Thursday, January 26, 2012

UIS announces fall semester 2011 Dean's List

A total of 527 students have been named to the University of Illinois Springfield Dean's List for the 2011 fall semester; 75 are students in the college of Business and Management, 62 are students in the College of Education and Human Services, 330 are enrolled in programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 51 are enrolled in programs in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, and 9 are non-degree or undecided.

To qualify for the designation, a student must be an undergraduate who took at least eight graded semester hours and maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.75 for the semester.

The list is organized alphabetically by hometown.

PDF Download: Fall 2011 Dean's List

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Friday, January 13, 2012

UIS tops $28 million dollar Brilliant Futures Campaign fundraising goal with help of donors

The University of Illinois Springfield is proud to announce the $28 million goal for the Brilliant Futures Campaign has been surpassed. To date, UIS has gifts, pledges and commitments totaling more than $28.4 million. The campaign, which began in July of 2003, supported students, faculty, programs, and campus facilities. The $28.4 million is nearly 90 percent more than what the University raised under the previous Campaign Illinois initiative that concluded in 2000.

“Every day I am inspired by the Springfield Community and its pride in UIS. I have met a number of people—alumni and community friends—whose vision led to the founding of Sangamon State University and who continue to invest in Springfield’s own public university,” said Susan J. Koch, University of Illinois Vice President and Springfield Chancellor. “I am also heartened by those who came later and have embraced UIS. Brick by brick, step by step, UIS is growing into an excellent institution. The Brilliant Futures Campaign has helped to transform UIS into a university of substance, known here in Illinois and on a national level.”

Over the course of the campaign, 15,625 donors gave to UIS, with 8,802 of those being first-time givers, 6,389 alumni, and 1,247 corporations and foundations. Local support has been generous: 6,456 donors from Sangamon County gave over $15 million. Faculty and staff at UIS have also been generous, with an average of 170 donors contributing each year, and participation rising from 111 in FY 2004 to 221 in FY 2011.

“The tremendous response of our friends and partners has made this achievement possible,” said Vicki Megginson, Associate Chancellor of UIS and Senior Vice President of the University of Illinois Foundation. “In the first quarter of 2012, we will be closing the books. We can already see evidence of the impact our generous donors have had on UIS.”

Scholarships

Since the beginning of the campaign, many donors have responded to the need for scholarships by giving 28 new endowed scholarships, increasing the total from 56 in 2003 to 84 today. Including planned or deferred scholarships, UIS’ total number of privately funded scholarships has risen from 95 in 2003 to 183 today—a 92% increase.

As a result of scholarships given during the campaign, 484 additional students have received scholarships, many with multi-year awards. Those numbers are expected to increase even further as UIS ramps up its new Access Illinois scholarship campaign.

The UIS Brilliant Futures Campaign was co-chaired by UIS alums Julie Kellner, Bob Felker and Howard Humphrey (now deceased). Honorary co-chairs included Polly Roesch, Sergio (Satch) Pecori and Chancellor Emeritus Naomi B. Lynn.

“It was a great privilege to me as an alumna that UIS asked me to co-chair the Brilliant Futures Campaign,” said Kellner. “Our success is a direct result of many individuals--including all the alumni and community friends who have volunteered in many different ways their time and their resources.”

Other Highlights
  • Since 2003, donors have added three professorships to UIS and provided funding for a faculty scholar. UIS now has one chair, five professorships, and one faculty scholar.
  • The Sloan Foundation has given $1.79 million in support of online learning at UIS during the campaign. UIS has recorded increased enrollments in online classes every semester and UIS is now recognized as one of the premier online programs nationally.
  • The annual giving for Student Affairs has more than tripled over the course of the campaign.
  • Throughout the campaign, UIS Athletics received over $108,000 in scholarship/student support. Other private support for athletics equaled $702,350.
  • Charles and Kathleen Hoogland and the Hoogland Family Foundation gave $1 million in support of The Recreation and Athletic Center at UIS.
  • UIS named the Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, its first facility named for a donor.
  • A $90,000 pledge to Sangamon Auditorium helped to create the Arts Start program for preschool children.
  • The Joyce Foundation gave the Center for State Policy and Leadership over $230,000 in support of the Sunshine Project directed by UIS professor Kent Redfield, which promotes open government.
  • Brookens Library received $219,000 for library enhancement.
  • UIS’ Downstate Illinois Innocence Project received $178,000 in private seed funding, leading to $936,000 in federal funding.
The entire Brilliant Futures Campaign goal for the University of Illinois was $2.25 billion and to date the campaign stands at $2.366 billion. The 8 1/2 year campaign was one of the 20 largest ever undertaken in higher education in the country.

For more information on the Brilliant Futures Campaign, contact Derek Schnapp, director of Public Relations at 217/206-6716 or email dschn3@uis.edu.

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UIS Career Development Center receives gold certification from national LGBTQ group

The University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Center has received a gold certification from the nonprofit organization OUT for Work for their dedication to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students. This is the first time UIS has been honored with the award.

OUT for Work surveyed career centers around the country to find out what resources were available to LGBTQ students. The survey gauged the current career tools, available resources, and programmatic efforts accessible to LGBTQ students through campus career centers. Survey questions focused on the areas of outreach, resources, training, and support.

“The UIS Career Development Center offers LGBTQ-friendly career services tailored toward each student’s individual needs,” said Tammy Craig, center director. “Such services include assisting the student in navigating the myriad of factors related to career planning, including resume writing, interviewing strategies, evaluating friendly work environments, and the job search process”.

