WIU revises admissions criteria

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Monday

Oct 14, 2019 at 5:49 PM

MACOMB/MOLINE — Western Illinois University has revised its admissions criteria for students applying to WIU for 2020, according to a news release from the university. Students with a high school diploma and a 3.3 or higher high school grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) will be automatically admitted to WIU. Western is one of just two public institutions in the state that are test-optional in regard to college admissions.

"We are committed to admitting students whose academic records indicate a high potential for success," said Director of Undergraduate Admissions Doug Freed. "We are emphasizing a student’s high school grade point average as a highly important factor for their success."

Students with a GPA less than 3.3, but at least 2.0, will be requested to submit SAT/ACT scores for admissions consideration.

"Standardized tests are not necessarily a reflection of how successful a student is, or can be," added Interim President Martin Abraham. "We feel that the grade point average is a good indicator of a student’s academic ability as the GPA encompasses not just grades achieved on exams, but for projects, homework and more. It’s a reflection of the work a student puts into his/her overall schoolwork in order to be successful. I’m pleased that we’re able to make the Western Illinois University experience a more open and viable option for prospective students."

Another change for incoming freshmen is an enhanced Western Commitment Scholarship program, which automatically awards $3,000 to 8,000 each year to incoming freshmen with excellent academic ability and achievement in high school. In addition, Western has revised the transfer scholarship program, increasing the award to $2,500 and making the scholarship available for part-time students.

Western has also launched several new scholarships, which will be announced Wednesday. Prospective freshmen interested in being considered for the automatic scholarships available at WIU can apply at wiu.edu/apply. More information on WIU scholarships (automatic and donor designated application-based scholarships) can be found at wiu.edu/scholarships.

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via Daily Review Atlas

October 14, 2019 at 07:41PM

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WIU revises admissions criteria

WGLT experiencing exciting changes – News – Illinois State

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For the past year, WGLT, ISU’s NPR affiliate housed under the School of Communication, has experienced significant changes and anticipating exciting new opportunities on the horizon. This unique moment for WGLT includes a recently merging with another station, securing prestigious awards, and hosting a special “Radio Faces” event.

On June 1, 2019, WGLT assumed operations of the Bradley University radio station, WCBU-FM in Peoria. Because ISU’s WGLT has seen remarkable success in the last seven years by preserving local programming and news and WCBU was at risk of losing its localism, the merger seemed like a promising idea that has now become a reality.

As WGLT General Manager R. C. McBride explains, “Operational roles will be combined with staff in Bloomington-Normal, but there will be staff committed solely to WCBU and they will be housed on Bradley’s campus.” This means that both stations will still retain their separate call letters and FM frequencies, but the programmatic, personnel, and financial operations will be streamlined.

According to Executive Director of the School of Communication Steve Hunt this relationship “benefits both stations and universities, but it also shows how WGLT’s success has made it uniquely poised to be a leader for Illinois radio.”

WGLT’s recent success transcends its leadership position and capability to secure local programming. At the 2019 Illinois State Civic Engagement Celebration, WGLT was honored with the Unit/Department Award for civic engagement. WGLT and the School of Communication are extremely proud to have been recognized for WGLT’s outstanding contributions to civic engagement and demonstrating the university’s core value. The award highlights WGLT’s local election forums and hosting a series of Community Conversations that brought community members together for discussions on gun violence, journalism, and youth mental health.

Additionally, in the past year WGLT has won a number of prestigious Associated Press (AP) awards, including Best Investigative Report (Ryan Denham and Mary Cullen for their piece on “police diverge on approach to speeding tickets”), Best Reporter (Ryan Denham), Best Series of Documentary (second place for “Skipping School: Illinois’ Teacher Shortage”), Best Newscast (Charlie Schlenker), Best Sports Report (second place for Eric Stock’s “Friday Night Lights Out: Football’s Uncertain Future”), and Best Digital Presence (second place for recognizing excellence in overall content). The station was also recognized as the “Outstanding News Operation,” that evaluators called “a clear winner in an otherwise difficult category to judge.” Since 1997, WGLT has received over 100 Illinois AP journalism awards.

