CLC launches ‘Project Grad,’ a new way to complete an A.A. in two years
In fall 2012, the College of Lake County launched a new program called Project Grad, which actively guides students through the process of earning an Associate in Arts degree in two years. Project Grad provides a clear road map of the courses students should take and also offers support services to increase students’ chance of success. It even offers a discount on textbooks.
Students accepted into Project Grad have a set program of courses to take each semester. Everything is spelled out, and students know exactly what courses they have to take. Students follow a schedule that ensures with successful completion of the program, they will complete their degrees in two years while also being able to take elective courses that interest them.
The course sequence for Project Grad is based on meeting the general education course requirements from popular transfer destinations such as Northern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Illinois State University, Western Illinois University, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Eastern Illinois University.
Because transfer requirements vary by major or by grade point average, students should work with a CLC counselor or advisor and to check with their intended transfer institution in selecting CLC courses.
Project Grad grew out of an AQIP (Academic Quality Improvement Program) project. AQIP is a component of CLC’s accreditation process under the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. A committee made up of faculty, staff and administrators – co-chaired by Roland Miller, dean of the Communication Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts division, and Dr. Jeff Stomper, dean of the Social Sciences division – wanted to develop a project to help improve the degree completion rates of CLC students. Project Grad was also devised in response to the Complete College America initiative that the college participates in (see www.completecollege.org).
Calling it a “rigorous program where students take five courses each semester,” Miller said that Project Grad offers a number of valuable benefits. These include guaranteed placement in all morning classes (8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday), small classes with a “cohort” of up to 24 students, priority registration, transfer planning sessions, a personal success class and a “significant” textbook discount in the CLC bookstore.
Having a regular college class schedule is a big help when students are trying to balance classes, homework, jobs, social lives and family responsibilities, according to Miller.
“Sometimes students find it hard to get the classes they need in the space of two years due to their complicated work schedules,” Miller said. “But Project Grad guarantees students can get into all the classes they need to graduate with an Associate in Arts. It removes the unknowns so students can better plan their work and school schedules.”
For more information, call CLC’s Academic Advising office at (847) 543-2067 or visit room B113 on the Grayslake campus, 19351 W. Washington Street. Complete information, including a course listing and eligibility requirements, is available online at www.clcillinois.edu/projectgrad.