UIS offers first dual credit course to high-schoolers


UIS professor Stephen Johnson teaches local high school students

UIS has announced a dual credit course for high school students attending Springfield’s Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (SHG).

Currently only one pilot course–General, Organic, and Biochemistry–is being offered. The high school seniors will meet three times a week for two-hour and 15-minute sessions, with an extra three-hour lab on Fridays. 

The students will be treated like they’re in college, and will receive I-cards and UINs. They can also use the resources available to every other student on campus, despite being classified as “non-degree” students.

The pilot program is meant to give students a “taste” of the rigor that comes with the college curriculum. The class compacts three years of material into one course.

“It gives a more surface level understanding of these big fields of chemistry that come after general chemistry,” said UIS Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Stephen R. Johnson.

Johnson, who has been with UIS for six years, is  spearheading the program and will be teaching the course.

“I’m a biochemistry professor- I’m a faculty member at UIS who happens to have kids in high school,” he said. “It was my idea, and I discussed it with Bill Moredock [counselor from SHG]. It grew from there.”

Students will receive both high school and university credit. But, beyond those tangible benefits, Johnson believes the program will better prepare them for the future.

“I want to see these kids get a benefit from it,” he said. “I’m glad they’re getting credit and all that as a parent, but I know they’re going to go into next level thinking. I’ve had biochemistry, and I know that this is how I was connected. And they’ll work hard when they get to their next general chemistry or organic chemistry course. I’m really proud of it.”