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McHenry County College engineering students get University of Illinois guarantee

CRYSTAL LAKE – The college enrollment process just got a bit easier for some McHenry County students.

Seven McHenry County College students have been guaranteed automatic acceptance to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through participation in Engineering Pathways. The program allows students to complete their two-year degree at the community college without doubt of continuing their education further down the road.

Students in the program have to maintain a 3.3 grade-point average in required courses with a 3.2 cumulative GPA to get the automatic transfer, according to the program rules.

MCC officials announced the new partnership in January. MCC also works with the University of Illinois at Chicago and recently partnered with Northern Illinois University in DeKalb for the program, as well. A total of 20 students applied to the UIUC pathways program, 14 were accepted and seven enrolled interim dean of the Engineering Department Maria Taydem said.

“Given there was only a short time to apply, I think getting 20 to apply is pretty good,” she said. “We certainly anticipate increased interest as the word is getting out more. It certainly does lend to credibility when a fifth-ranking engineering school says that students can start at MCC and get accepted.”

A big benefit is saving on student loans, but there are other advantages of starting higher education closer to home as well, such as smaller class sizes, she said.

“University of Illinois is a big school,” she said. “It’s fairly typical for classes to be in a lecture hall with 300 students. … It may be easier to get to know other students in the program and find your place here.”

Tuition is a big deal, though, said Engineering Pathways student Fernando Tapia, 18.

“I’m saving at least 50 grand,” he said. “Which is nice. And the classes are challenging, but doable.”

Fellow student Dillon Tinsley, 18, said applying to the program seemed like a no-brainer, especially because he wanted to attend UIC anyway – but wasn’t accepted. Now, he has another shot at his plan.

“That’s my in,” he said. “And you’re getting that college of engineering degree at half the cost, so that’s not bad.”

The program is open for incoming freshman students who have mostly A's and B's in high school, demonstrate interest in engineering and have strong ACT or SAT test scores. Informational sessions on the program for interested students will take place Wednesday and Oct. 4.

If you go:

What: Engineering Pathways information session

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Oct. 4.

Where: McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake, Room B167

Info: Call 815-455-8538

CRYSTAL LAKE – The college enrollment process just got a bit easier for some McHenry County students.

Seven McHenry County College students have been guaranteed automatic acceptance to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through participation in Engineering Pathways. The program allows students to complete their two-year degree at the community college without doubt of continuing their education further down the road.

Students in the program have to maintain a 3.3 grade-point average in required courses with a 3.2 cumulative GPA to get the automatic transfer, according to the program rules.

MCC officials announced the new partnership in January. MCC also works with the University of Illinois at Chicago and recently partnered with Northern Illinois University in DeKalb for the program, as well. A total of 20 students applied to the UIUC pathways program, 14 were accepted and seven enrolled interim dean of the Engineering Department Maria Taydem said.

“Given there was only a short time to apply, I think getting 20 to apply is pretty good,” she said. “We certainly anticipate increased interest as the word is getting out more. It certainly does lend to credibility when a fifth-ranking engineering school says that students can start at MCC and get accepted.”

A big benefit is saving on student loans, but there are other advantages of starting higher education closer to home as well, such as smaller class sizes, she said.

“University of Illinois is a big school,” she said. “It’s fairly typical for classes to be in a lecture hall with 300 students. … It may be easier to get to know other students in the program and find your place here.”

Tuition is a big deal, though, said Engineering Pathways student Fernando Tapia, 18.

“I’m saving at least 50 grand,” he said. “Which is nice. And the classes are challenging, but doable.”

Fellow student Dillon Tinsley, 18, said applying to the program seemed like a no-brainer, especially because he wanted to attend UIC anyway – but wasn’t accepted. Now, he has another shot at his plan.

“That’s my in,” he said. “And you’re getting that college of engineering degree at half the cost, so that’s not bad.”

The program is open for incoming freshman students who have mostly A's and B's in high school, demonstrate interest in engineering and have strong ACT or SAT test scores. Informational sessions on the program for interested students will take place Wednesday and Oct. 4.

If you go:

What: Engineering Pathways information session

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Oct. 4.

Where: McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake, Room B167

Info: Call 815-455-8538

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