"CPS students across the city are earning college credentials at record numbers, proving once again that when we raise our expectations for what our children can achieve, there is no limit to what they can accomplish," said Mayor Emanuel. "As Chicago continues to lead in postsecondary readiness, these programs represent another way we are giving our students the skills and credentials they need to hit the ground running when they leave our schools."
This year, nearly 380 CPS students have earned 15 or more college credits, and 13 of those students have earned an associate's degree while still in high school. Additionally, more than 3,750 CPS students are expected to graduate this year with at least one college course completed through dual credit or dual enrollment. Eligible high school students can take courses at any of the seven City Colleges at no cost through the Dual Enrollment program, and CPS high schools can offer on-site college courses taught by a qualified CPS teacher through the Dual Credit program.
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"We have long known there are college-ready students in our high school classrooms, and our early college programs meet these students where they are at," said Chancellor Juan Salgado. "Our early college students prove to themselves that college is a tangible, realizable goal, and leave high school well on their way to a college credential."
Participation in Early College programs has shown strong growth since 2011, both in student enrollment and high school participation. The program has grown from five CPS high schools in 2011 to 72 participating schools, and the number of students collectively in dual enrollment and dual credit programs grew 10-fold to more than 5,000 students.
This year's celebration also includes the first cohort of Jumpstart to Jobs students, a program that provides high school students with marketable employment credentials for free. This career-focused program gives students the opportunity to earn certificates in one of nine areas: A+ technician, community healthcare, basic nursing assistant, forklift operations, logistics, banking, AutoCAD, early childhood education, and human development and family services. More than 95 Jumpstart to Jobs students have earned credentials in this first year of this innovative program.
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"We are committed to creating opportunities that challenge our students, and ensure they are prepared for higher education and successful careers in whatever field they choose," said CPS Chief Education Officer LaTanya D. McDade. "This enduring partnership opens the doors for a successful future by providing enriching educational opportunities and making college more affordable."
CPS students who choose to pursue a credential at City Colleges after graduation also have access to the Star Scholarship, which provides free tuition and books for qualified students, up to three years after they earn their high school diploma. For more information about the Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit programs, visit www.ccc.edu/EarlyCollege . To learn more about the Star Scholarship, visitwww.ccc.edu/StarScholarship .
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