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EIU Consolidates Off-site Locations in Greater Chicago

Jan-16-2014

Eastern Illinois University announced today that it is consolidating some of its off-campus locations in the greater Chicago area to better serve students.

“In the past, we’ve held classes in multiple locations, and found that Triton Community College and the University Center of Lake County are most effective, allowing to provide more undergraduate classes and more personalized service,” said Blair Lord, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

“We have full-time staff members serving the University Center and Triton locations and both facilities are very good about providing classrooms and other support as needed,” Lord said. "While most of our students attend classes at the university’s main campus in Charleston, we do have a number of students in Chicago working to complete degrees through our school of continuing education.”

“Those students have generally taken a few courses at a time -- often from a variety of colleges,” Lord said. The EIU program allows them to consolidate those credits and use them toward a bachelor of arts in general studies.

“We also work with students to earn college credit for work experience and training they have received outside of the classroom,” he said. “When you put those programs together, many of our BGS students find they are far closer to a bachelor’s degree than they thought.”

One of the programs being consolidated into the Triton location is the arrangement with the American Indian Association of Illinois. That program started more than seven years ago with a modest cohort of students. However, that cohort never grew to a sustainable size and Lord said the university just can’t afford to maintain it separately.

“We will continue to provide the necessary classes for the remaining students in that program,” he said, “and anyone from that community is more than welcome to join our larger program at Triton -- approximately 14 miles away from the current location.”

Lord said that the program with AIAI will not close immediately, but that the organization is being given the one year notice required under the guidelines of the university’s accrediting body -- the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. In addition, he emphasized that current students, and any other students who might come out of the AIAI relationship, will be given the university’s support.

“We are committed to these students as we are committed to all EIU students and we will provide them with every possible opportunity to complete their education with us,” Lord said.

The students in the AIAI program -- like all students in the BGS program throughout the greater Chicago area -- have access to face-to-face classes and online classes in completing their bachelor’s degree.

“We work with every BGS student to help them mold a program that helps them complete their degree in the shortest possible time and also gives them the greatest benefit in their work life,” Lord said. “We’re confident that our centers in the area -- including our center at Triton Community College -- are well suited to help everyone in the greater Chicago area who wants to pursue the completion of a bachelor’s degree.”