History of SSU-UIS: 1995-1996

(from the 1995-96 SSU-UIS Catalog)

History, Philosophy and Purpose

Sangamon State University was established by the Illinois general Assembly in 1969 as the first of two senior institutions in the state. Originally envisioned as an innovative response to the growth of Illinois’ community college system and as a new means for individuals to enter upper-division and graduate study, SSU was charged with addressing public affairs within the framework of a liberal arts curriculum. While the effects of this initial charge are still apparent in the university’s academic programs and in its growing involvement with the surrounding community, SSU has evolved during the intervening years into a more comprehensive and traditional institution. Throughout its 25-year history, however SSU has consistently stressed practical experience, professional development, and excellent teaching as the most effective means of enlightening students’ minds and giving them the skills that will equip them for the next century.

Since opening its doors, the university has increased enrollment nearly six-fold; students now number more than 4,400, 6 percent of whom are undergraduates. SSU’s student body, which increasingly reflects the cultural diversity of our society, comprises not only transfers from other institutions in other states and nations, but also individuals resuming an interrupted education, persons seeking to improve current job skills or prepare for a second career, and others who simply wish to enhance their lives through continued education.

Instructed and advised by a faculty committed to individualized academic attention, students can choose from 22 undergraduate and 22 graduate degree programs. These programs range from traditional disciplines such as history, economics, and biology to more career-oriented concentrations such as business administration and management information systems. SSU also offers interdisciplinary programs such as environmental studies and communication, and 23 minor areas of study.

Located in Springfield, Illinois’ capital, Sangamon State allows its students first-hand access to state government and public service through special courses, projects and internship opportunities. Such research, training, and service activities encourage students to develop an active understanding of how public policy meshes with the many and varied problems facing today’s changing society.