Lastly, WGLT is proud to announce it will be hosting its annual “Radio Faces” event that features a nationally-acclaimed NPR correspondent. This year WGLT invited Korva Coleman for the 15th annual affair. The evening brings together academics, journalists, and local organizations to network and recognize NPR’s important work. It is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial. This year’s guest of honor, Korva Coleman, has been with NPR since 1990 and currently serves as a newscaster, most often heard during “Morning Edition.”

For more information or to become involved, please visit the WGLT webpage.

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via News – Illinois State

October 10, 2019 at 10:33PM

WGLT experiencing exciting changes – News – Illinois State

WGLT experiencing exciting changes – News – Illinois State

https://ift.tt/2pd5jlS

For the past year, WGLT, ISU’s NPR affiliate housed under the School of Communication, has experienced significant changes and anticipating exciting new opportunities on the horizon. This unique moment for WGLT includes a recently merging with another station, securing prestigious awards, and hosting a special “Radio Faces” event.

On June 1, 2019, WGLT assumed operations of the Bradley University radio station, WCBU-FM in Peoria. Because ISU’s WGLT has seen remarkable success in the last seven years by preserving local programming and news and WCBU was at risk of losing its localism, the merger seemed like a promising idea that has now become a reality.

As WGLT General Manager R. C. McBride explains, “Operational roles will be combined with staff in Bloomington-Normal, but there will be staff committed solely to WCBU and they will be housed on Bradley’s campus.” This means that both stations will still retain their separate call letters and FM frequencies, but the programmatic, personnel, and financial operations will be streamlined.

According to Executive Director of the School of Communication Steve Hunt this relationship “benefits both stations and universities, but it also shows how WGLT’s success has made it uniquely poised to be a leader for Illinois radio.”

WGLT’s recent success transcends its leadership position and capability to secure local programming. At the 2019 Illinois State Civic Engagement Celebration, WGLT was honored with the Unit/Department Award for civic engagement. WGLT and the School of Communication are extremely proud to have been recognized for WGLT’s outstanding contributions to civic engagement and demonstrating the university’s core value. The award highlights WGLT’s local election forums and hosting a series of Community Conversations that brought community members together for discussions on gun violence, journalism, and youth mental health.

Additionally, in the past year WGLT has won a number of prestigious Associated Press (AP) awards, including Best Investigative Report (Ryan Denham and Mary Cullen for their piece on “police diverge on approach to speeding tickets”), Best Reporter (Ryan Denham), Best Series of Documentary (second place for “Skipping School: Illinois’ Teacher Shortage”), Best Newscast (Charlie Schlenker), Best Sports Report (second place for Eric Stock’s “Friday Night Lights Out: Football’s Uncertain Future”), and Best Digital Presence (second place for recognizing excellence in overall content). The station was also recognized as the “Outstanding News Operation,” that evaluators called “a clear winner in an otherwise difficult category to judge.” Since 1997, WGLT has received over 100 Illinois AP journalism awards.

Lastly, WGLT is proud to announce it will be hosting its annual “Radio Faces” event that features a nationally-acclaimed NPR correspondent. This year WGLT invited Korva Coleman for the 15th annual affair. The evening brings together academics, journalists, and local organizations to network and recognize NPR’s important work. It is sponsored by COUNTRY Financial. This year’s guest of honor, Korva Coleman, has been with NPR since 1990 and currently serves as a newscaster, most often heard during “Morning Edition.”

For more information or to become involved, please visit the WGLT webpage.

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via News – Illinois State

October 10, 2019 at 10:33PM

WGLT experiencing exciting changes – News – Illinois State

Bailey tours EIU with Glassman

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State Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, met with Eastern Illinois University (EIU) president David Glassman and toured the campus. Currently, there are almost 400 students enrolled at EIU who either went to high school or transferred from community colleges within the 109th House District represented by Rep. Bailey.

“I appreciate President Glassman taking the time to meet with me to discuss a variety of issues including higher education funding and where we go from here with priorities for Eastern,” said Bailey. “The health and well-being of Eastern Illinois University is important to me specifically because over 5 percent of the student body comes from my district,” Bailey added.

