SPRINGFIELD -- The University of Illinois at Springfield has won a major national award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching & Learning Programming from the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C). UIS' exceptional leadership in advancing online education was cited in the announcement from Boston Monday.
"For UIS to receive a national award of this magnitude for excellence among the thousands of colleges and universities with online programs across the country is most extraordinary," said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. "This award illustrates our commitment to three primary strategic goals -- academic excellence, enriching individual lives, and making a difference in the world."
The Sloan Consortium, comprised of more than 1,200 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning, is a national organization dedicated to quality online teaching. It was created with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The award to UIS was among six given by the Consortium this year for exceptional online education. UIS was the only institution to receive an award for institution-wide teaching and learning programming.
"This award is especially significant because of the credentials of the selection committee, including university and association presidents of the highest caliber," said Ray Schroeder, Director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning (OTEL). "The award is particularly gratifying because it belongs to everyone at UIS, not an individual or department, but to the entire university."
In 2002, the Sloan Consortium awarded Schroeder the Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual. And in 2003, Burks Oakley II, Visiting Research Professor in OTEL, received the award.
Online course work began at UIS in 1998 with 30 students. This fall, nearly 50% of UIS' 4,855 students are taking at least one online class, and more than 1,000 students are enrolled in UIS' 16 fully online degree programs and two certificates.
With substantial support from the Sloan Foundation and others, UIS has embraced online learning, integrating online courses and programs into its mainstream curriculum. Online classes are taught by the same faculty members and adjunct faculty who teach on campus. A total of 185 instructors, more than half of UIS' full- and part-time faculty members, taught at least one class online this past academic year.
UIS has an e-tuition rate for its online programs, whereby in-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition for online courses. This fall, the e-tuition is $201.75 per credit hour for new undergraduates and $251.00 per credit hour for new graduate students. "This relatively inexpensive tuition makes the UIS online programs accessible to potential students throughout the nation," Schroeder said.
Schroeder noted that UIS students take online classes while residing in 49 states (all states except Rhode Island) and nine foreign countries.
The Sloan Consortium will present the 2007 awards at the 13th Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning: The Power of Online Learning: Making a Difference, on November 7 in Orlando, Florida.
For more information about UIS' online program, please contact Shari McCurdy at 206-7360 or go to http://online.uis.edu.