Where Will You Continue Your Education?

By Lindsey Gapen, Assistant Editor

Choosing a college may be one of the most important life decisions you will ever make. It takes great time and consideration to find the school that best fits your needs, and there are many things to consider. To assist you in making this meaningful choice, our college guide profiles some of the outstanding higher education options available in the Old Northwest Territory.

Blackhawk Technical College Highland Community College Loras College
McHenry County College Northern Michigan University Rasmussen College
Rockford University Upper Iowa University University of Dubuque
U. of Wisconsin-Rock County Western Illinois University

Blackhawk Technical College

6004 S. County Road G • Janesville • blackhawk.edu

Blackhawk Technical College (BTC) is a learning community in which students, faculty and staff all contribute to and celebrate the success of others. Students across five campuses in southern Wisconsin are challenged and inspired by programs that extend beyond the classroom. Founded in 1912, the college and its students have spent more than a century creating solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems: from alternative energy and the skills gap to rebuilding southern Wisconsin.

Blackhawk’s, associate degree, technical diploma and certification programs prepare students with real-world skills demanded by today’s employers. With more than 50 programs, Blackhawk provides opportunities to study advanced manufacturing, health sciences, buisness management, protective services, community education, business training and more.

Classes are small and friendly, with an average of 15 students in each room. Instructors have, on average, 16 years of experience in their respective fields. This unique level of personal interaction and engagement is a signature characteristic of a Blackhawk education. The college similarly places a high value on building important life skills such as leadership, communications, team building, problem solving and respect for diversity.

A higher education is an investment that pays dividends for a lifetime, and the tuition cost at Blackhawk is one of the lowest in the state. The college offers a variety of financial aid programs, payment plans, grants and scholarships that help to make tuition more affordable.

While many students choose a traditional education, Blackhawk remains flexible to a student’s needs, with many online courses, evening and Saturday classes, and dual credit opportunities available. More than 13 student clubs and organizations add to a student’s experience, with choices like Auto/Diesel Club, Business Professionals of America and Student Government Association that can enhance students’ experiences and skills outside the classroom.

The Blackhawk Career and Professional Development office does its part to help students and alumni to sharpen the professional skills that give them an edge in today’s competitive job market. With mock interviews, job-search workshops, resume writing instruction and job shadowing experiences, the career center provides essential tools even after students have graduated. Students can also take advantage of the Student Success Center, which provides support, services and resources to help with degree completion. The center additionally connects students and alumni with employers.

The Blackhawk mission is to enable students to explore, innovate and achieve their potential. Beyond a degree, students receive individualized training and hands-on experience. As a result, Blackhawk students are prepared for a successful future.


Enrollment: 9,000
Student/Instructor Ratio: 15:1
Programs: More than 50
Degrees: 19 associate degrees, 21 technical diplomas, 13 certificates
On-Camps Housing: No
Evening Classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• One of 16 colleges as part of the Wisconsin Technical College System
• More than 30 scholarships available to help students with tuition
• Advanced Manufacturing Training Center is a National Certification Center
• Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

Highland Community College

2998 W. Pearl City Road • Freeport • highland.edu

Since 1962, Highland Community College has been committed to providing a quality education. This community college’s mission is focused on meeting the needs of the greater northwest Illinois community, including Stephenson County, Jo Daviess County, Carroll County and the northwest corner of Ogle County. In addition to its comprehensive academic programs, Highland offers enriching cultural opportunities through theatre, arts, music, literature and lectures.

Students can select from more than 60 associate degrees and certificates in areas such as accounting, chemistry, engineering, English, early childhood education, nursing and more. Class sizes average 18 students, which means that individuals receive plenty of personal attention and encouragement.

Three new programs are being offered for the first time this fall: criminal justice, hospitality management and mass communication. The criminal justice program prepares students for entry-level jobs in law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole, or the smooth transfer to a criminal justice program at a four-year college or university.

The hospitality management program molds students who wish to pursue a career in a hotel or related service industry. Highland’s program, created in partnership with the Swift Hospitality Group, prepares students to work as sales coordinators, food and beverage managers, front-desk managers and more.

