Connecting High School Entrepreneurship with Higher Education

Connecting High School Entrepreneurship With Higher Education

As unique as each of today’s high school students are, there’s one thing they all have in common. They wonder: What will my future look like? What will I do after I graduate high school? To prepare for a future career—one that likely doesn’t even exist yet—college is often on the forefront of high school students’ minds. That’s why today, so many public U.S. high schools offer dual credit programs.

high school students working on laptop

Dual Credit Programs

Take a moment to think back to your college days. Remember those professors who wouldn’t cut you any slack or who didn't really motivate you? Wouldn’t you have rather taken Freshman Writing or Intro to Calculus from one of your trusted high school teachers, instead? Dual credit programs give high school students the opportunity to earn both high school and college credits by enrolling in college-level courses while they’re still in high school.

What is Dual Credit?

Dual credit programs give high schoolers the opportunity to earn college credit for courses taken while still in high school, giving students enrolled in the programs a head start toward earning a college degree or CTE certificate. Dual credit programs help students complete required credits for both high school and college.

From accelerating the process of earning a degree to challenging young minds to think at a higher level as they prepare for post-secondary education, dual credit courses give students a greater chance of succeeding in college and their future careers by teaching them the skills needed post-graduation. Dual credit courses range from general education classes to technical studies to early entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

A focus on entrepreneurship in high school can provide opportunities beyond the classroom. Partnerships and community engagement are important elements of INCubatoredu. These relationships can deliver enduring value to students.

In one example, INCubatoredu Member Schools are working with local colleges and universities to streamline pathways to higher learning.

These colleges and universities are taking note of the strong student outcomes the curriculum delivers, and as a result, they are offering INCubatoredu students significant value in recognition of their advanced learning.


The rigorous INCubatoredu high school entrepreneurship curriculum prepares students with content skills and knowledge, mindset and behaviors that are increasingly recognized by higher education partners.

In fact, college-level credit is being offered to students who have enrolled and successfully completed INCubatoredu classes in some communities.

INCubatoredu Partnerships in Student Entrepreneurship

Check out our list of colleges and universities offering credit or other incentives to INCubatoredu graduates. This list is not exhaustive. Several other higher education partnerships and credit articulation agreements are in progress across the country.

Harper College (Palatine, IL)

Harper College's High School Partnership program allows high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn college credit and simultaneously satisfy high school graduation requirements. Harper College awards Prior Learning Credit to INCubatoredu graduates from Districts 211, 214, and 220 who successfully demonstrate proficiency of required knowledge and competencies.

McHenry County College (Crystal Lake, IL)

McHenry County College offers College in the High School, Articulated Credit Courses, and Dual Enrollment options for high school students. It awards Dual Credit to INCubatoredu graduates from McHenry County high schools who attend a required, half-day business and entrepreneurship conference on the MCC campus.

Miami University (Oxford, OH) 

Miami University has one of the top five undergraduate entrepreneurship programs in the country. They also contribute to the INCubatoredu curriculum. And new this year, Miami University will provide INCubatoredu and ACCELeratoredu graduates the opportunity to submit a portfolio to demonstrate their learning in order to be considered to waive a required introductory level entrepreneurship course, allowing more room in their schedule for advanced entrepreneurship coursework.

INCubatoredu alums, Laura and Kat Mena made waves at Miami University, John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Millikin University (Decatur, IL)

Millikin awards Proficiency Credit for the 3-credit BU100 Business Creation course and 1-credit BU111 Team Dynamics course and grants the ability to enroll in 200-level entrepreneurship courses upon admission to Millikin University for INCubatoredu graduates earning a B- or better over both semesters.

National Louis University (Chicago, IL)

National Louis University awards dual credit to INCubatoredu students enrolled in the course in District 214. As a result, D214 graduating students may obtain their undergraduate degree in Business Administration at NLU in as little as three years.

Northern Virginia Community College (VA)

Awards dual credit for the 3-credit BUS165 Small Business Management course to INCubatoredu graduates from the Loudon Academy of Engineering and Technology.

Triton Community College (River Grove, IL)

Triton Community College helps high school students get on the “fast track” to earning college credit. They offer dual credit for their 3-credit entrepreneurship course for INCubatoredu students in Leyden High School District 212.

Student Agency = Student Access

With college and university tuition often a barrier, and COVID-19 a major factor, it’s more important than ever to support students with innovative opportunities to advance their career prep as they transition to higher ed.

INCubator students winning money for college

Empower your students with critical skills and ignite community involvement with entrepreneurship education that may present opportunities for college  credit.  Skills learned support a student's future in both career- and college-readiness. 

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