Press Release for Sloan Grant to UIS

Contact: Cheryl D. Peck
June 14, 2002

The University of Illinois at Springfield has received a $500,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to expand its popular online degree program.

UIS already offers three complete degrees online and more than 100 online courses. The grant money will be used to develop six new online degree programs over the next three years.

These degrees will be primarily in disciplines in the arts and sciences to build upon the liberal arts emphasis at UIS. Another $250,000 in matching funds will be provided by the offices of the Universitys Vice President for Academic Affairs and University of Illinois Online.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the Springfield campus," said University President James J. Stukel. "We are grateful to the Sloan Foundation for their continued commitment to online education at the University of Illinois. Because of our partnership with them, the University is the largest provider of online education in the state of Illinois, and our online programs attract students from around the world."

Since 1993, the University of Illinois has received $4.5 million in grants from Sloan. The Foundation has granted more than $35 million to colleges and universities in the U.S. for online degree and certificate programs over the past nine years.

The UIS online program grows significantly each year, according to Provost Michael Cheney. During the spring semester, UIS had 1,135 enrollments in online courses, including students from Japan, the Netherlands and Kosovo. About one-third of UIS faculty members are experienced at teaching online courses, and retention in online courses is identical to retention in on-campus courses, 96 percent.

"Were thrilled with this grant, and the opportunities it provides," said Cheney. "The UIS campus aspires to be a national leader in providing high-quality online education and to expand our reach far beyond central Illinois. This money will allow us to reach those goals, and to serve thousands more students who seek the convenience and flexibility of online learning."

By developing six additional online degree programs with the Sloan grant, UIS predicts the online enrollments will double in three years and triple by 2007.

The Sloan Foundation, located in New York City, was founded in 1934 by Alfred P. Sloan Jr., who was president and later chairman of the board of General Motors Corporation from 1923 until 1956.