students from Faculty District U46 and Central Faculty District 301 may also be in the combine, he stated.
“We needed to do one thing particular for (this yr’s graduates),” he stated. “It’s a huge achievement, an unbelievable milestone.”
Accelerate School college students like Tello spent two years taking courses on the ECC campus. She was on the school Monday by way of Thursday and at Jacobs Excessive on most Fridays to satisfy together with her counselor.
Tello stated she took 5 to six courses — between 12 and 15 credit score hours — per semester.
“It was intimidating at first. I used to be scared that I might stand out, be ousted for being younger,” stated Tello, who was 16 when she started. “However (my classmates and instructors) have been knowledgeable, they have been enjoyable to be round.”
The varsity district coated tuition prices, which officers estimated to be about…