High-Visibility Collaborative Projects
- Emiquon Field Station
- Center for Online Learning, Research and Service
- Center for Geographic Information Systems Applications
- Downstate Illinois Innocence Project
- Experiential and Service Learning Institute
UIS will establish a field station at the Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve, near Havana, Illinois. Emiquon is one of the largest floodplain restoration projects in the world. The field station will provide a focus for faculty and students from disciplines such as biology, environmental studies, anthropology, history, and public administration to collaborate on projects related to the Illinois River floodplain restoration.
Over the past decade UIS has moved to the forefront of institutions engaged in online learning and the uses of technology in instruction. UIS faculty members’ responsiveness to adopting the Internet and other technologies for instruction has been followed quickly by their scholarship focused on online learning and emerging educational technologies. UIS seeks to build on this record of accomplishment by establishing a Center for Online Learning, Research, and Service. The Center will become the UIS hub for the study and application of online learning pedagogy, technology, and best practices. It will provide support for both original scholarly research and the dissemination of results. It will build synergies between discovery research and the enhancement of current online education practices. The Center will inform, empower, assist, and support the faculty of UIS in the delivery of courses, degrees, and certificate programs through the Internet. It will reach out around the globe to build exciting new online collaborations among educational institutions, government agencies, and businesses.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a technology that allows mapping and analysis of data with both spatial and temporal components. GIS technology is a powerful tool for identifying and assessing changes in space and time. Given rapid socioeconomic, environmental, and technological changes – and the large amount of information associated with these changes – GIS has become more and more valuable in the governmental, academic, and private sectors in managing, analyzing, and synthesizing information The Center for Geographic Information Systems Applications will foster cross-disciplinary education, research, and collaboration. It will enhance teaching, learning, and research for faculty, students, and staff at UIS.
The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project has a two-part mission – to provide assistance to attorneys representing downstate Illinois inmates convicted of crimes they did not commit and to prevent conviction of innocent persons in the future. The project goals are: (1) exoneration of innocent persons convicted of felony crimes in downstate Illinois, and (2) reform of the criminal justice system in Illinois and the nation through the education of students, citizens, and policy-makers about problems, causes, and possible reforms of a criminal justice system that results in conviction of the innocent. Building on its record of accomplishment, the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project is poised to achieve national recognition for its work on behalf of those who have been wrongfully convicted.
While many institutions have in recent years come to develop programs of experiential and service learning, UIS has a 35-year history of incorporating experiential learning into undergraduate education. In the coming years, UIS will build on that history by expanding service learning opportunities and establishing an institute to foster the scholarly investigation of experiential and service learning and to promote best practices to colleagues at other institutions.