D211, Harper College, and NIU administrators collaborate at a Seamless Transfer Pathways convening in early 2018

What’s possible when a high school district, community college, and four year university work together to improve outcomes for first gen transfer students?
Shorter time to degree and reduction in overall cost to degree

Why wait for first-generation students to enter their college years before designing pathways for them? Over the past year, leaders at Harper College and Northern Illinois University, and their secondary partners at HS District 211 joined forces to explore how they can improve the time to a bachelor’s degree for first-generation transfer students by utilizing dual credit offerings (beginning in high school) and the Harper Promise Scholarship Program (which promises free tuition at Harper College for two years for qualifying students).

Meet ACCELERATED BUSINESS PATHWAYS: A quick video pitch on a pilot concept pathway for students to earn a Business bachelor’s degree in as little as 3 years

Each team brought multiple stakeholders into various design activities to understand and learn from the growing population of first-gen students in northern Illinois. This student-centered approach led to a pilot that streamlines dual credit earning (so any college level credits earned by students would be recognized at both Harper College and Northern Illinois University). It also empowers students through a revised math pathway which allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as three years.