NWQ's Third Annual College Guide

The Old Northwest Territory is filled with great institutions for higher learning. NWQ Highlights some of the best around in this annual supplement.

Choosing a college may be one of the most important life decisions you will ever make. What kind of campus environment are you looking for? Do you want to live at home and commute, or live on campus in a dormitory? How far away from home do you want to be?
What majors and coursework strengths do you want to find in a college? What kind of people do you want learning alongside you? What can the college offer in terms of career counseling and placement? Do you want to be in a large university setting, a small, intimate private college setting, or something in-between? What extra-curricular activities are important to you?
Our college guide will help you to learn about some of the fine choices for higher education available to students right here in the Old Northwest Territory. We hope it assists you in making this all-important choice.

(Bahua at en.wikipedia photo)

Loras College (Private/Four-Year)

1450 Alta Vista St., Dubuque, Iowa • www.loras.edu
Loras College is a Catholic, liberal arts col­lege perched high atop the bluffs of the Mississippi River, in Dubuque, Iowa. Students receive a well-rounded education in small classes that allow hands-on learning and col­laborative projects.
Recognized on several fronts, Loras is ranked 13th in the Top Tier among Best Midwest Regional Colleges in the 2011 edition of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, and was included in the Barron’s Best Buys in Education for affordability. More than 95 percent of students receive some type of financial aid, and Loras offers a variety of financial assistance programs such as academ­ic, honors and music scholarships – in addition to work-study.
Students can choose from more than 40 majors and minors, plus 13 pre-professional areas of study covering both undergraduate and graduate degrees. The average class size is only 17; With a student/teacher ratio of 13:1, students receive a more personal­ized and hands-on education from a dedicated faculty of experts in their chosen subject.
Many students also choose work-study, internships and service learning. Another popular choice is the January Term, where they spend three weeks immersed in a liberal arts subject. J-Terms often take students on one of Loras’ many study-abroad opportunities, which travel to places such as Spain, South Africa and Ireland.
Outside the classroom, Loras offers a variety of opportuni­ties for growth. Students can choose from 55 academic and social organizations, more than 50 intramural sports, along with various worship organizations and community service opportunities. Loras is also part of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and offers 21 different NCAA Division III sports teams for men and women.
As a Catholic college, academic and spiritual journeys often follow the same path. Students pledge to transform lives through mission work, and many volunteer at local parishes and retreats, where they help neighbors in need.
Incoming students average a 3.4 GPA, and score around a 24 on their ACTs. Plus, new full-time students receive their very own laptop computer for academic and personal use.
Founded in 1839, Loras offers advanced learning in an atmosphere where students can realize their personal, academic and spiritual growth in a setting that is academically challenging, faith-centered and socially stimulating. ❚

George Williams College of Aurora University

George Williams College of Aurora University (Private/Four-Year)

350 Constance Blvd., PO Box 210, Williams Bay, Wis. • www.aurora.edu/gwc
Established in 1884, George Williams College merged with Aurora University in 2000, creating a broader wealth of opportunities for this gorgeous 133-acre campus located on the picturesque shores of Geneva Lake, in Williams Bay, Wis. The two schools are distinctive, but united within the university’s mission to capture the “transformative power of learning.”
George Williams College offers 17 academic programs in undergraduate and graduate programs, with an emphasis on “serving those who serve others.” Classes are available during the daytime, evenings and on weekends, allowing flexiblility for personal and professional obligations. Traditional undergraduate programs include elementary education, parks & recreation and social work, while graduate and doctoral programs focus on education, recreation and social work. The average class is only about 12 students, allowing for a personal, hands-on learning environment with individualized attention.
“The small class sizes and personalized attention students receive from faculty members creates a very unique learning environment for students,” says Kelly Brand, Director of Enrollment. “This sense of community results in an atmosphere where achieving educational excellence is the standard.”
Students can also take advantage of a wide range of internships and clinical experiences that allow students to explore their disciplines. The May Term is also a popular choice for students who want to travel abroad.
Outside the classroom, students have a variety of opportunities to build themselves and their experiences. Students can experience field trips, recreational activities and on-campus cultural events, in addition to an on-campus golf course and lakefront. Housing is available on campus for those interested, and overnight housing is available for students with weekend and evening courses.
George Williams College also has a longstanding relationship with the community, hosting the Music by the Lake summer concert series, which includes a schedule of national performers and an original musical production. The Conference Center is ideal for major conferences and retreats.
The lakeside campus provides a vibrant and dynamic atmosphere that supports students’ goals and aspirations. More than 125 years after being established as a summer YMCA summer training institution, George Williams College of Aurora University continues to transform lives for the benefit of society. ❚

