EMSA Frequently Asked Questions

EMSA Frequently Asked Questions

The Kishwaukee College Engineering, Math & Science Academy (EMSA) gives incoming high school seniors students a jump start on their college career by providing college level courses to students during their junior or senior year. EMSA offers two different tracks for earning up to 25 semester hours of college credit that are transferable to all 4-year public universities in Illinois, and most schools around the country. The first track is our traditional Engineering track for students that plan to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Physics or any engineering discipline. The second track is for students interested in a major leading to a degree for pre-med, pre-pharmacy, pre-veterinary science, or similar medical-related professions. We call this second path the Pre-Professional track.

What is the advantage of being a part of the Academy?

The AcademyEMSA provides talented and motivated high school students who are interested in pursuing an engineering or professional degree (for example, pharmacy or pre-medicine, the ability opportunity to get a head start on their college career. They will take Kishwaukee College engineering or pre-professional classes at our college campus during their junior or senior year.  Following their high school graduation, these courses are readily accepted by all can be transferred to a four-year senior institution, in Illinois, and based on our experience, by most schools around the country, as well as providing or the students a great head start on their Associates Degree, should they choose to can remain at Kishwaukee College to complete their Associates Degree before transferring.  We work closely with both Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to ensure a seamless transfer for students into their respective chosen undergraduate engineering programs.

What will the two tracks prepare me for?

EMSA offers two unique tracks tailored towards students’ interests, aspirations, and intended college majors.  Students have the opportunity to select their track upon application.

The Pre-professional Track is aimed towards students interested in all science-based majors, including pre-medical, pre-veterinary, pre-pharmacy, physical therapy, and various other majors and careers in science.

The Engineering Track is our original track and is aimed towards students interested in pursuing majors and careers in engineering and physics fields.

What classes are in the EMSA program?

All EMSA students will take Calculus I during the summer session (typically between junior and senior years). Students in the EMSA Engineering track will take Physics for Science & Engineering I and Calculus II during the fall semester, and Physics for Science & Engineering II and Calculus III during the spring semester. Students in the Pre-Professional track, will take General Chemistry I and General Physics I during the fall semester, and General Chemistry II and General Physics II during the spring semester.


Who qualifies for this program?

Any current high school sophomore or junior may apply for admission to EMSA if they have taken who one year of chemistry and pre-calculus (trigonometry), with a grade of “B” or better in these courses may apply for admission to the Academy. Students who are currently enrolled in chemistry and pre-calculus at their high school, are strongly encouraged to apply to EMSA, and their grades will be reviewed upon completion of these high school courses.

What are the criteria for admission into the EMSA program?

The student must complete high school chemistry and pre-calculus with a grade of “B” or better in each semester; there is no minimum GPA requirement for this program. However, the EMSA program is a limited admission program. Our goal is to have a broad representation of students from all district high schools, and diversity across our district will be a factor in the admission process. A student Statement of Interest as well as two and a letters of evaluation recommendation (from a high school Counselor and a Teacher) will also be given consideration considered with respect to as part of the program admission process. In the event of equally qualified candidates, the completed application with the earlier submittal date (including all required evaluation letters and forms) will be given preference.

Is my High School aware of the Academy?

Kishwaukee College works closely with the principals and counselors from district high schools, who are aware of the value of the program to their students. They have received several communications regarding the EMSA program and should be able to answer general questions about how EMSA relates to the high school curriculum/schedule.

When does the EMSA program begin?

Students accepted into the EMSA program begin by taking a summer session Calculus I class, typically between their junior and senior years. The summer session will begin in mid-June and continue through early August. The fall semester begins the fourth Monday in August and ends in mid-December. The spring semester begins in mid-January and ends in mid-May.

How do I apply to the EMSA?

Simply submit the required application forms, which can be obtained in several ways:

  • Obtain an EMSA packet from your high school counselor
  • Attend the EMSA Information Session at the college in early November
  • Download the required forms from the Kishwaukee College website
  • Request an application packet by phone 815-825-9307 or by email at kmershon@kish.edu
Is there an application deadline?

Applications will be accepted at any time following the Information Session meeting in November, and will continue to be accepted until January 31. However, because this is a popular program and has limited enrollment, students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Is the EMSA program a Dual Enrollment program or a Dual Credit program?

There is a significant difference between a Dual Enrollment course and a Dual Credit course. A Dual Enrollment class offers the student college-level credit only and will not satisfy a high school requirement. Dual enrollment courses do not require the college to submit a transcript to the home high school, and therefore, the grade in the EMSA course will not be factored into the student’s high school GPA. 

A Dual Credit class provides the student with credit not only for a college-level course, but and will also will award credit toward high school credit for graduation. Students interested in taking an EMSA course for Dual Credit must receive , provided prior written permission of the Dual Credit option, in advance, has been obtained from their student’s home high school guidance counselor. Therefore, if high school credit is desired, Selecting the dual Dual credit Credit option for a class held on the Kishwaukee College campus, requires the college to submit the student’s college transcript to the high school following each semester so that the credit can be verified, and the course grade recorded for GPA calculations (if required). It is up to the individual high school to determine if any of the Kishwaukee College courses taken by the student would are be eligible for dual credit. Students will need to verify that the university to which they apply will accept dual credit coursework if students desire/choose the dual credit option; some universities do not consider dual credit courses as college-level courses for transfer credit.

What if I take the AP Calculus exam before starting the EMSA Program? Will my AP Calculus score be accepted?

A student who is currently enrolled in, or has taken, Advanced Placement Calculus is still eligible for the EMSA program and may take the AP exam in place of registering for the summer Calculus I class, and begin the EMSA coursework in the fall semester. 

Because AP Calculus scores are typically not received until mid-July, students will be required to enroll in Calculus I starting in June and actively participate in the course.  Upon receiving their AP scores, students with a passing score of 4 or 5 on part AB may opt to drop MAT 229 with a full refund. 

This policy aims to ensure students enrolled in the EMSA program will complete the proper sequence in the case of an unsatisfactory score on the AP Calculus exam.  Note: EMSA students who receive a 4 or 5 on the exam are highly encouraged to complete MAT 229 to better hone their Calculus in anticipation of the rigor of EMSA and future Engineering coursework.

What is the approximate cost for the EMSA Program?

Because EMSA is officially a dual-enrollment program (see above), students are responsible for all tuition, fees, and textbook costs associated with the program. The cost of the program depends on the current tuition rate and the selected courses within the EMSA program, but will be approximately $4,400 Engineering and $4,100 for Pre-Professional for the 2017-2018 school year. This cost difference is due primarily to the different textbook requirements for each track. Estimated Cost of EMSA Program

Is there financial aid available for the EMSA program?

Financial aid is not available to high school students through Kishwaukee College. However, a limited number of scholarships may be provided to EMSA students through the Kishwaukee College Foundation. These need-based scholarships consider total family income as the primary factor in awards.

Contact information

Kathy Mershon
Math, Science and Business Division