The mass communication program emphasizes public relations and marketing, multimedia journalism and multimedia production. Students who complete this program are prepared to transfer to a four-year college or university with enhanced creativity and communication skills.

Highland is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association’s Academic Quality Improvement Program. Located in Freeport, Highland is conveniently positioned in the tri-state region, with access to several major metropolitan areas.

Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports through the NJCAA Region IV athletic conference. Men can play basketball, baseball, bowling and golf, while women can participate in basketball, softball, bowling and volleyball. Students can also engage with the community through an extensive amount of clubs and organizations including agriculture club, art club, Black Student Alliance, Current Issues Club, dance team, equine club, international club, pride club and more.

Students can also take advantage of Highland’s Success Center, which is committed to promoting academic success. The Center provides tutoring, courses in developmental communication skills, a seminar on the first-year experience and support for students with disabilities.

For those interested in pursuing a higher education here, Highland encourages taking a stroll through campus and witnessing day-to-day activities and events. Find out how your degree from Highland Community College is a valuable resource for northwest Illinois.


Enrollment: 1,700
Student/Instructor Ratio: 15:1
Programs: More than 60
Degrees: Associate, certificate
On-Camps Housing: No
Evening Classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• High-quality, affordable education
• Regionally accredited college
• Numerous HCC Foundation scholarship opportunities
• Course transferability
• Online courses and Hybrid programs offered

Loras College

1450 Alta Vista St. • Dubuque, Iowa • explore.loras.edu

Perched on bluffs in Dubuque, Iowa, Loras College is dedicated to providing students with a rich and engaging liberal arts education. Leveraging its historic roots as Iowa’s first college and the second-oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River, Loras delivers challenging, life-changing experiences in a supportive, residential Catholic setting.

With nearly 40 undergraduate majors and 12 pre-professional programs, Loras College has the resources to help students succeed. More than 95.9 percent of the Loras Class of 2014 were employed or continuing their education within one year of graduation. With small, interactive classes, students have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions with professors and their classmates. They also receive the benefit of technology in the classroom – such as the Media Studies Lab or the on-site DNA Lab – and academic resources such as the Writing Center, Math Assistance Program and Supplementary Instruction Program.

Most Loras students study abroad, participate in service opportunities or take advantage of work internships. In fact, 56 percent of Loras’ 2014 graduating seniors completed credited internships coordinated through the college. Student service is a point of pride at the college, and has earned Loras a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since 2008, receiving a “with distinction” notation since 2009. Loras College was the first in the nation to receive the President’s Award for Interfaith Community Service, the highest federal honor a higher education institution can receive for its commitment to community service and interfaith efforts.

Students rally behind Dewey the Duhawk, who stands proudly as the Loras College mascot. Dewey supports the 23 varsity sports offered to student-athletes, who compete in the NCAA Division III and Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Loras is proud of its top-notch athletic facilities, including the Rock Bowl Stadium and multi-level Athletic and Wellness Center. As a student-athlete at Loras, you can enjoy a well-rounded experience that balances challenging academics and competitive athletics – preparing you for victory on and off the field.

With more than 70 clubs and organizations, the Loras College campus is overflowing with co-curricular opportunities. From academic organizations to special-interest groups and student government, students can immerse themselves in activities they love while making lifelong friends along the way.


Enrollment: More than 1,500
Student/Instructor Ratio: 12:1
Programs: More than 40
Degrees: Associate, undergraduate, graduate
On-campus housing: Yes
Evening classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• Rich study abroad and internship programs
• 95.9 percent job placement/postgraduate studies rate
• Extensive scholarship and financial aid opportunities
• Commitment to service learning and community involvement

McHenry County College

8900 U.S. Highway 14 • Crystal Lake • mchenry.edu

Since 1967, McHenry County College (MCC) has been the area’s choice for a high-quality and fully accredited education.

MCC was recently named among Aspen Institute’s top 150 community colleges in the nation, and CNN Money & College Measures reported that MCC is ranked fourth in the state for student success rates and affordability. MCC also was voted a “military friendly” institution by G.I. Jobs magazine.

