calculatorMore students from diverse backgrounds will now be able to become accounting professionals thanks to a new partnership between the City Colleges of Chicago and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The partnership will focus on improving access for students who want to pursue accounting but don’t want to leave Chicago. Southern Illinois University Carbondale has entered an agreement with City Colleges of Chicago that will allow students in Chicago to pursue a bachelor’s degree from SIU while staying in Chicago. Both institutions of higher education say they hope it’ll help draw more students of color to the field of accounting. The National Association of Black Accountants says fewer than 9% of accountants and auditors are Black. Illinois is taking the lead in expanding professional access to historically underrepresented groups.

Students participating in the program will pay the first two years of tuition at their community college rate. Following graduation with an associate’s degree from the community college, students can go on to complete their SIU bachelor’s degrees online without leaving Chicago. After completing their first two years in their community college, students will receive a $4,000 scholarship once they transfer to Southern Illinois University for their final two years.

This recent initiative is part of a broader effort made by SIU to expand its joint programs with participating community colleges across the state.  On Oct. 4, SIU Carbondale entered agreements with Harper College, Oakton Community College and Harold Washington College, part of City Colleges of Chicago. The signing ceremonies were part of a larger SIU Carbondale initiative, called the “Saluki Takeover Tour: Chicago.” Representatives of SIU Carbondale met with school administrators, alumni groups and others to improve access for students and build partnerships in the Windy City. The agreements with Harper College and Oakton College, in suburban Cook County, will give qualified community college students the option to earn their bachelor’s degrees remotely and at a lower cost in six academic programs: accounting, business and administration, health care management, radiologic sciences, criminology and criminal justice, and psychology. Beginning next year, Illinois students will have more educational opportunities that they may not have thought were available to them before.

SIU Student ServicesSouthern Illinois University Carbondale has stopped their downward trend in enrollment by bringing in their largest freshman class in five years. This fall, 1,422 Salukis are starting their college career, bringing an increase of 4.5% from previous years.

“Our faculty, staff, students and alums have gone above and beyond to change the downward trajectory of the declines we have experienced since 2016,” said SIU Carbondale Chancellor Austin Lane. “I want to personally thank each of them for rallying around enrollment and working tirelessly to show the unique opportunities future Salukis have. Today’s news is the result of all that effort.”

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EIU CampusFrom 2020 to 2021, Eastern Illinois University saw a 13 percent increase in its spring enrollment. This enrollment increase is even larger than the 2018 to 2020 increase of nine percent.

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university 2540633 960 720In 2020, enrollment in Illinois’ public universities have seen an increase of 417 new students. That is a 0.2% increase from 2019, while most states saw decreases. The chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, John Atkinson, complimented the resilience of Illinois’s institutions of higher education and their leadership.

It was predicted that University enrollment would drop a whopping 25% nationwide in the summer and fall. Illinois beat those odds and managed to increase its university enrollment.

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DNA strandNov. 8 is National STEM Day! STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The I-STEM Education Initiative at the University of Illinois aims to foster accessible, effective STEM teaching and learning—from preschool through graduate education—at local, state and national levels. I-STEM strives to prepare a diverse STEM workforce to tackle pressing global challenges. This campus coalition wishes to foster STEM citizenship through communication and public engagement, foster ungraduated and graduate STEM education reform, and advocate for STEM education.

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