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.

Distance Learning

The School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach 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 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 a distinctive degree completion option.

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 8,400 individuals have graduated from the degree program. [BGS on Facebook]

Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Interdisciplinary Studies students may self-design a curriculum to reflect either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, which will be declared upon admission to the program.  Student admission proposals must reflect these requirements.  Interdisciplinary Studies students may alternatively select multidisciplinary concentrations in one of the following areas:

  • Youth Development
  • Renewable Energy and Biofuels Technology
  • Renewable Energy and Wind Technology
  • Renewable Energy Policy, Planning, and Management. 

    Specific requirements for each of these Interdisciplinary degree programs may be found in the WIU catalog.

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. Any adult is welcome to register for a LIFE course. There are no age or educational requirements, nor are there any prerequisites or exams. All anyone needs is an interest in sharing an educational experience, learn new skills or participate in a cultural event—and probably make new friends in the process.