Each applicable question on the OUT for Work survey was worth 1 point. Based on the total score, career centers received a rating of A+ gold, gold, silver, or bronze level of certification. Those scores are calculated by percentages. Career centers that score 100 percent earn the A+ gold, 90 to 99 percent earn gold, 80 to 89 percent earn silver, and 79 percent or lower, earn bronze level of certification.

According to their website, “OUT for Work functions as a complimentary component in the total educational experience of LGBTQ college students; effectuating change in the development, evaluation, initiation, and implementation of career plans and opportunities.” The nationally recognized nonprofit organization is dedicated to educating, preparing, and empowering LGBTQ college students for the transition from academia to the workplace.

The gold certification will be awarded during the National Association of Colleges and Employers annual conference in Las Vegas this June.

For more information, contact Tammy Craig at 217/206-6508 or email craig.tammy@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

UIS ranks highly on U.S. News & World Report list of top online programs

The University of Illinois Springfield online Computer Science and Management Information Systems graduate degree programs rank highly in the first-ever survey of national online programs by U.S. News & World Report.

The magazine undertook the project in an effort to begin filling the information gap about the strengths and weaknesses of online programs.

Overall, the Computer Science master’s program ranked eighth in the nation for “Student Service & Technology” and twenty-first for “Teaching Practices & Student Engagement” in the Computer Information Technology category.

The Management Information Systems program ranked twenty-seventh best in the country for “Teaching Practices & Student Engagement” and forty-ninth best for “Student Services & Technology” in the Business category.

“It is gratifying to see UIS recognized once again for outstanding faculty members and quality practices among the many accredited U.S. colleges and universities offering online degree programs,” said Ray Schroeder, UIS Associate Vice Chancellor for Online Learning. “This report is a reflection of the supportive online environment at UIS that both challenges and enables students to reach their full potential as they prepare to enter into successful and fulfilling careers.”

In evaluating the “Student Services & Technology” category ranking, U.S. News looked for programs which incorporated diverse online learning technologies and provided great flexibility for students to take classes by the methods of their choosing at the times of their choosing. Technology, such as having all courses centralized into a single system, such as Blackboard, was also a key factor in the ranking evaluation.

The “Teaching Practices & Student Engagement” ranking included factors, such as promoting student participation in class and allowing opportunities for students to readily interact with instructors and fellow classmates, as if they were in a traditional classroom environment. The category also includes implementing policies that ensure students are getting credit for doing their own work in the online environment.

The online Computer Science master’s program at UIS focuses on software and is geared towards students interested in the design, analysis, and implementation of software programs. Out of the 275 current Computer Science graduate students, a total of 146 or 53% are online students.

The Management Information Systems (MIS) program is specifically focused on providing a balance between technical skills and knowledge of business functions and processes. Out of the 190 MIS students currently enrolled at UIS, a total of 144 or 75% are online students.

For more information on the U.S. News and World Report rankings, contact Ray Schroeder at 217/206-7317 or email rschr1@uis.edu.

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UIS looks back at a "Year in Video 2011"



The University of Illinois Springfield is taking a look back at the Year in Video 2011.

DVD copies of this presentation are available free of charge, upon request by contacting Blake Wood, UIS Campus Relations Multimedia Writer & Producer at 217/206-8404 or bwood8@uis.edu.

This video was produced by the UIS Office of Campus Relations.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

UIS named a Best Value Public College by Kiplinger's Personal Finance in nationwide ranking

The University of Illinois Springfield has been named one of the top 100 best values in public colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for 2012. The ranking is based on high four-year graduation rates, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid, low sticker price and great value.

Overall, Illinois Springfield ranked 85th on Kiplinger’s nationwide list of public colleges and universities. This is the first time UIS has appeared on the Kiplinger ranking.

“We are very pleased that the University of Illinois Springfield has been named to the prestigious Kiplinger's ‘best college value’ list,” said Susan J. Koch, University of Illinois Vice President and Springfield Chancellor. “We are proud that our students receive a University of Illinois degree at an affordable cost while at the same time experiencing the intimate learning environment that is the hallmark of the UIS experience. This recognition communicates to prospective students and their families that, thanks to our dedicated faculty and staff, UIS students receive a high-quality education at a great value.”

Kiplinger’s assesses quality and affordability according to a number of measurable standards. This year, Kiplinger’s revamped the rankings to give more weight to academic value, such as the percentage of students who return for sophomore year and the four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include low sticker prices, abundant financial aid and low average debt at graduation. While the criteria have shifted, the overall focus on value remains the same.

The freshmen retention rate at UIS remains high at 76.1%. Illinois residents, who are full-time students, pay $8,670 on average a year for undergraduate tuition. Nearly 70 percent of UIS students receive some form of financial aid.

“As states cut funding for higher education and tuition continues to climb, the word ‘value’ is more significant than ever,” said Jane Bennett Clark, senior editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “This year’s top 100 public schools deliver strong academics at reasonable prices. We applaud these institutions for tightening their belts without compromising quality.”

Illinois Springfield is the only public university in the state ranked by Kiplinger’s, other than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who was ranked 27th overall on the list. The annual public school rankings appear in Kiplinger’s February 2012 issue—on newsstands today—and online at: www.kiplinger.com/links/college.

The University of Illinois has campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield with a total enrollment on-campus and online of approximately 79,000.

For more information on the ranking, contact Derek Schnapp, director of UIS Public Relations at 217/206-6716 or email dschn3@uis.edu.

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