Eastern Illinois University offers 51 undergraduate degree programs, 32 graduate degree programs and 10 certificate programs in various fields of study from biological sciences, education, rural studies, and aging studies, to military science, religious studies, political science and Pre-Medicine. Some of the notable alumni of EIU include former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, professional sports figure Tony Romo, and Academy Award winner Burl Ives. To learn more about Eastern Illinois University you may find information on-line at www.eiu.edu.

“I care about the programs offered, the learning environment and the financial stability of this important institution in our state and I’m impressed with President Glassman’s focus for EIU adhering to Midwestern values and having the best value for the dollar of any college in Illinois,” concluded Rep. Bailey.

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via Effingham Daily News

October 9, 2019 at 08:48PM

Bailey tours EIU with Glassman

Bryant, Severin issue FAFSA reminder, tout increased funding for MAP grants

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CARBONDALE — State Reps. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and Dave Severin (R-Benton) are reminding high school, college, and nontraditional students planning to attend college next school year that Oct. 1 was the first day to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal government for consideration.

The Southern Illinois Republican legislators are both members of the Illinois House Committees on Higher Education and Higher Education Appropriations. Rep. Terri Bryant says submitting a FAFSA as soon as possible makes financial sense, and can help students planning to attend college get a leg up on the stiff competition for student aid dollars.

"The FAFSA evaluates family finances to help determine a family or individual’s ability to pay for college," Bryant said. "My advice to prospective students is to get those FAFSAs turned in as soon as you can so you can make plans for your educational future."

"Establishing some financial certainty for yourself concerning how you will afford the upcoming school year is a critical part of a successful educational journey," Severin said. "Whether you plan to go to John A. Logan College or Southern Illinois University, filling out the FAFSA is the first step to knowing what kind of assistance you may be eligible for."

The website to file a FAFSA, and to find more information is: https://ift.tt/1IEilWa.

During the final days of the 2019 spring legislative session, Bryant and Severin cast Yes votes for a balanced FY 2020 budget package that included increases for higher education funding and financial assistance.

The legislators supported a 5 percent funding increase to universities and community colleges, an additional $50 million for MAP grants, and an additional $10 million toward AIM HIGH scholarships.

"I am proud to have been part of negotiations that produced a truly balanced budget that also invests in Southern Illinois University, and the entire state higher education system," Severin said. "Illinois Universities have endured years of budget cuts and financial uncertainty. The investments we’ve made as a result of the FY 2020 balanced budget will help keep our institutions on the cutting edge, keep them competitive with neighboring states, and increase accessibility for students from lower-income homes."

"During my time in Springfield, I have always fought hard for SIU Carbondale," Bryant said. "This past year, Rep. Severin and I joined forces in the House to demand an increase in funding for both community colleges and universities, and to increase funding for MAP grants and merit-based scholarships through the AIM HIGH program. AIM HIGH encourages Illinois students to attend an in-state university, improves access for low-income students, and incentivizes students to be excellent. With these tools in place, and some fiscal certainty, Illinois’ can become a more competitive state in terms of college access and affordability."

The Illinois College 2 Career website is a newer tool for students to find Illinois colleges that best fit their educational priorities and career goals within the state. The website’s address is https://ift.tt/2ASG23c.

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via The Daily Republican

October 9, 2019 at 06:54AM

Bryant, Severin issue FAFSA reminder, tout increased funding for MAP grants

Statewide: Illinois’ Enrollment Exodus

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Many Illinois colleges and universities are struggling to attract and keep students. The problem, along with what some are doing about it, is outlined in the Illinois public radio series Enrollment Exodus. On this episode of Statewide, we hear those reports from journalists throughout Illinois. This week’s lineup: * Sean Crawford talks with Jenna Dooley of WNIJ, who served as coordinator for the series. She gives an overview of the problem and what the reporting uncovered. * Rich Egger of TriStates Public Radio reports how the loss of students is impacting the area surrounding the campus of Western Illinois University. * Charlie Schlenker of WGLT talks with Jana Albrecht from Illinois State University’s Office of Enrollment. She gives some reasons why ISU enrollment has been able to hold steady while other schools are seeing a drop-off. * Dusty Rhodes with NPR Illinois tells how Chinese students play a crucial role on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. * Jennifer

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via WVIK Podcasts https://www.wvik.org

October 8, 2019 at 04:32PM

Statewide: Illinois’ Enrollment Exodus

WIU interim president: Despite budget cuts ‘we are not laying anyone off’

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MACOMB — A new budget. Reports on enrollment and retention. Confidential audio tapes slated for release, and many more still secret.

