Innovative changes at GSU

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A world of ideas: Governors State University President Elaine Maimon, standing between several GSU students, has helped spearhead many innovations at the University Park college. | Supplied photo

There is so much innovation at Governors State University and it is all waiting for the school’s first freshman class. In August of 2014, the university will open its doors to first year college students. Traditionally, students had to have junior standing or enrolled in a graduate program to attend GSU. With the admission of 270 freshmen, all that changes.

What also changes is how some of these new freshmen will pay for their college educations. They won’t.

The university has established 29 competitive scholarships — to either pay in full or help defray the cost of education.

Two Presidential Scholarships provide full tuition for outstanding students to be awarded for the first time in 2014. Application for this scholarship is included in the early admissions application, which is due Nov. 15. Students who apply by this deadline are automatically in the running for these outstanding scholarship opportunities. The recipients will be chosen from that pool of applicants and based on qualifying high school records, ACT scores and a personal essay.

More big ideas live here

GSU has a long history of making college education affordable. It’s one of the innovative concepts that led to the development of “Big Ideas Live Here” as the university’s tagline. So, in addition to the most economical tuition and fees of any Illinois state university, GSU will also offer incoming freshmen with good high school records 12 merit-based and 15 need-based scholarships of $500 per semester. These scholarships are renewable, so qualifying students have access to additional financial assistance for a full four years.

Another innovation that all new freshman benefit from at GSU is the way they will learn during their first two years of study. Before they begin their major, the new freshman will take some of their general courses along themed areas of study. That means, instead of general freshman rhetoric, their basic writing and research course will focus on one of three themes: sustainability, global citizenship and civic engagement. And the class will be comprised of students who share the same interest so learning will be stronger and friendships will develop. Studies show that this model produces the most successful learners at the freshman and sophomore levels — and success is GSU’s goal for all students.

There are innovative developments in every corner of the campus. The new freshman and all GSU students through the graduate level will also have the opportunity to live in Prairie Place, the university’s brand new, on-campus student residence. The suites and apartments of Prairie Place offer all the amenities of on-campus living at a reasonable price.

The university is also proud to announce that research and education in the fields of science and health care in the south suburbs are experiencing innovation at a whole new level. The university is completing a $28 million renovation of its labs and classrooms — modernizing and improving how science and health-care education is delivered in the south suburbs. Opportunities in the STEM fields at GSU have never been better.

Provided by Governors State University