Education

Education and learning

Gillian King-Cargile / NIU Press

A new STEM children’s book about a toy bunny and his human friend explore several different facets of science will debut at the end of this month.

The first book of the Stuffed Bunny Science Adventure Series is The Toy and the Twister, which talks about tornadoes. The second and newest book is titled The Toy and the Tide Pool.

Low-income high-school students enrolled in courses at three Illinois community colleges can now qualify for federally funded Pell Grants through an experimental program announced this week by the U.S. Department of Education.

Among the 44 U.S. colleges invited to participate in the program are Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois Central College in East Peoria, and Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville.

adapted from Flickr user Dannielle Blumenthal / cc x 2.0

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education wrote a letter to schools across the country last week regarding the rights of transgender students. The list includes best practices to ensure the safety and comfort of students who identify as a different gender from their sex assigned at birth. It advises school officials on matters like using preferred gender pronouns of those students. WNIJ contacted a number of area school districts about the policy: only two replied, including LaSalle-Peru Township High School.

NIU Spring Graduates Recognized For Achievements

May 14, 2016
Katie Finlon / WNIJ

More than 2,500 students were honored during the Saturday undergraduate commencement ceremonies at Northern Illinois University.

Friends, family, and relatives filled the stands of the Convocation Center for graduate activities. 

NIU President Doug Baker acknowledged three students for what he calls notable achievements. ROTC graduate Maria Colompos was one of those students recognized for their accomplishments while attending NIU. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

63 years ago, the Korean War came between a Northern Illinois University graduate and his cap and gown. Now, he’s back on campus to make the long-delayed march with his fellow grads. 

In May of 1953, Gus Trantham’s parents took a train from Chicago to DeKalb to accept his diploma in a ceremony he couldn’t attend.  Trantham was in the Navy by then, behind enemy lines in Korea.

Kishwaukee College

A familiar man “behind the scenes” in DeKalb County has a new position at Kishwaukee College.

Bill Nicklas has been chosen to help Kishwaukee President Laurie Borowicz develop strategic partnerships with businesses and communities. He'll also evaluate the school's strengths and opportunities for expansion. The position is temporary: he'll report his findings in six months.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University administrators approved parking permit price increases for the coming year. 

The last time NIU increased parking permit prices was in 2011. NIU officials say the hike is to help raise additional revenue for the $5 million backlog of necessary parking lot repairs. 

The change affects students and faculty who wish to purchase parking permits. 

Reserved parking prices were increased more than other permits; remote parking passes will now be free.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A Northern Illinois University committee says the school should revoke Dennis Hastert’s honorary law doctoral degree. That’s according to a news release from the university.

According to a news release, the committee said in a memo to President Doug Baker that Hastert’s recent felony conviction and sexual abuse testimony “do not reflect the values of the institution.”

Baker will take the recommendation to the NIU Board of Trustees during its 2 p.m. May 19 meeting. Additional comment from NIU officials was unavailable.

skillsusa.org

Several students at Kishwaukee College will get to show off their technical skills in a national contest next month.

Skills USA is an organization for students enrolled in technical programs including welding or nursing. Every year, the group holds competitions that give those students an opportunity to showcase their talents in events like mock crime scenes or repairing a dent in a car.

The highly anticipated Program Prioritization Task Force reports were released shortly after 3 p.m. Monday afternoon on the Northern Illinois University website.

NIU Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman told WNIJ News that the Prioritization reports are a step in the process which began in 2014 and will continue for some time to come.

She urged everyone reading the reports to take a broad view.

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