University News

IBHE Approves New WIU Degree, HECA Grants

October 2, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) granted Western Illinois University the authority to offer a Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Degree and awarded Higher Education Cooperative Act (HECA) grants to WIU of approximately $200,000.

The Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree will provide education about fundamental ideas, methodologies and content in the liberal arts and sciences through comparative analysis and interdisciplinary inquiry. The program will build upon a recently established bachelor's degree with the emphasis on liberal arts and sciences and other arts and sciences degree programs. Although the degree is planned to serve students in the Quad Cities it will be open to any qualified student who may be attending at the Macomb campus.

"The program will increase graduate educational opportunities for an under-served population in the region, particularly in the Quad Cities metropolitan area," said Associate Provost Barb Baily.

A Western-Quad Cities campus-based program to increase the number of community college students in the Black Hawk College district to continue their education at Western was awarded a $79,598 grant by the IBHE. In cooperation with the Rock Island County Board, Rock Island Task Force on Poverty and Black Hawk, WIU-QC will expand support services for orientation and retention programs for students enrolling at Black Hawk.

Continuation funding through the HECA program was awarded to Western programs to facilitate the development of special educators and to increase access to supply chain management instruction. A $49,500 grant will support a partnership effort between Spoon River College, Carl Sandburg College and Western to promote interest and involvement of area high school students in the field of special education to encourage students to earn a special education teaching certificate. A $74,700 grant will support the additional development of online courses in supply chain management as part of cooperative efforts through Western and John Wood Community College.

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