October 7, 2019

New strategic partnership 2 Degrees in 3 Years signed by Kishwaukee College, Northern Illinois University and area high schools

Furthering their dedication to serving local students, Kishwaukee College, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb High School, Genoa-Kingston High School, Hiawatha High School, Indian Creek High School, Rochelle Township High School and Sycamore High School have signed 2 Degrees in 3 Years, a strategic partnership outlining specific pathways for area high school students to earn both an associate degree and bachelor’s degree within three years of high school completion. Representatives from each school participated in the official signing on Kish campus October 7.

“Helping young people be college and career ready is important to all of us living and working in our area communities,” stated Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish. “We are proud to partner with our district high schools and Northern Illinois University to show students and parents the many opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school, saving time and money in completing college degrees.”

The program demonstrates career pathways for high school students, outlining the college-level courses offered in area high schools, and how those credits transfer to an associate degree at Kishwaukee College and a bachelor’s degree at Northern Illinois University.  Currently, program pathways are available for a bachelor’s in business administration, computer science, elementary education, mechanical engineering and psychology. Kish and NIU look forward to expanding the number of program pathways in the near future.

“We’re excited to collaborate on this effort with Kishwaukee College and our area high schools,” said Dr. Lisa Freeman, president of NIU. “We value our close relationships with our local institutions, and we view these relationships as key resources as we continually work to help students earn their bachelor’s degrees in a timely and affordable manner.”

Current Kish student Anthony Castaldo is a 2019 graduate of Paw Paw High School, now consolidated with Indian Creek High School. Castaldo optimized his coursework while in high school and began his college career this semester with 50.5 credit hours. “I was fortunate enough to get these opportunities to earn college credit, and I encourage other people to take as many classes as they can,” he stated. Castaldo saved three semesters of time towards his bachelor’s and estimates his parents saved “thousands of dollars.” He plans to transfer to NIU to study chemistry in Spring 2020.

Jason Harper, superintendent of Rochelle Township High School District 212, voiced enthusiasm about the new partnership as well. "RTHS is excited about our growing partnership with Kishwaukee College because we believe these types of programs allow our students to be more ready to achieve their goals for after high school while keeping the costs of post-secondary education and training to a minimum. It is a win-win situation for our students and the community,” Harper commented.

Superintendent of DeKalb Community Unit School District 428, Jamie Craven, spoke highly about the new partnership as well. “The 2 Degrees in 3 Years program is an excellent opportunity for our students and all students in the Kishwaukee College footprint. This program encourages students to experience college coursework while at their respective high schools, earn college credit, and ultimately reduce the overall cost and time of earning an associate and bachelor’s degree,” Craven commented. “For several years districts in our region have collectively worked with Kishwaukee College to expand dual credit course offerings for students. This program expands on those efforts ultimately making the path to college more seamless and affordable.”

For more information on 2 Degrees in 3 Years, visit www.kish.edu/2degreesin3years or contact Kish’s executive director of College Relations, Kayte Hamel, at khamel@kish.edu or 815-825-9447.


Photo: Kishwaukee College, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb High School, Genoa-Kingston High School, Hiawatha High School, Indian Creek High School, Rochelle Township High School and Sycamore High School signed 2 Degrees in 3 Years, a strategic partnership outlining specific pathways for area high school students to earn both an associate degree and bachelor’s degree within three years of high school completion. Picture 1: (L to R) Jason Harper, superintendent of Rochelle Township High School District 212; Dr. Lisa Freeman, president of NIU; and Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish. Picture 2: back row (L to R) Jamie Craven, superintendent of DeKalb Community Unit School District 428; Kathy Countryman, superintendent of Sycamore Community Unit School District 427; Chad Willis, superintendent of Indian Creek Community Unit School District 425; Jared A. Poynter, superintendent of Hiawatha Community Unit School District 426; Brent O’Daniell, superintendent of Genoa-Kingston Community Unit School Distrist 424; and Jason Harper, superintendent of Rochelle Township High School District 212. Front row (L to R) Dr. Lisa Freeman, president of NIU and Dr. Laurie Borowicz, president of Kish. 

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