More than 90 percent of MCC’s full-time faculty hold a master’s or doctorate degree, as do 68 percent of its adjunct instructors. But the heart of MCC is its students, whether they come to start a new educational path, finish a dream that was sidetracked or try something new. Faculty and staff are dedicated to assisting students to succeed, so that they are prepared to move into a new career or transition smoothly to a four-year institution.

This student-focused approach is paying off. According to recent statistics compiled by the Illinois Board of Higher Education for its Illinois Shared Enrollment and Graduation database, MCC students who transfer to a four-year institution do just as well as, or better than, students who started as freshmen.

As part of the Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference, affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), MCC men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletics teams have earned 34 conference championships and produced more than 20 NJCAA All-Americans and 10 professional players. In addition, MCC offers on-campus activities and more than 25 student clubs.

The honors group Phi Theta Kappa and the Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program help MCC students to develop leadership skills. Through the College Consortium of International Students and the Illinois Consortium for International Studies and Programs, MCC students may participate in study-abroad programs in more than 30 countries. Through service learning, MCC students also learn about civic responsibility while participating in community programs.

From the low student-to-teacher ratio in classes to flexible course offerings, MCC’s focus is always on helping each student to complete his or her degree. The college’s engaging environment stimulates more critical thinking and sharpens decision-making skills, better preparing students for a bright future. Learn what’s new at MCC by following the college on social media at mchenry.edu/social.


Enrollment: 7,100 credit; 6,800 noncredit
Student/Teacher Ratio: 23:1
Programs: 7 associate’s, more than 50 certificates
Degrees: associate, professional
On-campus Housing: No
Evening/Weekend/Online classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• Award-winning, nationally recognized faculty
• Strong, varied distance education
• Workforce, community and business programs
• Adult credit degree programs through Fast Track, with cohort and flexible delivery formats
• Competitive tuition rate
• Individualized attention to students from faculty
• Extensive student services
• Robust Adult Education program, including GED and ESL courses

Northern Michigan University

1401 Presque Isle Ave. • Marquette, Mich. • nmu.edu

Established in 1899, Northern Michigain University (NMU) has grown and diversified to become a comprehensive educational institution of 9,000 students, with cutting-edge technology initiatives and nationally recognized academic programs.

More than 75 percent of NMU’s 300-plus full-time faculty members have doctorates or the highest degree in their fields. A hallmark of the NMU experience is that full-time faculty members teach at all levels, freshmen through graduate courses.

NMU is the first public university in Michigan dedicated to enhancing students’ learning experience, through its Teaching, Learning and Communication Initiative. All full-time students are issued notebook computers as part of their tuition and fees, giving them faster, more complete access to instructors, fellow students – even class notes. President Barack Obama chose NMU as the site to announce his Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative in 2010. He held up Northern’s WiMAX network as a leading example of broadband’s capabilities.

Undergraduates have access to important research opportunities, from testing a new class of drugs that treat attention/memory problems caused by schizophrenia to researching genes that may play critical roles in brain tumor formation and growth. It is one of only two Michigan universities to have an entrepreneurship major, and has one of the few programs in the country for both ski management and wildland firefighting. NMU has programs in 42 of the 50 fastest-growing job occupations from the “Training for Michigan’s Hot Jobs” report, and boasts 90 percent placement rate or higher in numerous programs.

A recent survey revealed that 85 courses in 35 majors employed some aspect of academic service learning methodology. NMU earned the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. NMU students and staff volunteer more than 100,000 hours in the community each year and partner with local organizations through service learning courses.

NMU offers a number of student/faculty exchanges, faculty-led study abroad programs, semester- or yearlong study abroad through partner organizations and international volunteer/internship opportunities. NMU was among 16 U.S. institutions initially granted a license for study abroad programs in Cuba, and the first to go beyond Havana.

Students can explore financial aid opportunities, scholarships and funding options with knowledgable counselors at NMU’s Financial Aid Office. The university also provides accessible student support services, including free counseling and information services, a writing lab, a tutoring lab and an all-campus tutoring program in most areas of study.

NMU student-athletes compete in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference in 12 sports, six for men and seven for women. In addition, students can participate in about 325 student organizations representing a wide range of academic interests, hobbies, personal interests and causes. Further, NMU has the only residential program at a university that allows athletes to pursue degrees while training for world-class competitions.