Rockford College

Rockford College (Private/Four-Year)

5050 E. State St., Rockford, Ill. • www.rockford.edu
Rockford College, nestled on 130 park-like acres in the heart of Rockford, will mark its 165th year in 2012. Its the only private liberal arts college in the Rock River Valley, and the only college to offer a campus-based accredited MBA program in the Rockford area and the only college in the region to offer a Master of Arts in Teaching.
The philosophy at Rockford College is that a liberal arts education not only prepares students for a career but also for a journey of lifelong learning. Its distinctive degrees and programs are grounded in liberal arts learning and complemented by professional and practical experience. An education from Rockford College involves challenging and interdisciplinary coursework both inside and outside the classroom. Its students develop critical-thinking skills, intellectual curiosity and self-guidance, in order to live within and adapt to a changing, global society.
Faculty members, renowned in their areas of expertise, hold the highest degrees in their disciplines and strive to stay at the top of their fields. Rockford College offers over 80 majors, minors and concentrations, and students can pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees, along with various certification tracks through the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Student/faculty research is an important component of Rockford College’s learning environment, and one-on-one learning opportunities abound.
The Princeton Review named Rockford College a “College with a Conscience” in 2005 and a “Best in the Midwest” college for eight years running. Other distinctions include being one of 11 colleges in Illinois and 280 in the country with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter and being named to the 2008, 2009, and 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Along with academics and community-based learning, Rockford College offers many opportunities to gain knowledge and experience. As part of NCAA Division III, the Rockford Regents compete in 17 total men’s and women’s varsity sports. More than 25 social and academic clubs and organizations are offered, along with intramural sports. Each year on campus, the Forum Series presents a variety of thought-provoking speakers, events and performances. Service-learning options include the Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement and Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break, where students and faculty spend their spring break taking part in Habitat for Humanity projects. All such moments open students’ minds to understanding different and complex perspectives, ultimately broadening their horizons.
The learning expectations of students – knowledge for understanding the world, values for envisioning the world and skills for shaping the world – shape delivery of Rockford College’s academic programs. Thus, the Rockford College experience leads to a life of active learning, personal development, professional growth and informed citizenship.
Rockford College alumni have changed, and continue to change, the world. Among its graduates are chiefs of police; captains of industry; Illinois Teachers of the Year; doctors who have tested the first artificial heart valve in humans; scientists who have invented fiber optics and LEDs; the current president of a national television network; the creator of kids’ meals toys; and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jane Addams.
The legacy of Rockford College can be found in nearly two centuries of graduates and over 12,500 current alumni taking lessons learned here out into the world. ❚

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

University of Wisconsin-Platteville (Public/Four-Year)

1 University Plaza, Platteville, Wis. • www.uwplatt.edu
The University of Wisconsin-Platteville (UW-Platteville), home to the Pioneers, is the fastest growing comprehensive public university in the state. Just 20 miles east of the Mississippi River in Grant County, the rolling, 820-acre campus is reaching record enrollment levels, with nearly 8,000 on-campus students.
The Tri-State Initiative makes UW-Platteville more affordable for students from Iowa and Illinois. Eligible new freshman and transfer students in certain degree areas save approximately $4,000 on out-of-state tuition rates.
UW-Platteville offers 41 majors and 70 minors, with top programs in agriculture, biology, business, criminal justice, education, engineering and industrial technology. At UW-Platteville, classes are taught by faculty members, not teaching assistants, and more than 90 percent hold doctorates or terminal degrees in their fields.
The college’s 400-acre Pioneer Farm plays an important role in agricultural innovation. It was just awarded a $625,000 grant, to be used in the research of innovative conservation initiatives.
UW-Platteville business students use classrooms with the latest Enterprise Resource Planning software and learn how technology can enable integrated business processes and strategic thinking, giving them an edge in the marketplace. Students pursuing careers in biology or medical fields gain hands-on experience in the cadaver lab. UW-Platteville is one of only a few schools that has a cadaver lab just for undergraduate students.
UW-Platteville has the foremost university-level forensic investigation program in the Midwest, offering unique hands-on learning. At the Forensic Investigation Research Facility, students conduct mock crime scene practicals; at the Forensic Investigation Crime Scene House, they experience what crime scene personnel experience.
Through UW-Platteville’s partnership withEducatorsAbroad, education majors can teach almost anywhere in the world, allowing them to complete their student teaching in an international setting.
Known for its strong engineering programs, UW-Platteville this fall is offering a Microsystems and Nanotechnology Engineering major. It’s one of only a handful of comparable undergraduate degree programs in the United States. Students will learn using UW-Platteville’s atomic force microscope and state-of-the-art clean rooms, while focusing on basic and applied multidisciplinary research and development.
Industrial technology management students at UW-Platteville can be found molding and casting in the plastics and metals labs, designing and building houses from the ground up and drafting new designs – all while using the latest technology in the industry.
Students apply classroom lessons through collaborative projects, undergraduate research and real-world experiences. The Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement connects students, faculty and ideas to local social and civic issues from a wide range of community partners. As part of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Conference, UW-Platteville offers 12 sports for both men and women. Students can also develop leadership skills through involvement in over 220 active student clubs and organizations.
UW-Platteville provides comprehensive classroom and experiential learning opportunities, from expert faculty, to a diverse student population, in a friendly, comfortable environment. ❚

