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 (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.
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.
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
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 to succeed. 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. 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.
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.
Student/Teacher Ratio: 23:1
Programs: 7 associate, 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
At Northern Illinois University (NIU), students are offered the best of both worlds. They have the resources and breadth of a large university with the culture, mindset and accessibility of a smaller college. NIU takes a student-centered approach that provides students with the resources, tools and guidance they need to build an educational experience that is rewarding, transformative and often as unique as the individual learner. Through internships, mentorships, research and artistry opportunities, study abroad, more than 200 student organizations and more, the faculty and staff work hard to provide students with life-changing opportunities.
Additionally, 240,000 alumni worldwide (more than half of whom live in the Chicagoland area), help drive the success of NIU students. Through job shadowing, internships, mentorships and careers, NIU alumni take an active role in facilitating real-world, engaging experiences that help ensure that students succeed.
The main campus in DeKalb – 65 miles west of Chicago and 45 miles southeast of Rockford – offers more than 100 options in undergraduate, graduate- and doctoral- level programs within seven colleges (Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Law, Liberal Arts and Sciences and Visual and Performing Arts). NIU also offers programming at regional centers in Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Oregon and Rockford, where working professionals can access programs at convenient times and locations.
Students can take advantage of a new program known as NIU PLUS (short for Progressive Learning in Undergraduate Studies). NIU PLUS allows students to customize their learning experience in three areas: general education requirements, hands-on learning experiences outside the classroom, and the student’s on- or off-campus job.
Within NIU PLUS, Academics PLUS allows students to blaze their own trail by customizing general education courses according to personal interests, career aspirations or major areas of study. Secondly, Engage PLUS ensures that students are recognized for their experiential-learning activities that take place outside the classroom. Working with faculty or staff mentors, or career supervisors, students can create a structured experience unique to their goals and interests. Finally, Jobs PLUS is designed to help students build a bridge between their college job and post-graduation career. Jobs PLUS regularly hosts professional development events open to all NIU students.
An NIU education is nationally recognized in quality, nationally ranked in value and aimed at providing students with personal, career and life success. When you become a Huskie, you have the opportunity to build your own life while you’re here – and create the foundation for achieving career success when you graduate.
Enrollment: More than 21,000
Student/Instructor Ratio: 18:1
Programs: 57 undergrad, 80 grad (20 doctoral)
Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate
On-Camps Housing: Yes
Evening Classes: Yes
Areas of Strength
• Departments ranked among top in the nation
• Top-ranked Master of Public Administration program
• Acclaimed, dedicated international & national faculty
• Off-campus and online class offerings
Northern Illinois University - MBA Program
Main Campus: 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy. • DeKalb • cob.niu.edu
Naperville Campus: 1120 E. Diehl Road • Naperville • cob.niu.edu
Chicago Campus: 105 W. Madison St. • Chicago • cob.niu.edu
Founded in 1895 as a state teachers college, Northern Illinois University (NIU) today is a comprehensive teaching and research institution with nearly 22,000 students, located near a vibrant research and development corridor. Students can choose from 57 undergraduate majors, 71 minors and 80 graduate programs, including 20 doctoral degrees in seven colleges.
Regional educational sites in Hoffman Estates, Naperville and Rockford provide convenient access to NIU programs. Additionally, NIU Naperville and NIU Hoffman Estates allow working professionals to balance a job and graduate school through its part-time MBA programs.
The part-time Evening MBA is ideally suited for those in mid-career. Consistently recognized as one of the best MBA programs within the Chicago market by Crain’s Chicago Business, NIU’s Evening MBA allows students to attain new knowledge and skills and immediately apply them to their current positions. Students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively in a rapidly changing business environment and become leaders within their organizations. The broad offering of electives provide for both personal and professional development.
Designed for maximum flexibility, the evening format allows busy adults to obtain a ranked and accredited MBA that’s self-paced to their personal schedules. The program is offered for spring, summer and fall semesters. Classes are held one night a week, Monday through Thursday, and students can take one, two or three courses per semester.
The Fast-Trak MBA, offered on NIU’s main campus in DeKalb, is designed for students who want to continue their education directly out of their undergraduate program. The Fast-Trak is a full-time, daytime program and allows students to complete their MBA in just 12 months. Additionally, students may earn a second degree in Master of International Business through study abroad experiences in the fall and spring semesters. Students learn business leadership principles, preparing them for their careers.
NIU’s One-Year MBA, offered at NIU Hoffman Estates, is designed for the working professional with a minimum of three years’ experience and an undergraduate business degree. The 12-month program begins in January, with classes offered two nights a week. It provides enhanced learning through the broad professional class make-up, the cohort experience and a rigorous curriculum delivered on an accelerated timetable. Students take part in a nine-day international trip to gain a global perspective.
Because of the rigorous and intense nature of the program, NIU provides administrative support in the form of class registration and delivery of books and academic materials.
The College of Business introduced the Chicago MBA in Fall 2016, offered in the Chicago Loop. Similar to the One-Year MBA, the Chicago MBA is a 12-month program designed for working professionals with an undergraduate business degree. The accelerated cohort format will begin each August and includes an international experience.
For those in senior-level management, NIU’s Executive MBA program at NIU Hoffman Estates provides a curriculum that’s specifically designed to build on a base of managerial experience. Each EMBA class is treated as a microcosm of the business world. Key elements include a balanced mix of professional peers – all students have 10 to 15 years’ work experience – and a broad representation of industries. All individuals begin the program together, sharing the same educational experience and taking the same courses, in the same sequence, for the duration of the program.
MBA faculty are selected from the nationally recognized College of Business for their teaching ability, consulting experience and commitment to educating professionals. Many hold doctorates in their field of expertise. The faculty’s knowledge of business management principles and current business practices combine to create a stimulating and challenging classroom experience.
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.
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
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
Since 1857, Upper Iowa University has been preparing students to succeed – in the classroom and throughout the world. A 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 online and self-paced studies.
The Upper Iowa University Center in Rockford opened in 2008. 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 8-week terms, and are taught by instructors who bring practical work experience to the classroom.
In 1994, Upper Iowa University opened the Blackhawk Center at Blackhawk Technical College, Janesville. Courses are also offered here in the evenings during six 8-week terms. 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’s Center for Distance Education offers online courses for associate, 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.
In addition to its MBA program being recognized as a Best Value by GetEducated.com, Upper Iowa University has been named a Top Military-Friendly School by Military Advanced Education.
Upper Iowa University works with students to keep their college education affordable. Students are encouraged to contact its 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:
Health Services Administration
Human Resources Management
Whether at its traditional campus in Fayette, Iowa, or one of its 25 educational centers in the U.S., students will find professional faculty and staff who care about their success and work hard to provide the education they desire.
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.
Student/Instructor Ratio: 15:1
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 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
Established in 1899, Western Illinois University (WIU) is committed to academic excellence.
With a population of around 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.