The DUO Program: Frequently-Asked Questions

Is the Dual Degree Program the right fit for my student?
The ideal student for this program includes any current 10th grade student who is enrolled in a minimum of Geometry as their math class and does not plan to go into a math or science-related career.

What year in high school do you start this program?
Students can apply to participate in this program during December of their sophomore (10th grade) year. Courses would officially begin the summer after sophomore year.

\What is the Associate of Arts? Is that something I need?
The Associate of Arts is a two-year degree that is ideal for students looking to transfer into a four-year college to where they would complete another two years for their Bachelor's Degree. The Associate of Arts degree covers the courses typically referred to as the “Gen Ed Requirements”. Students who are interested in careers in math, science, or engineering pathway would be more suited for the Associate of Science degree.

What if I change my mind and want to explore a more science-based career?
A student will not be penalized if they choose to follow a different path. Participation in the Dual Degree Program will allow the student to accumulate college credits that will benefit them in the long run.

How much will this cost our family?
Students will be required to purchase books and other course materials. Tuition and course fees are covered by Harvard CUSD 50, the Harvard Education Foundation, and McHenry County College.

What happens if one of the classes doesn’t run due to low enrollment?
Students would be encouraged to speak with their counselor about the best path to take. In some cases, it may be in the best interest of the student to catch up on missed credits by enrolling in classes offered at McHenry County College. Those classes may be offered outside the typical school day.

Who is teaching these classes?
Harvard High School teachers teach the course material in their buildings. Courses held at McHenry County College would be taught by faculty at MCC. This will allow for a wonderful opportunity for students to bridge the gap between high school and college.

Is transportation provided?
Harvard CUSD 50 will provide transportation to MCC during the school year for the class offered in the morning.  Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from their courses at McHenry County College (MCC) during the summer programming and/or if they take a class outside the morning programming. If transportation is an issue, consider speaking with your counselor about online course opportunities.

Do you have to take summer school? Is it the same summer school schedule as D50?
The mandatory summer classes include MCC 101-The College Experience and PDV 110-Career Development. In order to stay on track to earn your Associate of Arts Degree, it will be important to take summer classes. The host of the summer school course, typically MCC, will determine the schedule of meeting times. MCC summer school courses typically run 8 weeks from mid-June to mid-August (check the MCC course-specific information).

How does this impact athletics? Will this impact students who want to play in college since they will already have their Associate Degree
Students involved in athletics should still be able to participate as the majority of the classes will take place during the regular school day. For classes taught at MCC, students will follow MCC’s academic calendar which may differ from District 50. Constant communication between instructors and coaches will be imperative. If you are looking into the possibility of playing at the college level, having your Associate Degree won’t impact your NCAA eligibility; you can still get 4 years of playing time and start working on your Master's Degree!

How does this impact the Dual Language program and the Seal of Biliteracy?
Students should still be encouraged to participate in the Dual Language and Seal of Biliteracy program. Students who complete the Seal of Biliteracy have the opportunity to earn up to 12 credit hours at McHenry County College in the Humanities area. Speak with your school counselor about the individual impacts on scheduling these programs may have. In some cases, the student may need to choose which program they prefer to participate in.

Can I still participate in additional electives (ie. Fine Arts, Career & Technical Education, and/or World Languages)?
The answer is YES, of course! This program isn’t meant to take away from an individual’s areas of interest; however, there may be times when a student will have to make some decisions based on course availability. A close working relationship with the school counselor will be very important. 

What’s the difference between AP and Dual Credit?
Advanced Placement (AP) credit is earned when a student pays for and completes a test at the end of the course. If a student receives a 3, 4, or 5, they have the ability to earn college credit for demonstrating knowledge in a particular area. Dual Credit is an opportunity for students to take a class that has a matching syllabus with a college. The student’s grade in this class is reported to the college and is transcripted with both the high school and college. With both AP and Dual Credit, colleges and universities have the ability to accept or deny credit for a course at their own discretion. It is best if the student checks with the college/university they are interested in receiving their degree from to make sure the course will transfer.

What if I can’t finish the full 60 credits?
Students are encouraged to take as many credits as they can to help them get a head start earning college credit. A student can still participate in the program and not complete the full Associate of Arts degree. The level of recognition will look different from those students who do complete all requirements for the Associate of Arts Degree.