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Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges of Chicago Honor More than 460 Dual Credit Graduates

24 May 2022

CPS seniors with 15-plus credits recognized, including 31 who have earned an associate degree 

CPS Office of Communications

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CHICAGO - Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Pedro Martinez and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) Chancellor Juan Salgado today led a recognition ceremony at Kennedy-King College for more than 460 CPS seniors who earned 15-plus hours of college credit during their junior and/or senior years of high school, nearly double the number of students earning such credit last year, including 31 graduates who have earned their associate degree in addition to their high school diploma. 

“We’re thrilled to celebrate with these hard-working graduates who embraced the opportunity to take college credit courses while in high school,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “Their efforts prepare them for future success in college and career and save themselves and their families thousands of dollars in college tuition.”

CPS and CCC first began offering early college - also called dual credit or dual enrollment - courses more than a decade ago and the 90 CPS high schools now offering such courses this school year represent an all-time high. In addition to the more students being recognized this school year, the number of students who have earned their associate degree also doubled from 11 in 2021 to 31 this year. There also has been a 33 percent increase in Option Schools, designed to be a unique learning model for students who are not engaged in a traditional high school, offering dual credit this year. 

“I’m so proud of our students because we know that reaching this moment required hard work and laser-focused determination on their part,” said CCC Chancellor Salgado. “Despite the pandemic, they double-downed and achieved their goals. I am confident we will continue to hear about the great things they are doing to strengthen our great city.” 

Participating CPS high schools offer qualified students the opportunity to take the rigorous college-level courses at their high school at no cost. Early college courses meet general education requirements in various subjects, such as: biology, business, chemistry, computer science, criminal justice, English, foreign languages, humanities, mathematics, physics and social sciences.  

“The courses I took for this program have really defined who I am now as an individual,” said Jose D. Marquez, a senior from Infinity Math Science & Technology High School. “I've become more open about the world and my perspective has changed from when I started. It has been a blessing and a privilege and it has opened my mind to many new ideas.”

While CPS graduation rates continue to increase - now at 83 percent - many of Chicago’s students still face barriers to college enrollment, college readiness, college completion, and economic mobility.  Such challenges led to the development of The Chicago Roadmap, which is an unprecedented partnership between CPS and CCC to support students along a seamless path to and through college on the way to their chosen career.  The partnership aims to transform the relationship of CPS and CCC from a successful collaboration to full convergence to help expand access to high quality programs, advising and supports. Ultimately, this convergence looks to dramatically and equitably increase student outcomes in college readiness, enrollment, persistence, degree attainment, and employment.

The Chicago Roadmap is made possible thanks, in part, to generous philanthropic contributions made to the Children First Fund: The Chicago Public Schools Foundation and the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation, with special thanks to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bluhm Family Foundation, CME Group Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Joyce Foundation, Lefkofsky Family Foundation, and Salesforce Foundation. 

Early college courses are weighted as advanced courses and can enhance a student's overall high school GPA. Credits can be transferred to many colleges, but policies vary by school.

Dual credit courses are taught by Chicago City Colleges-qualified CPS teachers. CCC works with each CPS high school to ensure the courses meet the same standards as courses taken at a CCC campus.  Dual enrollment courses are taught at City Colleges of Chicago by CCC faculty.  To learn more about early college courses, visit the CPS website.

For more information about initiatives led by the CPS Department of Office of College and Career Success, please visit