Early College

The choices you make today determine what happens tomorrow.

Early College is a convenient and cost-effective way for students to earn college credit before graduating from high school. Research has shown that high school students who complete 15 credit hours (about five classes) of college work are more likely to succeed in college and earn a degree.

Early College classes are offered in two formats. Check with your high school guidance counselor to learn what is available through your school.

  1. Early College at the High School (sometimes called dual credit) — Many high schools offer college classes at the high school. Check with your high school to see what is offered.
  2. Early College at an ICC campus during the school day — Some high schools offer students the option of attending class at ICC during the school day. This is sometimes called Strong Start or Fast Start.

Classes offered

General Education classes — transfer-level courses that fulfill “general education” requirements and are accepted at all Illinois public colleges and universities.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes — courses that fulfill requirements for a certificate or applied science degree, which prepares students to enter the workforce when they graduate, usually in two years or less.

Counselor Information (Spring 2020)

Instructor Information

General Information (2019-2020)

How to become an Early College Student

  • Your high school must offer Early College courses (see your school counselor for more details).
  • Must be a junior or senior in high school.
  • You must meet the requirements to enroll, which may involve taking an ICC placement test or achieving a specific score on the ACT or SAT.
  • Enroll in the class at the beginning of the semester. Retroactive credit is not permitted.

Why take college courses in high school?

There are lots of good reasons:

  • Get the best of both worlds – take dual credit courses and earn college credit AND high school credit at the same time.
  • Adapt to the rigors of college work.
  • Reduce the time required to complete a certificate or degree.
  • Save money by completing classes at a significantly lower cost than many other local college and universities.