Saturday, May 15, 2010

Record number attend UIS online student graduation brunch

The University of Illinois Springfield welcomed more than 250 guests, including 48 online students for its annual pre-graduation brunch and celebration in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby on Saturday, May 15.

Online students from 13 different states, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas attended the event. The graduates and their families, online coordinators and program faculty were all recognized during the brunch.

For many of the students it was the first time they’ve stepped foot on the UIS campus, but for others they chose online learning for the convenience factor.

Mother and daughter team Phyllis West of Chatham and Jenna Harlow of Springfield are both graduating with a master's degree in Teacher Leadership.

“We would help each other out when we signed up. You know, what class are you going to take? What homework is due at the end of the week? Sometimes she’d call me up on Saturday and say you realize that assignment is due tomorrow,” said West, Jenna’s mother.

UIS has been recognized as a national leader in online education, having received multiple awards for online excellence and achievement.

“We have 1,300 students who complete their programs at a distance, so some of these students are coming from all over the country,” said Ray Schroeder, director of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS).

A group photo of the online graduates was taken and each of them was presented with a gift from the university.

For more information on online programs at UIS visit

Photos, video, and more stories are available at the UIS Commencement website:

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