dcsimg

Online colleges in Illinois may be helping lead the charge toward new trends. In 2012, the University of Illinois joined with Coursera to make online programming more accessible through a massive open online course offering. Plans to expand the university's courses through Coursera are underway in 2013. Read on to discover what online schools in Illinois are doing to further increase education's availability to students via a format typically viewed as flexible and convenient.

Online Colleges in Illinois

States across the nation have begun to embrace online education as an alternative to traditional classroom-based learning, and Illinois is no exception. As the advantages of online education become increasingly clear and student demand continues to grow, online colleges in Illinois are taking steps to thrive in new directions and offer more opportunities to students interested in distance learning.

Online education already has a hold in Illinois, and its influence is constantly expanding. In the fall of 2012, the University of Illinois introduced its first course through the nonprofit Coursera, which offers free online courses to users all over the world. Nearly 32,000 students enrolled in the course, Introduction to Sustainability, within the first week.

This trend toward more coursework offered through online learning is being seen nationwide. According to The Sloan Consortium report entitled "Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States," 69.1 percent of surveyed academic leaders noted that they consider online learning critical to their school's long-term goals.

Trends in Illinois Online Schools

The Illinois government also recognizes the potential associated with online learning. In July 2010, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation broadening the definition of textbooks to include digital textbooks, and made textbook funding sources available for electronic textbooks. According to TechAmerica, studies show that schools using digital textbooks report higher attendance rates, improved writing scores, and increased depth of student research.

In 1998, the Illinois Virtual Campus, or IVC, formed as a partnership of Illinois colleges and universities with opportunities for online education and other forms of distance learning. The IVC aims to help make online education easily accessible to Illinois students, in part through a web-based catalog of the online course offerings and programs in the state. The IVC catalog as of spring 2013 features 66 colleges and universities providing more than 3,500 online courses and more than 100 programs.

The IVC also maintains 40 student support centers throughout the state, one for each of Illinois' community college districts. These centers offer on-site support for local online students. Another signal of the state's commitment to online education is the Illinois Online Network, a faculty development initiative that aims to enhance the quality of online instruction through courses, workshops and conferences. Since its inception in 1997, ION has reached more than 2,000 instructors through its professional development opportunities.

College Degrees in Illinois

Slightly more than 41 percent of adults age 25 to 64 in Illinois hold a minimum of an associate degree, reports the Lumina Foundation (luminafoundation.org, 2010). This ranks the state 15th in terms of degree attainment, but by 2025 the Lumina Foundation predicts that a skills gap of 10.7 percent could exist in Illinois. Students in DuPage County may be well prepared to meet the needs for skilled workers: As of 2010, 56.16 percent of its adults age 25 to 64 held at least an associate degree. Students in other counties, such as Cass, Christian and Gallatin, however, may be in need of additional training. Online schools in Illinois could provide them with alternative ways to seeking a postsecondary education.

A Bureau of Labor Statistics report (bls.gov, 2012) on the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan area's job growth between November 2011 and November 2012 revealed that the fastest-growing sector was professional and business services. The sector added 27,200 jobs, for a growth rate of 3.8 percent, which is higher than the nationwide rate of 2.9 percent. The second-largest growth rate appeared in the leisure and hospitality sector, which saw a 3 percent increase with 12,100 jobs added, compared with a nationwide rate of 2.4 percent. After these sectors, manufacturing employment and education and health services were the fields that saw the most growth, adding approximately 9,500 jobs and 4,900 jobs, respectively. An online degree can help job seekers seize opportunities in these expanding fields.

Online College in Illinois

Some of the state's most respected colleges offer a range of online courses and degree programs. The University of Illinois, Chicago is ranked #18 on U.S. News & World Report's list (usnews.com, 2013) of the nation's top online bachelor's degree programs. The university offers complete online bachelor's degree programs in medical informatics and nursing science, in addition to online courses in a range of fields, from business administration to engineering to pharmacy. U.S. News & World Report also ranks two other online schools in Illinois within its top 50: the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill. (#28) and Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill. (#44).

The Illinois Institute of Technology also boasts a wide selection of online master's degree programs, in addition to bachelor's and certificate programs. The school was at the forefront in incorporating technological tools into its instruction, with televised lectures in the days before the Internet, and may now help students find easy access to online lectures and course materials. With the assortment of opportunities available, students can look to online colleges in Illinois to help them seek skills and training that may be advantageous to pursuing a specific career.

Sources:
Illinois Virtual Campus, Distance Learning Opportunities from Illinois Colleges and Universities
Illinois Department of Employment Security
Illinois Institute of Technology Online
TechAmerica, "TechAmerica Applauds Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for Digital Textbook Legislation," July 30, 2010
The News-Gazette, "Thousands sign up for online UI course," Sept. 4, 2012
The Sloan Consortium, "Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States," January 2013
University of Illinois Chicago Online
U.S. News & World Report, Best Online Bachelor's Programs, 2013

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
            Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
            Matching School Ads
            Electrical/Electronics
            Lincoln Tech , Melrose Park
            • 70+ years of helping students start careers in Health Sciences, Business & Information Technology, Automotive, Skilled Trades, and more.
            • This year, Lincoln schools around the country have made more than $15 million in scholarship funds available to qualified students.
            • Designated a Military Friendly School for the 6th year in a row by Victory Media, and offers exclusive scholarship for servicemen and women and their families.
            • Schools include Lincoln Tech, Lincoln Culinary Institute, and Lincoln College of New England, with 30 campuses in 15 states across the U.S.
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            BS in Business Administration - Project Management
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Master of Arts in Law - Non-Profit Management
            • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
            • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
            • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
            • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
            • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
            • Online Courses
            Audio Production (BS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Dedicated career services team that helps students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary
            • Program Coordinators focus on improving program content and ensure that students have the resources they need
            • Over 50 locations nationwide
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            • Online Courses
            Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
            • Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
            • In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
            • #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
            • 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
            • My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
            • Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Medical Assistant
            Get allied health training with Ross Medical Education Center. We offer programs in dental assisting, medical assisting, medical insurance billing and office administration, and pharmacy tech.
            • Financial Aid
            Online MS in Supply Chain Management
            • Ranked among the Best Business Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the #1 Public MBA program in the NYC region in 2014 by the U.S. News and World Report.
            • Educates about 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students per academic year at two campuses in New Jersey as well as five satellite locations in New Jersey and Singapore.
            • The only public university in New Jersey in the Association of American Universities (AAU), a group comprising of North America’s 63 leading research universities.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            International Business - D.B.A.
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
            • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
            • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
            • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
            • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Massage Therapy Program
            • Students may get real-world experience at each campus's public massage therapy spas.
            • Career assistance services are available to help students plan, prepare and promote their careers, from placement assistance to career fairs to resume help.
            • Programs are designed to prepare graduates to work in clinics, hospitals, health clubs, spas, resorts, sports therapy clinics, or start their own private practices.
            • Massage therapy school with 11 locations across the country.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Financial Aid