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Online programs generating interest as Illinois College enrollment grows


Illinois College’s new online programs are generating interest as the College’s enrollment reaches its highest level in a decade.

Published by the Journal-Courier

The college added all-online programs earlier this this year in nursing, agribusiness and business management. Spokeswoman Amy Jones said the new programs are expected to meet goals set for their first year.

The college announced in March that it would be launching the three programs in an online format.

A $25,000 grant from Passavant Area Hospital helped support the online RN to BSN — registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing — program.

Pamela Brown, founding director of the Illinois College nursing program, said the first group started in May. The program is now up to five students, which she is happy with.

“So it’s slowly growing, which is to be expected,” she said. “… I think we’re growing and word is getting out.”

Within the next year, she hopes to have 20 students in the program and to continue to grow from there.

The program has not run into any technical problems and the students are giving good feedback on the program — “word of mouth works,” Brown said.

So far, the students are primarily from within about a 90-mile radius of the college, Brown said. And they’re all working nurses who also are moms.

“The flexibility of the online program is really important to them,” she said.

The RN to BSN program can take as little as a year or as long as two years to complete, depending on the student’s college background and the number of classes they’re able to take.

The college’s total enrollment is up 7% from last year — increasing from 980 to 1,048 — and the number of new students is up by 12% — increasing from 335 to 370.

Total enrollment has increased by 19% in the past 10 years.

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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