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WIU Accountancy Professor Amy Ford is teaching the "Principles of Accounting" this semester at West Central High School in Biggsville.
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WIU Accountancy Professor Amy Ford assists a West Central student with accountancy homework.
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WIU Dual Enrollment Program Gives Area High Schoolers a Head Start

February 20, 2019

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Do you think about finishing your college degree in record time? It's possible thanks to the many opportunities that Western Illinois University provides high school juniors and seniors to get a head start on their WIU degree.

To assist students with their transition from high school to college -- and to reduce the cost of college -- Western offers numerous opportunities for area students from select high schools to take University courses on-site, online and on WIU-Macomb and -Quad Cities campuses.

"Western collaborates with high school superintendents, principals, and school counselors to identify courses that align with students' college and career aspirations," said Kristi Mindrup, assistant vice president for academic affairs. "Students who take dual enrollment courses can choose a schedule and format that fits with their high school schedule and extra curricular activities."

Since Fall 2017, Cambridge High School (CHS) in Henry County has offered two general education courses on-site in Cambridge each fall and spring, and is planning to continue the dual enrollment partnership in Fall 2019. WIU Interim Associate Provost and English Professor Mark Mossman taught the first college-level English course at the school in Fall 2017.

"This is a great experience for the Cambridge students and for our faculty as students get to work directly with a University professor, and we have the opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with these local students in our community," said Mossman. "In these terms, what this kind of academic programming demonstrates is a very real commitment by WIU to making higher education more accessible in our region."

As a result of the WIU-Cambridge connection, CHS graduate Hannah Akers joined the Leatherneck family on the Macomb campus in Fall 2018, majoring in early childhood education. Akers is also a part of Western's Centennial Honors College.

"I chose to take college courses in high school because I wanted a head start on my college career. These courses challenged me and helped me get some of my gen ed courses done before beginning at WIU. I also chose to participate in dual enrollment because it was more affordable. By taking these courses at a discount price, I saved a lot of money and time," Akers said. "I loved how Western sent a professor to my school and how we were able to gain all the benefits that a WIU student would get. The skills I learned during the courses are skills I use in my courses at WIU today. WIU is such an amazing school. The people are beyond welcoming."

During Summer 2018, students from Illini West High School in Hancock County had the opportunity to take a hands-on broadcasting course at the Macomb campus, and currently Macomb High School, West Prairie High School, Bushnell Prairie City High School, VIT High School, Illini West High School, Rushville-Industry High School and Southeastern High School students are participating in online and on-campus coursework.

Andrew Rodeffer, who is currently a junior kinesiology major at Western, took college courses as a senior at Bushnell High School.

"I took college courses as a high school senior because I knew that it would put me ahead, and would give me a better chance at finishing my dual endorsement degree in four years," he said. "Taking courses at Western while I was still in high school gave me the chance to get to know the campus better and really help with the transition between high school and college."

This semester, WIU Accountancy Professor Amy Ford is taking her course, "Principles of Accounting," on the road to West Central High School in Biggsville.

"There are so many terrific benefits for students who participate in this program, from getting ahead on University coursework to scholarship opportunities and locking in Western's Cost Guarantee to connecting with faculty mentors to gaining valuable in and out of class experiences that prepare them for college," added Melissa Telles, associate director of Admissions.

For more information on WIU's high school dual enrollment program, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at (309) 298-3157 or via email at High schools interested in developing partnerships for dual enrollment courses can contact Mindrup at (309) 762-3999 x62252 or

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