Those were focal points for the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees, which met on Thursday and Friday for the first time since June.

The newly approved 2020 fiscal year budget includes an overall decrease in spending of about 9%. But Martin Abraham, whom the board named interim university president on Thursday, said he wanted “to be absolutely clear: we are not laying anyone off.”

Though student enrollment at WIU has fallen precipitously over the last decade, university leaders were upbeat about the university’s future. Retention inched up over the last year, and the university has launched initiatives to boost the size of the student body.

“The enrollment challenge will not be solved overnight,” Doug Freed, director of undergraduate admissions, told the trustees. “We want to talk about moving forward here, not continually reliving the past.”

The unanimously-approved fiscal year 2020 budget totals $210.6 million. That’s a decrease of about 9% since the $231.3 million budget of fiscal year 2019. The decrease is consistent with the overall enrollment loss of 10% over the last year.

Most of the budget cuts come from “personal services,” which includes university salaries, and will be slashed by $17.8 million.

Abraham said the personal services cuts will come from vacant positions that the university will decline to fill.

The new budget includes $49.6 million in state-appropriated funds, an increase of 5% from the year before but still below the fiscal year 2015 level.

The largest dropoff in revenues come from “university income funds,” which includes tuition. In fiscal year 2018, university income funds had $81.2 million. In the 2020 budget, those funds have been reduced to $58.9 million.

REPORTS ON ENROLLMENT, RETENTION

The board also received new reports on enrollment and retention, which summarize university efforts to attract more students and keep them through graduation.

Despite the dour news about enrollment — including a 12% drop in undergrads between 2018 and 2019 — retention showed positive results over the last year.

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The freshmen-to-sophomore retention rate increased from 65.3% to 67.5%. The 6-year graduation rate increased from 46.2% to 50.5%, according to university figures.

Still, to the frustration of university leaders and students, racial gaps persist on campus. The reports show that one in seven black freshmen who entered Western Illinois University in 2015 graduated in four years. That’s one-third the rate of white students.

In June, the university’s first black president, Jack Thomas, resigned amid a heated public campaign for his removal. Some Macomb residents, WIU faculty and alumni called the anti-Thomas campaign racist.

On Friday, Abraham emphasized that the retention numbers by race don’t tell the full story. “It’s not exclusively a race-based issue,” he said about retention, emphasizing how other aspects of student identity — including first-generation status, socioeconomics or class, age and other factors — also influence success on campus in ways that are often not quantified.

According to the reports, the most common reasons students don’t return to campus are transferring to another college or university, financial constraints and military obligations.

To improve retention, Abraham convened a “tiger team” that developed 15 action items. One is the newly developed Leatherneck Care Referral program, in which families, students, faculty, and staff can submit concerns on behalf of WIU students. In the first five weeks of the semester, the program identified 85 students for follow-up or intervention by Student Services staff.

The university is also tracking down students with an above-average number of class absences and redesigning a voluntary mentorship program for students who may need additional support.

One new proposal involves admissions. The Faculty Senate is poised to vote on a plan that includes automatically admitting applicants with a grade-point average of 3.30 or higher, according to Christopher Pynes, chair of the WIU Faculty Senate. The plan aims to admit more high schoolers with high GPAs and low test scores.

After a determination by the Illinois Attorney General found that the old board repeatedly violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act, the WIU board voted Friday to release four hours of illegal tapes and to keep secret four years worth of other closed sessions.

The trustees have not released closed session minutes since late 2015.

The board’s agenda had included a proposal to destroy verbatim records from four meetings in 2017. But that proposal was struck down in a unanimous vote, sparing the recordings.

“We are keeping everything,” said board chair Polly Radosh. “At some later date, we may review it again. We may make another decision. We may archive it. We don’t know what we’re going to do. We’ll kick the can down the road on this one and decide later.”

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via Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline

October 4, 2019 at 09:32PM

WIU interim president: Despite budget cuts ‘we are not laying anyone off’