Education

Education and learning

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

Earlier this year, the Chicago Rockford International Airport celebrated the opening of two hangars big enough to maintain the largest aircraft ever built. At the same time, a program expanded to teach students how to keep these planes flying.

Rock Valley College is a two-year institution that serves students across Winnebago, Boone and surrounding counties. Like many community colleges, it has degree programs in a variety of technical fields, but one of their more unique offerings is aircraft maintenance.

Southern Illinois University trustees are discussing what to do about the cash crunch on the Carbondale campus.

President Randy Dunn proposed $30 million in cuts to SIUC and borrowing from SIU Edwardsville. He says the state’s budget crisis is hurting the Carbondale campus, but also has problems of its own.

“They’ve also been living for many years with a structural deficit that hasn’t been corrected," he says. "In the most simplistic way possible, describing it as having too many programs for now too few students.”

Developing Future Engineers -- One Cool Bracelet At A Time

Apr 6, 2017
Northern Illinois University / http://www.niu.edu/stem/programs/divas.shtml

STEM Divas is a weekly event at Northern Illinois University designed to help engage young women more in the sciences.

Jasmine Carey is a student organizer of the event. She says it’s a fun way to get more young people interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through mixing fashion and electrical engineering. How? “They have LEDs and circuits," Carey says. "They’re completing circuits on a bracelet, and the LEDs will light up at the end of the circuit.”

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

10 school districts across the state are participating in a pilot project with the Illinois Board of Education.

Chicago is participating, along with areas such as Round Lake, Kankakee, and Peoria.  State Superintendent Tony Smith says the pilot initiative could have implications for districts across Illinois

“We think that there’s a lot of folks out there that have been doing work like this for a while and we want to build more of a community of practice for it. And we do think that it will have a big impact on the direction the state goes in understanding this.”

Western Illinois University is developing contingency plans in case the ongoing shortfall of state funding continues.  But the administration is not yet ready to reveal details of these plans. 

The state has gone nearly two years without a budget.  Public colleges and universities received some state funding through a stop-gap spending plan approved in late June of last year, but they have not received any state money this calendar year.

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