Dozens of students eager to apply for Peoria Public School’s D2 program

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A room full of eager students and supportive parents was all ears Thursday, as Peoria Public Schools rolls out its a new program.

The D2 program will allow students to get a high school diploma and an associate’s degree by graduation, students say it will help them stand out.

“It’s gonna look really good for other colleges,” said Richwoods senior Maria Lopez. “They’re gonna know that I’m serious about going to college and what I wanna do.”

This free program is strictly for juniors and is fully funded by PPS. Students will attend ICC’s Peoria campus daily for four semesters. At the end of the program students will walk away with 60 credit hours that can be transferred to any Illinois college or university, and potentially to schools out of state.

“We’ve always had early college credits for many many years,” said PPS employee Thomas Welsh. “This is just one more opportunity to acquire those credits.”

This is just a pilot program so only 50 students will participate, students will be chosen based on their application and test scores from ICC’s Accuplacer testing system.

Since students will be at ICC for the entire day that means many of them will miss out on high school experiences like pep rallies and spirit weeks.

“I’m going to miss out on my high school experience,” Lopez said. “It sucks but I mean but it’s a sacrifice I gotta make.”

“That’s is one of my concerns,” said parent Tatianna Baker. “He’d be losing out on his actual high school life and he’ll have to grow up a little bit quicker.”

Though students will be at the college the entire day, the district says they’ll be required to only have classes schedule during regular school hours. Leaders say they still want students to participate in after school and extra-curricular activities.

Applications for the programs are due late next month. Those seeking more information on how to apply should contact Tracey Jones at 309-672-6768 or email

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