Dual Credit FAQ Document - Southwestern Illinois College

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dual Credit?

SWIC defines Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment below:

Dual Credit: A high school/SWIC partnership program where qualified students can earn college and high school credit at the same time. These classes are taught at the high school by qualified high school instructors who meet the minimum instructor requirements and utilize appropriate college curriculum.

Dual Enrollment: Students may take classes online, as Early Bird at their high school with a college instructor, or at one of our other campuses. These classes are college level and may have traditional students in the same classes. The class does not necessarily count for high school credit, but it counts for college credit.

How much do dual credit classes cost?

Although the value of a typical 3 credit hour college course is approximately $500 to much more at a private institution, the partnership between SWIC and the high school allows us to offer this course FREE of charge to the dual credit students. No fees or tuition will be charged for traditional dual credit classes. (See definition above)

How do students qualify for dual credit classes?

  • Some courses require successful completion a placement exam administered by college staff on the high school campus or one of SWIC’s campuses. Placement exams may be waived with qualifying ACT or SAT scores.  Those scores need to be provided to the dual credit coordinator prior to the published deadline for class registration
  • A student must be selected by their school counselor to participate in the program by being enrolled in a Dual Credit qualified class.
  • A student must meet the minimum qualifications for the class as required by Southwestern Illinois College board policy

Will dual credits transfer to another college upon graduation?

SWIC is 1 of 95 participants in the Illinois Articulation Initiative that guarantees transfer of credit for core courses. It is a best practice to contact prospective colleges/universities to ensure that desired credits will transfer. The student will need to request a transcript be sent to their chosen college/university when they are ready to transfer their credits. The process can be done entirely online through their student portal in eStorm.

Do dual credits interfere with eligibility for scholarships/financial assistance upon transfer?

Students who have earned dual credit are treated as incoming freshmen and not as transfer students. Although SWIC is not aware of exceptions to this understood practice, it is best to check with college admissions advisors and scholarship grantors regarding their policy.
Students must treat dual credit classes as they would any college class. The grade of record remains on their transcript with SWIC.

What other benefits do students get as a result of dual credit enrollment?

Dual Credit students have access to the same resources as a traditional SWIC student while enrolled in a dual credit class. Dual Credit students may:

  • pick up a FREE metro and bus pass at any campus.
  • access the SWIC library resources.
  • access FREE tutoring at the SWIC Success Center.
  • access SWIC’s Career Center and Academic Advising Center.
  • request accommodations through the Disability & Access Center.

What if I do not want to register (or want my child registered) for this class?

  • Students who do not want dual credit need not register for the credit.
  • Parents have the option to disallow their student from taking this course for college credit. Parents must either direct their student not to complete registration paperwork or contact the dual credit office prior to the 10th day after the official start date of the class in order for their student to be dropped from the course. We will provide a form to sign indicating that they do not wish for their student to earn the credit.

What is FERPA?

FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law protecting the information students and the teacher provides to the college. All students are asked to sign a form which allows SWIC staff to discuss student issues or concerns with parents/guardians in compliance with FERPA. These rights, by law, can be granted or revoked at the request of the student at any time.

Why can some high school faculty teach dual credit classes, while others cannot?

We know that each high school is staffed with excellent teachers. Different institutions have different requirements for offering dual credit. Instructors that are eligible to offer dual credit with Southwestern Illinois College must meet the minimum instructor requirements as required by guidelines set forth by the Illinois Community College Board, the Higher Learning Commission, and the Southwestern Illinois College Board of Trustees.