At Northern Michigan University, natural curiosity and intellectual challenge meet in stimulating classes grounded in the liberal arts. Wherever curiosity leads them, students can count on the support they need to take the next step, ask the next question and propose the next hypothesis.


Enrollment: 9,000 undergraduate and graduate
Student/Instructor Ratio: 22:1
Programs: 124 majors, 113 minors, 35 associate and certificate programs, 28 graduate programs
Degrees: Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
On-Campus Housing: Yes
Evening Classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• Technology initiatives and infrastructure/support for that technology
• Personal attention: Students are a name, not a number
• Named a military-friendly institution by G.I. Jobs
• Amazing four-season outdoor recreational opportunities and scenic environment on the south shore of Lake Superior

Rasmussen College-Rockford

6000 E. State St. • Rockford • rasmussen.edu

Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college with 23 campuses across the Midwest and Florida, including four campuses in Illinois: Rockford, Romeoville/Joliet, Mokena/Tinley Park and Aurora/Naperville. More than 14,000 students are enrolled in total. Founded in 1900, with the Rockford campus opening in 2006, Rasmussen strives to: provide education for growing careers; impact lives both inside and outside the classroom; and remain dedicated to the growth and development of its students, employees and the communities it serves.

Rasmussen College offers bachelor’s degrees, associate’s degrees, certificates and diplomas in more than 50 programs, including business, justice studies, technology, design, education, nursing and health sciences. It’s committed to helping students gain the practical and relevant skills they need for career success, as well as providing flexible and affordable learning options. One example is Flex Choice, a learning option that allows students to take self-paced, competency-based courses alongside their faculty-led courses at no additional cost. Rasmussen College also provides a classroom experience that includes employer-based internship/externship opportunities, hands-on learning delivered through average class sizes of 20 students, industry-experienced faculty with real-world insight, and new, technologically advanced learning platforms.

Rasmussen College is committed to providing strong support services that go above and beyond traditional offerings. This includes one-on-one support with a student advisor, free tutoring, and access to hundreds of thousands of free digital resources, such as e-textbooks, scholarly articles and videos. Once students are ready to graduate, the college works closely to connect them with local employers that are hiring. A career services department is available to all students, and free career fairs for students and alumni are held twice a year.

As it prepares students for professional success, Rasmussen College instills in them the knowledge and skills they need to better their lives and have a profound influence in their communities. This is what defines Rasmussen College as a Public Benefit Corporation. The College focuses on connecting its students to local employers and expanding community initiatives through business partnerships, workforce insights and service opportunities for its employees. In 2014, Rasmussen College helped graduates fill more than 2,000 jobs in communities including Rockford, and its students have invested more than 10,000 hours of community service.


Private/Two-Year & Four-Year
Enrollment: 14,000 nationwide
Degrees: Associate, bachelor's, certificates and diplomas
On-campus Housing: No
Evening/Weekend/Online classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• 115-year history of providing exceptional career-focused education
• Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and carries several programmatic accreditations
• Leader in innovation in learning, such as Flex Choice, the College's competency-based education model
• Provider of flexible learning options
• Increased focus and commitment to providing affordable learning opportunities
• Employer-based internship/externship opportunities
• Hands-on learning delivered through small class sizes
• Industry-experienced faculty with real-world insight
• New, technologically advanced learning platforms
• Partnerships with more than 1,000 employers
• Strong student support services, including career services

Rockford University

5050 E. State St. • Rockford • rockford.edu

Rockford University, nestled on 150 park-like acres in the heart of Rockford, marks its 168th year in 2015. It’s the only private liberal arts institution in the Rock River Valley, and the only college in the Rockford area to offer a campus-based accredited MBA degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching.

The philosophy at Rockford University is that a liberal arts education prepares students not only for a solid career but also for a journey of lifelong learning. Its distinctive degrees and programs are grounded in liberal arts learning and complemented by professional and practical experience.

An education from Rockford University involves challenging and interdisciplinary coursework both inside and outside the classroom. Its students develop critical thinking skills, intellectual curiosity and self-guidance, in order to live within and adapt to a changing, global society.

