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Dual credit high school teachers receive state recognition

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Aug 10, 2021

The Illinois Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (ILACEP) recently recognized two Lake County teachers. Family and consumer science teacher at Grayslake High School Melissa Priester received a scholarship, and John Keyzer of Lake Zurich High School was recognized as the Dual Credit Teacher of the Year.

Preister is from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and has taught at Grayslake High School District 127 for 19 years. Her expertise is on early childhood education and family relations and parenting classes. With this scholarship award, Preister will complete her training to become a certified dual credit teacher.

“I want the best possible learning experience for my students,” she said. “With this grant, our students will have a chance to earn dual credit and get a foot in the door at CLC. My hope is that offering dual credit for our education classes encourages more to go into the education field. Beyond the student impact, this grant encourages me to continue to learn and grow as an educator in the discipline I love.”

As an adjunct instructor at CLC, Keyzer teaches engineering, CAD, robotics and architecture to both high school and college students. He said the award recognizes the work he does to provide his students with authentic learning opportunities as they prepare for college, trade schools and professional careers.

“Dual credit is important for my students because it gives them college credit for work they are already doing, but more importantly they are reassured that they are able to do work at a college level, making their transition to college that much easier,” Keyzer said.

Dual credit courses are CLC classes offered under partnerships between the college and specific local high schools, so students can earn both college and high school credit at the same time. CLC tuition and fees are waived for dual credit students. There are 20 high schools in Lake County currently participating in dual credit with nearly 2,000 students enrolled in dual credit classes. 8,800 credit hours were earned through dual credit in 2019-2020.

Three dual credit students at local high schools were given recognition awards for their hard work this past year. David Ayala from North Chicago Community High School, Ethan Meyers from Stevenson High School and Emma Baynes from Carmel Catholic High School were recognized as dual credit students of the year for their outstanding academic work and extracurricular involvement.

According to an Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) report, high school students who took dual credit courses have substantially higher community college graduation rates and advancement rates than those students that did not enroll in dual credit coursework.

Students can check with their high school or P-20 Educational Partnerships at CLC to see which dual credit classes are available through their high school.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.