Monday, February 22, 2021

UIS partners with Creative Information Technology Inc. to build child welfare protection training apps

2017 File Photo


The University of Illinois Springfield Child Advocacy Studies Program (CAST) has partnered with Virginia-based Creative Information Technology Inc. (CITI) to build state-of-the-art smart phone and tablet-based apps that can be used by the child protection workforce and students across the country.

UIS students in the Child Advocacy Studies Program will serve as the first beta testers for the new apps that will help investigators and students make better decisions when it comes to protecting at-risk children.

“UIS students will have the opportunity to help shape these new tools by using real-world scenarios to test and improve the apps abilities,” said Betsy Goulet, UIS clinical assistant professor and Child Advocacy Studies Program coordinator. “UIS students will have access to these new tools before anyone else in the country.”

CITI will provide the UIS Child Advocacy Studies students with tablets that are pre-loaded with the new app software. 

The new apps will include a modern mash-up of child welfare best practices, experiential and simulated learning, evidence-based tools, cross-sector collaboration and technology innovation. The partnership focuses on modernizing essential practices and advancing child welfare through innovation and a multi-disciplinary approach to technology development.

UIS’ Child Advocacy Studies Program is a three-course curriculum created as a collaborative approach to training and educating frontline professionals and the next generation of child welfare practitioners. The program adheres to the standards developed for universities, and the faculty have years of experience in the child welfare field as practitioners and as trainers. UIS carries the distinction of being the second program in the United States to achieve approval from the Zero Abuse Project.

CITI is committed to human services and social welfare. CITI’s child welfare solution, Unify, will support the UIS CAST program and coursework to enhance child welfare education and skill development. Additionally, CITI will support the expansion of simulated learning programs to create a life-of-case lens for child welfare simulation models and expand simulation training with virtual reality technology.  

Friday, February 19, 2021

Innocent man represented by UIS Illinois Innocence Project receives pardon 30 years after wrongful convictions

The IIP argued Propst's case before the Illinois Prisoner Review Board in 2019.


The Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois Springfield is pleased to announce that its client Norman Propst, who was wrongfully convicted twice – in 1991 and 1997 – in Cook County has been pardoned, based on actual innocence, by Gov. JB Pritzker. 

“We are thrilled that the Governor has granted clemency to Norman Propst for these wrongful convictions,” said Propst’s attorney John Hanlon, executive director of the Illinois Innocence Project. “So many unjust convictions have occurred to innocent young Black men in Chicago. Unfortunately, Norman suffered for that reality. We are, however, so proud of the unselfish and successful way that he has devoted himself to his community since he left Chicago. It’s really quite a story.”

Propst was convicted of a 1990 robbery based on a notoriously unreliable eyewitness identification, i.e. a “show-up” procedure. He was also convicted of a workplace theft in 1997 even though his managers insisted no crime had occurred. One of those managers then resigned her position in support of Propst. 

Kaylan Schardan, a second-year law student at St. Louis University School of Law, also performed instrumental work toward Propst’s pardon when she volunteered for the Project in 2019. Under the direction of Hanlon, she researched and co-wrote Propst’s petition requesting a gubernatorial pardon based on strong evidence of Propst’s innocence. She then co-argued the petition in front of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board in fall 2019.

“Working on Norman’s case with the Illinois Innocence Project not only gave me valuable legal experience but also allowed me to meet wonderful people like him,” Schardan said. “Norman has waited decades to clear his name. I am honored to be a part of his journey toward justice. My time with the Project showed me the great need for post-conviction legal advocates. It's not easy work, but it is the most rewarding.”

in 1990, Propst was wrongfully accused by Chicago police and wrongfully convicted of robbery. Knowing he was facing a sentence of 15 years and his mother was suffering from serious health issues, he made the difficult decision to accept a plea deal to avoid the trauma of further court proceedings. He served several months in the Cook County jail followed by four years’ probation. 

In 1997, Propst was charged with retail theft concerning a book that was taken from a Borders Bookstore where he was employed. He maintained his innocence but ultimately pled guilty and received six months' supervision in order to avoid further proceedings regarding the matter. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, 20% of exonerations nationwide involve guilty pleas.

Propst has focused his life on helping others while trying for decades to clear his name. He co-founded the Atlanta chapter of Black Lives Matter and the Alliance for Black Lives, a social ‘injustice’ activist organization in Atlanta fighting racism, poverty and militarism. In partnership with the Gwinnett County commissioners, Propst played a leading role in securing their vote in January to remove a confederate monument in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

As a community organizer, he works with homeless and social justice organizations; speaks at public schools; advocates for LGBTQ rights, mental health awareness and the “Fight for $15” minimum wage movement; and advocates against gun violence, voter suppression and police brutality.

“The important thing in Norman’s case is not just about the time he served; rather, it’s about the fact that he now will have the ability to go to college, get a degree in social work and then get a job helping kids improve their lives,” Hanlon said. “That has been his life’s dream. He could not do any of those things with these convictions hanging over him. He has already done incredible work in his community, but now he can greatly enhance that without the legal and practical burdens posed by the wrongful convictions.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

UIS announces Fall Semester 2020 Dean’s List

The University of Illinois Springfield has released the Dean’s List for Fall Semester 2020. A total of 711 students were selected; 85 are students in the College of Business and Management, 59 are students in the College of Education and Human Services, 463 are enrolled in programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 71 are enrolled in programs in the College of Public Affairs and Administration and 33 are non-degree seeking or undecided.

In order to qualify for the Dean’s List, a student must be an undergraduate who took at least eight graded semester hours, maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.75 for the semester and had no incomplete grades awarded for the semester.

