North Central College - Naperville, IL

Community Scholars Program

Offering high school students the chance to earn college credit

What is the Program All About? 

Since 1986, North Central College has offered talented high school students the opportunity to enrich their educational experience by enrolling in college credit courses. 

The Program is designed for highly motivated students who wish to continue studies in an area or to explore areas of study not available at their high school. For example, students who complete AP courses with a grade of 3 or better prior to their senior year might want to continue their studies with an appropriate North Central College Course. 

What Sort of Credit Will I Earn? 

Students enrolled in the program earn regular college credits and grades which are reflected on a North Central College transcript. Since North Central is fully accredited, these credits are generally fully transferable to colleges and universities across the country.

How Do I Decide What Courses are Right for Me? 

As with all North Central College students, Community Scholars have a faculty advisor to assist them in choosing courses which meet their needs and abilities. Rich Wilders serves as the faculty advisor for Community Scholars. Dr. Wilders is a Professor of Mathematics and has served as Director of the Program since its inception in 1986. You can contact him by   ( or at 630-637-5234.  You can begin your course selection process by visiting Search for Sections.

What Does it Cost? 

Community Scholars may enroll in any course for which they are qualified at the rate of $150 per credit hour.  A typical course is 3 credit hours. This rate is less than half of our normal rate for non-degree candidates.

What If I Decide to Drop a Course? 

Community Scholars are subject to the same rules and regulations as all other North Central College students. Students may drop without the course appearing on their transcript during the first two week of each term. Students may drop with a WD notation during the third through fifth weeks of each term. After that, the course must be completed for a grade. 

How Do I Apply? 

Students must obtain permission from their high school guidance counselor as well as a parent/guardian. For admission as a Community Scholar, the counselor must certify that the applicant is in the top ten percent her/his high school class. Since many of of classes fill up well before school begins, early application and course choice is advisable. 


Call 630 637 5234 or email Dr. Rich Wilders, professor of mathematics, for an application form.

Course Choices

Community Scholars have enrolled in courses in Japanese, history of ideas, ethics, mathematics and numerous other disciplines.  Community Scholars earn college credit in regular college classes.  As a Community Scholar you'll have the opportunity to interact with many North Central faculty members, such as Dr. Ann Keating, professor of history and co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Chicago