Faculty members, most holding the highest degrees in their disciplines, show a commitment to the individual through their expertise and caring nature. Rockford University offers more than 80 majors, minors and concentrations, and students can pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees, along with various licensure and endorsement tracks through the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Student/faculty research is an important component of the learning environment, and one-on-one learning opportunities abound.

The Princeton Review named Rockford University a “College with a Conscience” in 2005, and for 11 years running, a “Best in the Midwest” college. For five consecutive years, it has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and it is one of just 11 colleges in Illinois – and 283 in the country – with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.

Rockford University offers its students many other opportunities to gain knowledge and experience. As part of NCAA Division III, the Rockford Regents compete in 13 men’s and women’s varsity sports. Many social and academic clubs and organizations are offered, along with intramural sports. Each year, the Forum Series presents a variety of thought-provoking speakers, events and performances.

The Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement provides many service-learning options, and the Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break allows students and faculty to spend their spring break taking part in Habitat for Humanity projects. All such moments open students’ minds to understanding different and complex perspectives, thus ultimately broadening their horizons.

The learning expectations of students – knowledge for understanding the world, values for envisioning the world, and skills for shaping the world – guide the purpose of Rockford University’s academic programs. Thus, the Rockford University experience leads to a life of active learning, personal development, professional growth and informed citizenship.

Rockford University alumni are exemplary leaders and shapers of their communities. Among its graduates are chiefs of police, captains of industry, champions of justice, Teachers of the Year, doctors who tested the first artificial heart valve in humans, scientists who invented fiber optics and LEDs, the current president of a national television network, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jane Addams.

The legacy of Rockford University can be found in nearly two centuries of graduates and more than 16,000 current alumni, taking lessons learned here out into the world.


Enrollment: 1,250 (degree and community programs)
Student/Instructor Ratio: 11:1
Programs: 80
Degrees: Undergraduate, Graduate, Certification
On-Campus Housing: Yes
Evening Classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• Quality liberal arts curriculum
• Four-year degrees and two-year graduate degrees
• Connections to Rockford and international communities
• Accelerated degree completion program in business
• Dedication to service learning and civic engagement
• Small class sizes for individual attention
• Financial aid awarded to more than 90 percent of students

Upper Iowa University-Rockford

1161 Tebala Blvd. • Rockford • uiu.edu

Upper Iowa University-Blackhawk Center

6004 S. County Road G • Janesville • uiu.edu

Since 1857, Upper Iowa University has been preparing students to succeed – in the classroom and in the world. That rich history, coupled with a student-centered mission, has created a springboard for Upper Iowa University to become a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through multiple flexible delivery systems, including face-to-face, online and self-paced study.

The Upper Iowa University Center in Rockford, which opened in 2008, has a current enrollment of approximately 150 students. The 13,000-square-foot building includes eight classrooms and a cutting-edge computer lab. Courses, held primarily in the evening, are offered during six eight-week terms, and taught by instructors who bring practical work experience to the classroom.

Upper Iowa University opened the Blackhawk Center at Blackhawk Technical College, in Janesville, in 1994; it serves about 250 students. Courses here are also offered during six eight-week terms and held in the evening. Full-time Upper Iowa University faculty members teach many classes, as well as adjunct faculty who draw on their practical experiences in the field.

The Upper Iowa University Center for Distance Education offers online courses for associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as post-graduate certificates. Its online undergraduate bachelor’s program has been ranked among the “Best in the Midwest” by U.S. News & World Report, which also ranked its online MBA program among the top 100 for 2015.

Further, its online MBA has been recognized as a best value by GetEducated.com, and Upper Iowa University has been named a top military-friendly school by Military Advanced Education for the seventh consecutive year. Upper Iowa University works with students to keep their college educations affordable. Students are encouraged to contact the financial aid department, where counselors will assist them in looking for any possible means of financial assistance.

Upper Iowa University offers 40 majors in all modalities; for a complete listing, visit uiu.edu. Some majors include:

• Accounting
• Business Administration
• Criminal Justice
• Health Services Administration
• Human Resources Management
• Human Services
• Management
• Psychology
• Marketing

Whether at its traditional campus in Fayette, Iowa, or one of its 20 educational centers in the U.S., students will find a professional faculty and staff that care about their success and work hard to provide the education they desire.


