AP

Spencer Tritt

DeKalb is a university town. But even growing up in the shadow of Northern Illinois University, that doesn’t mean every student sees themselves as a potential college student.

Advanced Placement classes are one way to make a student feel college-ready. They can also earn actual college credit from them.

Photo by Spencer Tritt

A few days a week, Earlville high school juniors and seniors sit down for their first class in what's called their "college classroom." It's where they can take dual enrollment courses, and get college credit if they pass.

Last year, Earlville's graduating class was only 37 students. But they left with nearly a combined 200 college credit hours.

"Because we are a textbook, low-income, small country school, we're kind of proud of all the different opportunities that we can offer the kids," said principal Jeanette Fruit.