Every year, seniors in college start to weigh what their options could be if they attend a graduate program. Many factors are considered when making that decision. Illinois schools have tried to take those factors into consideration and have been ranked highly recently for offering some of the best graduate programs in the country.

Recently, the U.S. News & World Report revealed rankings for graduate school programs. The rankings are intended to help prospective students when they are looking for a graduate program of their choice. The disciplines included in the ratings are business, law, engineering, education, medicine and nursing.

Illinois was well represented throughout the rankings.

UChicago Booth SchoolThe University of Chicago Booth School of BusinessThe University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern both ranked in the top five nationwide in schools to receive a master of business administration degree.

Northwestern also received a top 10 ranking for law and education. The University of Chicago joined Northwestern as a top 10 school for a law degree as well ranking No. 3 nationwide.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also was awarded with a top 10 ranking for those looking to get a graduate degree in engineering.

Graduate students across the country and world attend Illinois schools to get a top-notch education. With these most recent rankings, that does not look like it will end any time soon.

Pulliam Hall SIUSouthern Illinois University Carbondale was recently recognized for the outstanding services it provides for non-traditional students. The NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education honored the college with the 2016 Annual Outstanding Undergraduate Adult Learner Program.

The university’s adult learner population is more than 30 percent of its total student population, and SIUC houses the Non-Traditional Student Services (NTSS) office. Deborah Barnett, who works with non-traditional student services, says that the award shows a longstanding commitment of the university.

“SIU has a longstanding history of support for adult learners,” Barnett said. “In addition, SIU’s history of supporting veteran and military-connected students is shown through numerous annual awards and being designated a Military-Friendly School.”

That office provides a variety of services to students who are financially independent, have delayed college enrollment rather than attending right after high school or are returning to college after interrupting their higher education.

One way in which the program has excelled is the way it attempts to communicate with adult learners. The NTSS office communicates through social media providing short videos like the “Monday Morning Minute.”

It also provides study spaces for students with children and an opportunity for family ID cards, which allow family members to receive necessary campus services.

“We have a lot to be proud of at SIU and in the state of Illinois,” Barnett said. “Even though we face challenges in Illinois, SIU is committed to serving students with excellence.”

Excellence in working with non-traditional students has become the norm at Southern Illinois University. It is just one reason it is a top-tier college in Illinois. Congratulations to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

inthenews internetInternet access is an invaluable resource. Without it many of our students are unprepared for the future that awaits them in college classrooms, professional careers and everyday life. In decades prior, access to online information was not as widespread or important as it is now.

The EducationSuperHighway 2016 State of States Annual Report found that 83 percent of Illinois School districts representing 1,099,120 students met connectivity goals. The progress made last year tops the 71 percent of school districts with acceptable internet in 2015. The schools and libraries universal service support program, also known as the E-rate program, helps schools and libraries  get affordable broadband.

Read more ...

Loyola University ChicagoOne of the hardest things for many members of the military when re-acclimating to civilian life is to start or go back into schooling. Some even have been out of school for decades when they decide to return to finish a degree or start a new one. Many schools throughout Illinois are taking steps to make that transition easier.

Victory Media is an organization that has been working with schools and employers throughout the country to make the transition from military life to civilian life much easier. Recently, they announced their list of the top military friendly schools throughout the country.

Victory Media used multiple metrics to determine who the best of the best were. Some metrics for schools include student veteran retention, graduation, job placement and loan repayment. Schools were recognized for the support services they provide to veteran students throughout their degrees.

Nearly 40 Illinois schools were awarded the honor of being military friendly. Loyola University in Chicago was awarded the highest honor by being declared a top 10 graduate school for how military friendly it was.

If schools were within 20 percent of the top 10 scores, they received a gold medal. The following Illinois schools were gold medal recipients: Illinois State University, Richard J. Daley College, Robert Morris University Illinois and Western Illinois University.

For the complete list of military friendly schools, click here.

Photo Courtesy of University of Illinois at Springfield Athletic DepartmentTalon Supak’s junior year at the University of Illinois at Springfield ended on a high note this spring.

He became the first individual UIS student to qualify for an NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament and represented the UIS Prairie Stars at the NCAA Division II National Golf Championship in Denver in May.

Supak was born and raised in Washington near Peoria. He lived in Japan for three years until his sophomore year of high school, when he moved back to Illinois to play high school golf and earned a college golf scholarship.

Supak chose UIS because of the opportunity it provided him to play the highest quality competition available to him, but he also understood the importance of a quality education.

“The academics of the school were very enticing since I would be able to earn a U of I degree,” he said.

Supak enjoys UIS because of its size and class offerings.

“I am able to know and communicate with most of my classmates,” Supak said. “The faculty also respects and understands that I will miss class due to golf tournaments and they ensure that I am able to complete my assignments and keep up in class.”


Supak became the first golfer to qualify for nationals by winning his regional championship in Michigan in early May.

“It was a huge honor to represent UIS at the National Championships,” he said. “To be recognized as the first of what will be many teams and individuals to make it to nationals is a great privilege.”

As a lifelong resident of Illinois and a golf enthusiast, Supak said he has come to appreciate the state’s unique weather and seasons.

“My favorite thing about Illinois is the vast type of weather that we receive each season,” he said. “Applying specifically to golf, I felt that I have become a better player since I have played in all types of climates.”

After he completes his bachelor’s degree, Supak plans to remain at UIS for another year to take enough classes to be able to sit for his Certified Public Accounting exam. But after his education he would like to become a professional golfer.

Photo Courtesy of University of Illinois at Springfield Athletic Department

facebooktwitteryoutube