Enrollment: 150 Rockford/250 Blackhawk Center
Degrees: Bachelor's (Rockford & Blackhawk), certificate (Blackhawk)
On-campus Housing: No
Evening/Weekend/Online classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• World-class faculty with real-world experience
• Manageable eight-week terms
• Flexible scheduling, with evening classes offered Monday-Thursday
• High-quality education, close to home, with affordable tuition rates

University of Dubuque

2000 University Ave. • Dubuque, Iowa • dbq.edu

Since 1852, University of Dubuque has been providing students with an educational foundation for future success. With a seasoned faculty whose members average 10 to 20 years of experience, the university aids students in developing critical thinking abilities that serve them long after graduation.

Students can select from 40 programs that emphasize hands-on classroom learning reinforced with real-life experience. Small class sizes allow individual attention and guidance. In addition, the university’s Career Resources Center is dedicated to helping students explore their options and enter professional positions after graduation.

One element of distinction for the University of Dubuque is the formation of instruction through The Diamond Educational Model. This method of learning articulates the university’s mission to be one of the best small, private Christian colleges and universities. The Diamond Model begins with the university’s full awareness of the new demographic realities that shape 21st century higher education, including a high percentage of underprepared students, students working longer hours and higher debt loads. Four features of this model describe the university’s approach to excellence:

1. Holistic: The University of Dubuque intentionally designs and implements programming to promote learning in academics, community and character, stewardship and vocation.
2. Formational: The University extensively addresses both academic and co-curricular learning. Academic Affairs and Student Life work seamlessly together to enhance student growth, while faculty and staff are provided with opportunities for professional development.
3. Caringly Intrusive: The staff provides direct and candid communication about expectations.
4. Assessed: The University regularly gathers qualitative and quantitative data, and uses that information to continually improve programming.

In addition to academics, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of Division III sports through the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC). Men’s sports are baseball, basketball, cheer and stunt, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track and field, and wrestling; Women’s sports are basketball, cheer and stunt, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Beyond athletics, there are more than 65 student organizations in fine and performing arts, Greek life, governance, departmental organizations and special-interest organizations.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in study abroad, service learning and work-study programs, all of which challenge students to embrace lifelong learning in and out of the classroom. The University’s Career Services works with each student in developing a comprehensive four-year checklist that, in their third year, identifies and incorporates field experiences and internships into their resume.

Although change is constant, University of Dubuque prepares students to thrive in the changing world.


Enrollment: 2,000
Student/Instructor Ratio: 15:1
Programs: 40
Degrees: Associate, bachelor's, master's
On-campus housing: Yes
Evening classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• Excellent study abroad, service learning and work-study opportunities
• Strong programs in business, education, aviation, environmental science
• Opportunities through the Wendt Center for Character Education
• More than 65 student organizations and sports offered

University of Wisconsin-Rock County

2909 Kellogg Ave. • Janesville • rock.uwc.edu

University of Wisconsin-Rock County is a liberal arts transfer campus that has been providing students with solid foundations for academic success and educational and personal growth since 1966.

It is an institution of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System, which maintains 13 two-year liberal arts transfer campuses located throughout Wisconsin. At UW-Rock County, students can prepare for, or fulfill general education requirements in, more than 200 majors, and be guaranteed transfer to any of the UW System’s 13 four year schools, including UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Whitewater.

In addition, UW-Rock County offers an Associate of Arts and Science degree and more than 20 associate degree emphases, including computer science, engineering, pre-nursing and health science.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, UW-Rock County offers all of the benefits of larger colleges, while providing the close-knit community atmosphere of smaller institutions. Set on 50 rolling acres just blocks from the beautiful Rock River, its Janesville campus includes a fine arts center, a state-of-the-art engineering center, computer labs, sciences labs, a new library, a student help center, a bookstore and a commons area.

Students learn from a committed and accessible faculty, 96 percent of whom hold terminal degrees in their fields. Students also benefit from small class sizes that allow for individual attention. UW-Rock County students are well-prepared to transfer into the new Bachelor of Applied Arts & Sciences degree completion program or to transfer into other institutions.

