Distance Learning

School of Distance Learning, International Studies, and Outreach

School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach

Western Illinois University, through the School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach, proudly offers a vast array of learning opportunities. Some programs offered include the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) degree program to a variety of study abroad programs for students and faculty, to professional development in the form of certificate training, conferences, workshops and sponsored-credit courses to summer youth programs.

The School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach, at Western Illinois University, provides educational opportunities to diverse groups on and off campus. We extend opportunities to educationally under-served areas and provide programs and courses at locations throughout western Illinois using innovative technology. In other words, we come to YOU.

We offer online and face-to-face (F2F) courses. Face-to-face courses are conveniently offered off-campus during evenings and weekends. Our online courses are particularly well suited for adult students with other responsibilities and for traditional students interested in pursuing an affordable and challenging undergraduate degree program.

Bachelor of Arts in General Studies (BGS) - Includes a FULLY ONLINE option

The BGS degree is a highly individualized, flexible, non-majored undergraduate degree which may be completed fully online by students who are place-bound due to work and/or family responsibilities; on-campus; or a combination of both formats. Since its inception, over 6,100 individuals have graduated from the degree program. [BGS on Facebook]

International Studies

Traveling to a new country to live and study is a big step. The Center for International Studies has a friendly, supportive staff to help ease your transition to living and studying in America. Macomb, Illinois, and WIU are located in a safe, friendly community in the heart of the Midwest United States and is just a short train ride away from the big city of Chicago. With year-round housing and free bus service you will be able to easily become familiar with your new surroundings. WIU also offers a week-long orientation program for all new international students and provides a variety of opportunities to experience American culture and practice English. [International Studies on Facebook]

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Interdisciplinary Studies students may design a curriculum to reflect either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, which will be declared upon admission to the program. Specific requirements for each of these degree programs be found in the WIU catalog. Student admission proposals must reflect these requirements.

Orientation & Student Activities

The Center for International Studies is committed to giving its new international students an informative, fun, thorough and valuable orientation experience. We provide an excellent campus and community integration support for all our new students to ease your transition into WIU via our new student orientation. Join our international activities group on Facebook.

Outreach Programs - Non-credit, Certificate, Professional Development, Conferences, Workshops, & Youth Development

Outreach Programs offers professional development in the form of conferences, sponsored credit, and certificate programs across the state of Illinois. For teachers, this may mean earning college credit or Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDUs) for professional licensing requirements. For other professionals, this may mean college credit, contact hours, or Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Learning is Forever (L.I.F.E.) 

Outreach programs also sponsors the "Learning is Forever" (L.I.F.E.) program at WIU for all who wish to enjoy lifelong learning. An independently administrated organization, it is composed of area residents who develop the courses, select the teachers, establish the class fees, and promote the curriculum.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad allows students to complement and enhance their classroom instruction by experiencing the culture and language of a host country. Through the Office of Study Abroad students can participate in a wide variety of educational programs located in  more than 60 countries worldwide .

There are many programs that take place over Spring and Winter breaks or in the Summer, or students may choose to participate in semester- or year-long programs. [Study Abroad on Facebook]

Summer Youth Programs

Outreach Programs has been providing high-quality, academically challenging, youth summer enrichment programs & camps for more than 30 years. (Summer Youth Programs on Facebook)

Western's English As A Second Language Institute (WESL)

WESL Institute provides students the opportunity to improve their English skills through an efficient and effective 20-hour-per-week intensive ESL program. Established in 1977, WESL is one of approximately 50 institutes in the United States accredited through the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.

WESL serves those international students who do not speak English as a native language and do not meet WIU's English language proficiency requirement. Courses are offered during the Fall and Spring semesters (16 weeks each) and the Summer session (10 weeks) at three class levels:  Foundation (Basic); Intermediate; and University Preparation.