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Professional Licensure Disclosure: Higher education institutions in receipt of federal financial aid are required to inform prospective students whether a degree program
will qualify them to work in the state where they are located. For more information on your program and state, click here.

Dual Credit

Dual credit courses allow students to enroll in both high school and college courses at the same time. There are opportunities to enroll in two types of courses: college transfer and career courses. Upon successful completion of those courses,
students will receive grades and credit at their high school and at RLC.

Who can enroll in dual credit?

Juniors and seniors attending a high school in the Rend Lake College district may take advantage of dual credit courses per the terms and conditions set forth in 110 ILCS 27/1-30. Students must meet requirements and prerequisites prior to enrolling in courses. Students taking advantage of this opportunity may accumulate college credit prior to graduating from high school.  Dual credit courses held at a non-Rend Lake College location will be accepted for up to 49% of the credit hours required for a Title IV approved certificate or degree. No more than 49% of dual credit hours, rounded to the nearest credit hour, that were provided at a secondary institution may be applied toward a Title IV eligible certificate or degree.

High school juniors and seniors, either home schooled or attending a high school in the RLC district, may take advantage of dual enrollment by enrolling in courses which take place after the normal high school day. Students must meet placement requirements and prerequisites prior to enrolling in courses. Students also must adhere to the RLC drop policy; failure to drop will result in the student being awarded a failing grade. Tuition will be half-cost for eight hours per semester. Any courses after eight hours are billed at the full tuition rate. Students are responsible for any fees, supplies or textbook costs.

Schools in the RLC District

  • Benton Consolidated High School
  • Christopher High School
  • Hamilton County Senior High School
  • Mt. Vernon Township High School
  • Norris City-Omaha-Enfield High School
  • Pinckneyville Community High School
  • Sesser-Valier High School
  • Thompsonville High School
  • Waltonville High School
  • Wayne City High School
  • Webber Township High School
  • Woodlawn High School
  • Zeigler-Royalton High School

What Does It Cost?

No tuition or fees are charged by RLC for regular courses held at an in-district high school. Some high school districts may charge fees or require textbook purchases. Contact a school counselor for more information.

Am I enrolling in college?

Dual credit courses result in grades and an academic transcript at RLC. Future college enrollment and financial aid eligibility will be impacted by these grades. Students may use dual credit courses at a
later date to meet college degree requirements, if applicable.

How Do I Enroll?

  1. High school officials grant permission to enroll in dual credit courses. The registration process takes place at the high school.
  2. Students must meet placement requirements and prerequisites prior to enrolling in courses.
  3. Students must adhere to the RLC drop policy; failure to drop will result in the student being awarded a failing grade. Depending on student performance, grades of A, B, C or NC will be awarded and will become part of the college transcript.
  4. For a complete listing of dual credit courses, contact RLC’s Community and Corporate Education Division.

What Classes Can I Take?

Classes are enrolling now for the Fall and Spring semesters at RLC. A number of classes are offered throughout the district, and students should check with their guidance counselors about their interests. These classes include:


  Automotive Technology
  Certified Nurse Assistant
  Computer-Aided Drafting
  Computer Science
  Criminal Justice

Culinary Arts
Diesel Technology
Early Childhood
Graphic Design
Health Care Terminology
Industrial Electronics

Office Systems Technology
Physical Education
Political Science


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Dual Credit?
Dual Credit: A high school/RLC 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.

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 RLC 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. (Traditional dual credit classes are taught by qualified high school instructors using college curriculum at the high school campus during regular school hours.)
How do students qualify for dual credit classes?

  • Some courses require successful completion of a placement exam administered by college staff on the high school campus or one of RLC’s campuses.
  • A student must be approved 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 Rend Lake College board policy 4.1445.

Will dual credits transfer to another college upon graduation?
SWIC currently holds articulation agreements with many institutions of higher learning to ensure seamless transferability of credits. However, 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 myRLC.

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 RLC 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 RLC. Grades are assessed as A, B, C, or NC.

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 RLC students while enrolled in a dual credit class. Dual Credit students may:

  • access the RLC library resources.
  • access FREE tutoring.
  • access RLC’s Student Services
  • request accommodations through the Disabilities Coordinator

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 RLC 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 Rend Lake College must meet the minimum instructor requirements as required for faculty who teach on all of our campuses. These guidelines are set forth by the Illinois Community College Board, the Higher Learning Commission, the Dual Credit Quality Act, and the Rend Lake College Board of Trustees.

Benefits for Students who take Dual Credit Classes

  • FREE Tuition
  • Take college level classes to earn high school and college credit simultaneously
  • Take classes in a familiar setting (your high school) with a strong support system
  • Transition efficiently from high school to college
  • Start earning credits toward stackable certifications or other pathways toward employment and career
  • Access resources available to all RLC students
  • Advisors
  • Tutoring (Success Center)
  • Student ID card
  • Access to library resources
  • Become prepared for college academically
  • Gain experience and confidence to succeed in higher education

Policies And Procedures

After dual credit courses begin, it is important to keep RLC informed of any changes in enrollment status. Students must officially drop or withdraw from the course if they are no longer attending.


Dual Credit is a valuable educational opportunity for high school students. Over 9,750 credit hours were awarded to area students in 2019 alone, equating a total savings of $1,515,498. Across the 20 years of the program, RLC dual credit classes have saved students more than $17,300,000 from future tuition and textbook expenses.

When combining Dual Credit classes with Dual Enrollment classes, a number of district high school students have graduated from RLC before high school! Individually; Austin Kessler of Thompsonville, Camryn Maloney of Christopher, Kenzie Rizor of
Thompsonville, and Allee Wellen of McLeansboro have saved their families a combined $10,000.

Dual Credit News



Community & Corporate Education Division
Phone: (618) 437-5321 Ext. 1367
Email: [email protected]
Address:468 N. Ken Gray Parkway, Ina, IL 62846 Attn: Community & Corporate Education
Fax Number: (618) 437-5677 Attn: Community & Corporate Education