Other colleges and universities in Wisconsin and throughout the country will accept credits earned here. UW-Rock County graduates have the highest graduation rate among all transfer students at UW institutions.

As part of the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference, UW-Rock County student athletes compete in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, co-ed soccer, co-ed tennis and fencing club. Campus government and dozens of clubs allow students to develop socialization and leadership skills while pursuing personal interests. Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Kappa Delta honor societies have campus branches.

The UW-Rock County Foundation gives out dozens of scholarships to UW-Rock County students totaling more than $60,000.UW-Rock County employs work-study students in various areas of the campus, like the library and Student Services.

UW-Rock County is also a welcoming place for adult students and veterans returning to school, who have a dedicated advisor and extracurricular clubs. The Continuing Education Office offers non-credit courses, trips and individualized and custom-made tutorials and training courses for workers and employers in the region.


Enrollment: 1,144 (Fall 2015)
Average Class Size: 22.3
Student/Instructor Ratio: 18:1
Programs: General Education requirements for more than 200 majors
Degrees: Associate’s, bachelor’s
On-Campus Housing: No
Evening Classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• Guaranteed credit transfer within the UW System
• Lowest tuition rate in the UW System
• Lower out-of-state tuition for Illinois and other states through the Midwest Student Exchange Program
• Dedicated faculty members at the top of their fields
• Small class sizes for individual attention

Western Illinois University

1 University Circle • Macomb, Ill. • wiu.edu

Established in 1899, Western Illinois University (WIU) is committed to academic excellence.

With a population of about 20,000, the city of Macomb’s small-town atmosphere is free of distractions, allowing students to take full advantage of WIU’s supportive learning environment. Set on more than 1,000 acres, WIU’s campus supports an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 11,000. About 44 percent of the student body lives on campus.

Students can pursue 67 undergraduate degrees, 36 graduate degrees and two doctoral degrees, along with several professional and post-baccalaureate certifications. Some of its most popular programs are its most distinctive, with renowned opportunities in sports broadcasting, meteorology, forensic chemistry and law enforcement.

The average class size is 21, allowing students to take full advantage of WIU’s knowledgeable and committed faculty, 68 percent of whom hold terminal degrees in their fields. Full-time professors have an average tenure of 16 years.

WIU has been recognized as a “Best Midwestern College” by The Princeton Review; ranked among only 39 public universities as a top-tier “Best Regional University” by U.S. News & World Report; and designated a “Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs Magazine.

As part of the Summit League and the Missouri Valley Football Conference, the NCAA Division I school competes in 18 sports, nine for men and nine for women. In addition, there are nearly 250 student organizations, including national fraternities and sororities, athletics and intramural and club sports, academic honoraries, service clubs, specific interest clubs and more.

Students at WIU have the opportunity to study abroad, through group study options or exchange programs between the university and other international institutions.

In keeping with WIU’s core values of personal growth and social responsibility, students are provided with service learning opportunities such as tutoring at local elementary schools or participating in Habitat for Humanity. During the 2014-15 school year, student groups logged more than 13,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $70,000 for nonprofit and charitable organizations.

WIU also offers a cost guarantee, meaning that the rate paid when a student enters is fixed for each year of continuous enrollment, including fees and room and board. A number of scholarships are available as well. In-state tuition is provided to students from Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri. WIU’s Student Employment, a division of financial aid, administers employment programs for approximately 2,300 students through Regular Employment and Federal Work-Study.

WIU: A cutting-edge, quality education provided by faculty at the top of their fields, pursued in state-of-art facilities with up-to-the-minute technology; personal growth through participation in student organizations; leadership growth through service learning opportunities; all offered in a quiet, small-town atmosphere.


Enrollment: 11,094 (Fall 2015)
Average Class Size: 21
Student/InstructorRatio: 15:1
Degrees: undergraduate, graduate, doctorate, certificate
On-Campus Housing: Yes
Evening Classes: Yes

Areas of Strength

• Long-term, dedicated faculty at the top of their fields
• Small class sizes for individual attention
• Commitment to service learning
• In-state tuition for Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri
• Exclusive Cost Guarantee
• Automatic scholarship opportunities