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12 in 200 initiative makes college credits accessible

Photo of student looking at screen

Woodstock District 200 continues to find ways to meet the academic needs of students along with meeting the financial needs of families. While the value of a college degree remains high, the current cost of college can be challenging for many families and students and District 200 is working with families to meet those issues head on. 

More than 80 percent of Woodstock Community Unit School District 200 high school students report that they plan to attend college after graduating. District 200 remains committed to preparing students for their academic future and is launching the 12 in 200 initiative, urging students to complete 12 college course credits before graduating from Woodstock or Woodstock North high schools.

“District 200 takes tremendous pride in setting our students onto the path toward college success. Obtaining 12 college credits in high school is an extremely valuable tool that we hope our students and families will use,” Superintendent Mike Moan said.  “This puts students on the path for high academic success while keeping college affordable for our families.” 

The high schools now offer more than 50 dual credit and AP courses. If students take advantage of these offerings, they can make a significant difference in both the cost of college and their likelihood of college success. Courses are available in math, English, world languages, computer science, business, social studies, and many other academic categories.

“We’ve quadrupled our dual credit offerings in addition to the most comprehensive advanced placement course offerings in McHenry County,” District 200 Superintendent Mike Moan said. “These are quality, content-area credits that can really help our students long term both academically and financially” 

According to one University of Texas study, students who took dual-credit courses in high school were three times as likely to graduate college as students who didn’t take college-credit courses in high school. Dual-credit students in the study also had higher first-, second- and third-year GPAs.

12 credit hours are a college semester in credit.  A semester at a public university in Illinois costs over $30,000, District 200 students will be able to earn those credits at little or no cost. 

Another benefit for students is that the exposure to higher-level courses may point them toward their future careers so they can become more focused on future college plans.

Students are urged to speak with their parents or guardians and school counselors about which courses are right for them. They are also advised to develop a specific four-year plan to obtain their 12 credits with their counselors during the fall of freshman year.

Counselors will suggest that students use the College Board’s “AP College Credit Policy Search” to determine online how a course will transfer to potential colleges and universities at Colleges do have discretion on what courses they will accept as transfer credits.

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