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Illinois Valley Community College’s new initiative for high school students has 22 students signed up, and at least one board trustee asked how the college can make the program more attractive to all students.

At the monthly board meeting, vice president for student services Mark Grzybowski and Director of Admissions Quintin Overocker gave the board an update of the new Transfer Academy.

The academy allows dual credit high school students to be released during high school for classes at Ottawa Center or at the Oglesby campus.

The initiative will allow high school students to complete all general education core courses over four semesters — with the possibility a few summer courses.

How many of the 22 students are coming to the Oglesby campus? That was one question from asked trustee Dave Mallery of Hennepin.

“If it’s less than half, is there a way to make it more attractive?” Mallery adding that the Oglesby campus is centrally located for the district.

“I understand the other powers-that-be try to make Ottawa look as good as possible, but, you know, we have to make sure we’re at least trying as hard here as we are with Ottawa,” Mallery said.

So far, students from Serena, Marquette and Henry-Senachwine high schools will be taking classes this summer and fall.

Streator and La Salle-Peru Township high schools have expressed interest for next year.

Looking at a breakdown of credit hours from the 22 students who have signed up: There will be 58 credit hours this summer taken at the Ottawa Center — 38 credit hours at the Ottawa Center this fall and 9 credit hours at the Oglesby campus this fall (the student from Henry-Senachwine will be coming to Oglesby).

Chairwoman Jane Goetz of Ottawa said going from 0 to 22 is a “really good start.”

Trustee Everett Solon of Streator said he thinks the program is great and they’ll work through issues that come up.

“We’re finding a way for people to continue their education and to lower the cost that parents have to endure for a four-year degree,” Solon said. “This is a great solution for that.”

Trustee Jay McCracken of Hennepin said he thinks the program is great, but added that marketing all available programs is a critical piece of the puzzle, including marketing the somewhat similar Career Start program, so that people aren’t confused when it comes to what’s already available.

As with all dual credit courses, Transfer Academy students receive a 25 percent discount and those qualifying for free/reduced-

price lunch pay just a $5 registration fee. Students who accumulate 30 credits or more in high school can complete their associate’s degree at IVCC with the 25 percent discount.

There's still time to sign up

If interested in signing up, Grzybowski said to contact IVCC counselors, or Ottawa Center Administrator Jeannette Frahm at (815) 224-0801 or IVCC Dual Credit Coordinator Susan Monroe at (815) 224-0598.

Ali Braboy can be reached at (815) 220-6931 and Follow her on Twitter @NT_LaSalle.

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