Champaign County schools send students to the finest universities in the country including Princeton, Harvard, Yale, U of I and Brown. It's no wonder that with the excellent programming available that local students can excel beyond the standard.
Public high schools are offering Dual Credit Options for dual credit through the University of Illinois and Parkland College. Dual Credit Options provide access to college credits during high school.
Parkland scholarships provide free college for students graduating in the top 10% of their class through Trustee scholarships.
Parkland Pathways enables students to transfer from the local community college to the University of Illinois, providing a path for qualifying students to gain guaranteed admission.
Gifted Enrichment Programs are available in the public schools to address leadership, creativity, artistry, and intellectual/academic fields. Skills include critical thinking, problem solving, creative thinking, technology, and teamwork. Nominations and screening are open to all every year from Kindergarten to grade 12.
Special Education Services encompass the broad spectrum of service delivery models such as self-contained, work study, team teaching, and full inclusion.
The Youth Series at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts provides high-quality performing arts experiences for audiences pre-K through grade 12. Local schools partner with Krannert to expose children to top national performers. Krannert provides teacher guides and study guides to schools attending the Youth Series.
The University of Illinois Pollinatarium is the first free-standing science center in the nation devoted to flowering plants and their pollinators. The new Pollinatarium is the physical home of Beespotter, a UI web-based science effort with local students to monitor the distribution of Illinois bees. Champaign County students go to the pollinatarium to learn about science in a hands-on environment.
Parkland College has hosted an annual high school math contest since 1976, and since 1982 in connection with the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Over 1,000 high school students participate each year, and the winners go to the state finals.
The Parkland Challenge: High School Quiz Bowl has been held since 1983. Participants answer fast‑paced and challenging questions covering academic material and popular culture.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign annually hosts the Illinois Science Olympiad State Finals Competition. The program is part of a national competition in which middle and high schools compete in 23 events covering science concepts and engineering skills. Approximately 1,100 of the top technical students from around Illinois compete in events including cell biology, water quality, chemical analysis, bottle rockets, and tower building.
Girls Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (G.A.M.E.S) is an annual week long camp, designed to give academically talented middle school aged girls exposure to math and science.
Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS) was created as a way to encourage girls to consider mathematics-oriented and science-oriented careers, to gain confidence in doing mathematics and science, and to take advanced level mathematics and science courses in high school. The GEMS program has provided participants with visits to research laboratories, guest speakers, after-school activities, a network of female role models, and opportunities to work side-by-side with a mentor in laboratories across the community.
Illinois State Response to Intervention (RtI) plans provide an approach to the diagnosis of learning to provide customized responses to children’s needs including dedicated intervention time by teachers to address individual student problem solving.
The Chancellor’s Academy is a concentrated professional development program resulting from a partnership between the Champaign and Urbana public schools and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Keynote speakers and facilitators include several local, regional, and national experts. On average, the Academy engages approximately 80 local teachers and 40 administrators annually.
The Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (Nano-CEMMS) program at the University of Illinois sponsors a summer institute to introduce nanotechnology to K-12 teachers through demonstrations and presentations, which teach local teachers how to explain nanotechnology to children. They learn how they utilize scientific inquiry, mathematical problem-solving, and engineering design and technology to solve real-world problems associated with the science of nanotechnology.
The Illinois STEM Initiative (I-STEM) seeks to increase the number and quality of science, technology, engineering and math teachers who graduate from the University of Illinois-Urbana campus, along with improving student recruitment and retention rates in science and technology-affiliated programs, especially for women and minorities.
University of Illinois students provide assistance to local teachers through the Vis-a-Vis program (Volunteers in Schools: A Vital Instructional Service). Over 200 students tutor kids one-on-one in the schools of Champaign-Urbana. Vis-A-Vis volunteers make it possible for children who need additional help to get the extra attention they deserve.
Golden Apple, a leader organization for advancing the teaching profession in Illinois, began awarding teachers in Central Illinois in 2008 to honor excellence in teaching. The awards are given out in Urbana, IL and are broadcast on WILL TV.
Champaign and Urbana School Districts collaborate with the University of Illinois as a part of the Center for Schools in Small Urban Communities to pilot initiatives to support academic excellence.