Below you'll find a printable list of student's names listed by the city of residence on file with UIS Records and Registration.

Fall 2020 Dean's List PDF | Fall 2020 Dean's List Excel

Monday, February 08, 2021

UIS to offer 28 accelerated courses starting March 15 to help students continue their educational goals


The University of Illinois Springfield will offer 28 accelerated online and blended courses for prospective and current students. Most classes will begin Monday, March 15, and will conclude in early May. 

“This is a great opportunity for new UIS students to start or finish their education,” said UIS Interim Chancellor Karen Whitney. “It’s also a chance for current students to add to their course load and potentially earn their degree in a shorter period of time.”

Due to the accelerated nature of the classes, it is recommended that students only enroll in one course.

Accelerated courses will be offered in accounting, athletic training, business, communication, education, educational leadership, human development counseling, management, management information systems, mathematics, and music. A full list of courses is available at uis.edu/accelerated. 

Prospective students can apply for admission at uis.edu/apply through March 10. Current UIS students can register through March 21 using the instructions found at uis.edu/registration/courseschedule/accelerated/. All courses are eligible for financial assistance.

For more information, prospective students are encouraged to contact the UIS Office of Admission at 217-206-4847 or admissions@uis.edu. Current UIS students should direct questions to the Office of Record and Registration at 217-206-6174 or registrar@uis.edu

Thursday, January 28, 2021

UIS to hold virtual grand opening for the new Center for Lincoln Studies



On President Abraham Lincoln’s 212th birthday, the University of Illinois Springfield will hold a virtual grand opening for the new Center for Lincoln Studies at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12 via Zoom. The Center will be a national base for scholarship, teaching and public history about Lincoln's life, leadership and legacy.

The goal of the Center for Lincoln Studies is to encourage continued research on Lincoln and his time here in Illinois where he spent a quarter century of his life, and to connect the character of Lincoln to the nation today.

"The study of past is vital to understanding our present,” said Anne Moseley, acting director of the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies. “Just like all of us Lincoln had success, failures, sadness and joy throughout his life that made him into icon we admire today. He is an example of an ordinary man made extraordinary. It is my hope that through the Center for Lincoln Studies we will cultivate the next generation of Lincoln Scholars who will continue dive into the life and legacy of Lincoln.”

The public is invited to tune into the webinar as UIS cuts the virtual ribbon on the center, which will be followed by a lively discussion among Lincoln scholars.

Panelists for the discussion include Christian McWhirter, Lincoln historian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; Justin Blandford, superintendent of state historic sites in Springfield; Sarah Watson, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area (Looking for Lincoln); Timothy Good, superintendent of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site; Michael Burlingame, Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at UIS; and Graham Peck, Wepner Distinguished Professor of Lincoln Studies at UIS.

Registration is required for the event. Please register online at go.uis.edu/LincolnCenter. A Zoom link will be emailed to those who register. 

The Abraham Lincoln Association will be hosting additional Lincoln programs throughout Lincoln’s birthday weekend. Visit abrahamlincolnassociation.org for more information.

For more information on the grand opening, contact Anne Moseley at 217-206-8663 or asutt4@uis.edu

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

UIS online bachelor’s degree programs ranked among the top 10 percent in the country



The University of Illinois Springfield’s online bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked 34th best in the country (out of 357 institutions) by U.S. News and World Report. The 2021 ranking put UIS among the top 10 percent of best online bachelor’s degree programs in the United States.

UIS’ online master’s degree programs were also ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report. The management information systems (MIS) online master’s degree was ranked 53 out of 184 in the non-MBA business category, while the UIS online master’s degree in education was ranked 91 out of 317 degrees.

“UIS has ranked among the top tier of U.S. News Best Online Program rankings of undergraduate programs since their inception in 2012,” said Ray Schroeder, UIS associate vice chancellor of online learning. “We are honored to once again be ranked among the top 10 percent of online programs by the rigorous and highly respected rankings by U.S. News. With this recognition comes our promise to continue to provide excellence in all of our online classes and programs.”

In evaluating the best online bachelor’s degree programs, U.S. News & World Report assessed schools in four general categories including engagement – promoting student participation in courses and interaction with instructors and classmates, service and technologies – incorporating diverse online learning technologies allowing greater flexibility for students to take classes from a distance, faculty credentials and training – employing instructors with academic credentials that mirror campus-based programs and expert opinion – a survey of high-ranking academic officials. 

U.S. News selects factors, known as ranking indicators, to assess each program in the categories outlined above. A program's score for each ranking indicator is calculated using data that the program reported to U.S. News in a statistical survey and a peer reputation survey.

UIS offers 14 online bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, communication, computer science, English, health care informatics, history, information systems security, liberal studies, management information systems, mathematical sciences, philosophy, political science, psychology and teacher education. UIS also offers 12 graduate programs and 12 certificate programs online. 

“We believe that connecting our online students to the university community allows them to have an exceptional online learning experience,” said Vickie Cook, executive director of UIS online, professional and engaged learning. “Excellent faculty, strong online technologies, and co-curricular activities that will prepare students for future careers are critical in today’s world. We believe that students excel when given a chance to immerse themselves in a high quality online learning environment.”

According to census data, a total of 1,540 students were enrolled in online at UIS during Fall Semester 2020. UIS online students reside in 46 states, 82 counties in Illinois and nine foreign countries and one territory (Guam). 

For more information, contact Derek Schnapp, UIS director of public relations, at 217-206-6716 or dschn3@uis.edu