Education and learning

Rock Valley College Opens New Downtown Campus

Aug 2, 2016
Phil Masterton/WNIJ

Rock Valley College’s six-year effort to increase education accessibility took another step forward Tuesday as the new downtown campus opened officially in the iconic Rockford Register Star News Tower.

In what once was a bustling newsroom, 13,000 square feet is now dedicated to credit-level, transferable classes formerly taught only on the main Mulford Road campus.

Wisconsin has Illinois beat when it comes to some state school rankings, according to one report.

When it comes to variables like drop-out rate, school safety and test scores, Wisconsin ranked 5th overall in the country – whereas Illinois ranked 13th. That’s according to a WalletHub report, which uses data from national collection agencies like the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Educational Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

We’re learning a lot more about the workhorse of the world’s flower beds and planter boxes: the Petunia Genome Project is complete, with the help of researchers from Northern Illinois University.

NIU professors Tom Sims and Rick Johns were among the primary researchers in the four year project. Johns says mapping the petunia’s DNA involved 50 researchers from 10 countries.

Science used to be one scientist working in a lab with a few students but now international collaboration is the rule, not the exception.

U Of I Selects New Chancellor For Urbana Campus

Jul 20, 2016
University of Illinois

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen has announced that Robert J. Jones will be the new chancellor for the University's Urbana campus and vice-president of the three-campus U of I system.

The 65-year-old Jones is president of the Albany campus of the State University of New York. Pending approval by trustees on Thursday, he will take office as chancellor in Urbana on October 3.


During the recent state budget impasse, Illinois colleges and universities have been forced to scrape by without state funding, except for stop gap money designed to keep them open through the fall semester. But that may not satisfy accreditation agencies. James Applegate, director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, says the Higher Learning Commission may just home in on the fact that Illinois schools are missing what schools in other states have: a solid budget.