JJC Becomes Statewide Leader in Dual Credit Enrollment

Joliet Junior College has established itself as a statewide leader in dual credit enrollment,* reporting a record 23.93% increase in dual credit enrollment hours compared to fall 2022. This is the first milestone since the October 2022 introduction of the 12x12x12 program, an aggressive dual-credit initiative envisioned by JJC President Dr. Clyne Namuo that encourages the 40,000 high school students in Illinois Community College District 525 to earn 12 college credits for $12 per credit hour by 12th grade. 

“Through 12x12x12, we are going to impact thousands of lives by building a strong pathway to education after high school and crafting a collaborative message and vision for the impact education has on the quality of life,” said Namuo.

In fall 2024 dual credit opportunities will be offered to high school students as early as freshman year.

During the October 2023 board meeting, Namuo shared the enrollment update and publicly thanked several departments within the College that made the record-breaking 16,866 enrolled hours a possibility. Namuo also reminded the Board of the complexity of the task 12x12x12 represented, noting the 23 separate high school districts served by JJC and their unique needs and challenges.

“This number is the result of a lot of interdepartmental effort on our behalf, which yielded unprecedented results in under a year,” said Namuo. “These numbers have also been achieved without using the $500,000 in support funds from the JJC Foundation or $25,000 from Joliet Township, both of which will be applied beginning fall 2024.”

Rather, JJC’s intention to strength its partnerships with the high school districts played a large role in the record enrollment.

“Enhancing our dual credit program via the 12x12x12 initiative was an opportunity to strengthen relationships with our high school partners and identify areas where JJC could streamline our processes and meet their needs,” said Missy Gillis, manager, dual credit and P-20 partnerships. “This approach has paid off and allowed our team to make an impact in the short-term. Long-term changes include a dual enrollment software that is used by the college and high schools to simplify enrollment between two institutions and the addition of a dedicated dual credit outreach advisor.”

During the initial development period, research indicated that dual credit programs are less accessible and experience lower participation rates at schools with lower-income communities and unrepresented populations.

To further break down barriers to education based on socioeconomic status, JJC Trustees unanimously supported a policy that waives dual credit fees for high school students who are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). 

During the October 2023 board meeting, Joliet Township High School District #204 superintendent Dr. Karla Guseman shared that approximately 60% of JTHS students are enrolled in the NSLP and that any tuition cost is a significant deterrent for families who rely on the NSLP program.

“The tuition waiver is so impactful for students who receive free and reduced lunch because any cost associated adds up quickly and becomes a factor when deciding how to allocate what little they have,” said Guseman. “That said, I am very encouraged by decisions like the tuition waiver for 12x12x12 because of the positive impact they will have on our students and the betterment of our community as a whole.”

JJC is the nation’s first community college and inspires learning, transforms lives and strengthens communities. Information about the 12x12x12 initiative can be found by visiting the Joliet Junior College website.

*as reported by the Illinois Community College Board Dual Credit Headcount Report, Fiscal Years 2017-2021

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