EIU and District 214 partnership enhances college opportunities for students and adult learners

A new partnership between Eastern Illinois University (EIU) and High School District 214 will increase college access and affordability for high school students and adult learners in the northwest suburbs.

EIU and District 214 have partnered to offer dual credit courses for District 214 students on campus at a reduced rate. Students can simultaneously earn high school and college credit from EIU in courses such as college algebra, speech and English composition.

EIU’s B.A. in General Studies program also will partner with District 214 Community Education to offer more opportunities for lifelong learners. The online General Studies program, which will have an office in District 214’s Forest View Educational Center, provides flexibility and affordability for adults who want to complete their bachelor’s degree.

“There are more than 31 million people in the U.S. with some college, but no degree,” according to Carrie Johnson, Director of the B.A. in General Studies, Educational Attachment and Outreach at Eastern Illinois University. “There are many benefits to earning a bachelor’s degree including higher earnings and lower unemployment rates, but adults often find it difficult to continue their education due to the multiple priorities they must manage. We work to remove their barriers by offering a flexible and affordable degree.”

The partnership will be formally celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony event 11 a.m. Friday, January 19, at District 214’s Early College Center, located in the Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights. District 214 administrators and EIU faculty, directors, and advisors will be on hand to answer questions.

An open house for EIU’s B.A. in General Studies program will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Monday, January 22 at the Early College Center for prospective students.

The B.A. in General Studies offers adults an individualized degree program to meet their professional and personal goals. The program accepts up to 100 semester hours, including 78 from community colleges, from regionally accredited universities. Students are provided with the opportunity to earn college credit for learning that has taken place outside the classroom, including on-the-job [Office1] [Office2] and military experience. Students will have the opportunity to take evening and weekend classes at the Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights, as well as online. A local academic advisor will assist them throughout their degree.

High school students with opportunities to earn credit toward a college degree are more likely than are their peers to graduate, enroll in college, and earn an associate degree, according to a 2013 study conducted by the American Institutes for Research.

District 214 offers students a variety of opportunities to earn college credits while in high school, with an ultimate goal of ensuring students excel after graduation. Through Advanced Placement courses and partnerships with several colleges and universities, District 214 students annually earn more than 34,000 early college credits.

The District also is committed to providing residents with lifelong learning opportunities. For example, District 214 annually serves thousands of residents through its Community Education program with an aim to engage all learners and improve the quality of life for individuals and families in the region.

“We are excited to offer another avenue for students and adults that expands opportunities for success in college and careers,” said District 214 Superintendent Dr. David R. Schuler. “With partners such as Eastern Illinois University, we are increasing college access and affordability that will help change the trajectory of student lives and truly help them discover their future.”

For more information about the B.A. in General Studies, visit https://www.eiu.edu/bgs/ or call 217-549-3347.

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