Higher Education | WGLT

Higher Education

COMPACT team on stage
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Illinois State University is taking next steps toward the launch of mechanical and electrical engineering programs.

Plant expert in the wild points out grasses,
Illinois State University

As climate change and human industry destroy once thriving habitats, scientists are using samples from herbariums to piece together the history of our ecosystem.

Jamel and Willie
Tiffani Jackson / WGLT

Scholarship recipients from Central Illinois on Friday will hear from a leader of color who embodies the type of success that the NAACP’s Freedom Fund Banquet wants to cultivate.

International students, especially those from China, play a crucial role in funding the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Illinois State University
WGLT

Illinois State University had another great recruiting year, with a 1.2% increase in total enrollment and the largest freshman class in 33 years. It's another stable year. Several other schools throughout the state continued years of enrollment drops.

Dave Kindred with his collection
Darnysha Mitchell / WGLT

After 60 years of telling captivating stories around the sports world, reporter Dave Kindred's donation of artifacts and memorabilia to Illinois Wesleyan is taking fans for a ride all over again.

What happens when universities see enrollment plunge year after year? For many Illinois schools, they focus on how to hold on to the students already walking their halls. Students often leave between their first and second year.

Tammy Yates was excited to come to Macomb seven years ago. Yates and her partner Chad Hunziker opened Chubby's, a restaurant on West Adams Street, just a few blocks from the Western Illinois University campus.

Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University
Staff / WGLT

Illinois colleges and universities have been under pressure for years from smaller graduating classes, out-of-state competition and changing demographics. Private higher education institutions in the state face the same challenges public schools do and a couple extra.

Wonsook Kim as a student.
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

“Illinois State University is where I started. Why ISU? Because this is where my heart is at.”

Wonsook Kim earned three degrees at Illinois State in the 1970s and experienced her first dates, first job, and first experience with dorm life there. Her love for her alma mater is why she and her husband decided to give the school a $12 million donation last Thursday, the largest individual donation in the school’s history. For her generosity, ISU President Larry Dietz announced that the College of Fine Arts and the School of Art will both be renamed after Kim.

a parade route with tumblers and a banner
Illinois State University

Gamma Phi Circus at Illinois State University will celebrate its 90th year with a parade: the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York City.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois Wesleyan named a 12-person committee to find the private university's 20th president.

ISU students on a sidewalk
Cindy Le / WGLT

UPDATED 5:15 p.m. | Illinois State University freshman enrollment jumped nearly 5% this fall—its largest freshman class in 33 years.

Allen Hall on the University of Illinois Urbana campus.
Courtesy of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois student Andrew Smith of Normal has been arrested in connection with a noose found in an elevator at Allen Hall in Urbana early Sunday morning.

Cell phone showing FAFSA website
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

Illinois is now the third state to require graduating high school seniors fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, otherwise known as the FAFSA form.

Heartland Community College
Staff / WGLT

The Heartland Community College board on Tuesday approved a tentative $32 million operating budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1.

At the beginning of their June 14 meeting, Western Illinois University trustees agreed to a plan that calls for WIU President Jack Thomas to step down on June 30.  After the 7.5 hour meeting, Tri States Public Radio talked to Board of Trustees Chairperson Greg Aguilar about the deal.

WIU President Resigns

Jun 14, 2019
Western Illinois University / Facebook

The president of Western Illinois University is resigning at the end of June after eight years in the post.

Jack Thomas has told an audience of about 200 people that Western Illinois "would best be served by new leadership" at a "pivotal time" for the school.

Thomas has been under fire from alumni and others. The Quad-City Times reports that enrollment has dropped 35% in the last decade, although administrators say it's due to many factors, including population trends and cuts in state support.

Unit 5 Board Members in their meeting room
Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Heartland Community College said high school students across central Illinois have saved $4.9 million in community college tuition and fees with dual credit courses through their high schools over the last five years. Sixteen high schools participate in the program with HCC.

Jack Thomas
Rich Egger / Tri States Public Radio

A group that represents alumni at Western Illinois University is urging the president to resign.

Teacher helps student at computer
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

The Heartland Community College board on Tuesday approved a new union contract with its adjunct faculty, guaranteeing at least 2% per-credit-hour raises over the next three years.

Jack poses
Courtest of Jack Whitsitt

It's graduation season, and thousands of students are walking across the stage this month at Illinois colleges and universities.

Students walk in the quad
Cindy Le / WGLT

The cost of attending Illinois State University in the fall would rise about 1.3%, according to a proposal going to the Board of Trustees on Friday.

Keith greets candidates
Amy Niebur / WGLT

Two candidates for a seat on the Heartland Community College Board both said they want to be careful to keep property taxes as low as possible, as did a third who is running uncontested.

Heartland Community College
Staff / WGLT

Heartland Community College is looking to double the number of athletic programs it offers in hopes of attracting more students.

Corey and Karrin
Ryan Denham / WGLT

Corey Ostling and Karrin Hawkins are Unit 5’s first-ever high school college and career counselors.

And after almost one full school year in their new roles, even their job titles are a work in progress.

A large crowd gathered late Wednesday afternoon in front of Western Illinois University's main administrative building on the Macomb campus.

Faculty, students, staff, and community members huddled on the steps of Sherman Hall in the cold, chanting, and waving signs with messages such as "Faculty is committed to WIU,"  "Teaching makes admin jobs possible," and "Fight for our families." The group was there for a rally in support of the 132 employees who received layoff notices on March 1.

Officials from each of Illinois' public universities traveled to the statehouse this week to tell lawmakers about their leaky roofs, outdated science labs and broken air conditioners, in hopes of getting funding to fix them. It’s part of a push toward a public works program, known in the legislature as a capital bill. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has promised the state will spend billions of dollars in infrastructure improvements, and public agencies are lining up to ask for a piece of that pie.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he's in favor of better communication with student landlords.

Dietz said he will meet next month with apartment owners concerned the university is building up to 1,200 new student beds in a pod format.

Illinois could save millions of dollars on incarceration costs if the federal ban on Pell Grants for inmates was lifted, according to a new report from the Vera Institute of Justice. Pell Grants are awarded to low-income undergraduate students to help them pay for college.

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