Rock Valley College

Rock Valley College (Public/Two-Year)

3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, Ill. • www.rockvalleycollege.edu
For more than 45 years, Rock Valley College (RVC) has been the Rockford area’s first choice for high-quality, affordable, fully accredited and transferable education. No matter where you want to go, RVC can help you get there.
With more than 90 college-prep areas and 30 career programs, Rock Valley prepares its students for transfer to a four-year university or launching into a highly skilled workforce. The dedicated faculty members hold master’s degrees, doctorates and real-life experiences, and students can capture that knowledge through the hands-on attention of small classroom sizes. The average class size is 21 students, so no big lecture halls and no graduate assistants leading class.
The cost of attending RVC is under $100 per credit hour, which amounts to significantly less than what the cost would be at most private colleges or state universities. Plus, there many financial aid opportunities to help students pay for college. Over half of all RVC students receive some financial assistance. Last year, the RVC Foundation awarded more than $130,000 in scholarships to students in need.
A tech-savvy environment provides students with the leading technologies in environmental efficiency and classroom connectivity, for a 21st-century education. This fall, the brand new Karl J. Jacobs Center for Science and Math was opened on the main campus. This state-of-the-art building was named for former RVC President Karl Jacobs and has been engineered to be an environmentally conscious facility, allowing the college to offer more courses in the science and math disciplines that are so critical in today’s job market and economy.
Rock Valley College is flexible students’ needs, and accommodates their busy schedules with a variety of daytime, evening and weekend classes at its main campus, the Stenstrom Center in southern Rockford and the Learning and Opportunity Center downtown.
Help is available as students plan their education and get the experience they need to succeed in college and the workforce. Going to college is a big decision. Rock Valley College makes the transition to higher education smooth and successful. ❚

Judson University

Judson University (Private/Four-Year)

1151 N. State St., Elgin, Ill. & 1055 Featherstone Road, Rockford, Ill. • www.JudsonU.edu
Judson University is a four-year Christian University that offers an education in the liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs for undergraduate, graduate and adult programs.
Two campuses provide the Judson experience – the flagship campus along the Fox River in Elgin, Ill. and an extension campus in Rockford, Ill., that serves the school’s Center for Adult Professional Studies.
Founded in 1963, Judson is an outgrowth of Northern Theological Seminary, which was first established in 1913. The school is named after Adoniram Judson, the first American missionary abroad. 
Students can find more than 60 different majors and minors at Judson, including architecture, art and design, education, business, worship arts, Christian ministry, music, exercise and sports sciences, psychology and sociology, media studies, and a diverse array of liberal arts programs. Three new majors have recently been implemented: Sustainability Management, Music Business Entrepreneurship, and a three-year business program for marketing. Graduate programs include architecture, education in literacy and ESL/bilingual, and organizational leadership.
Classes are small, allowing for an individualized educational experience. Eighty-one percent of classes have fewer than 20 students, and less than one percent have 50 or more students. With a 10:1 student to professor ratio, Judson provides a personalized education taught by experienced faculty who care about their students’ professional and personal success.
The 90-acre Elgin campus includes four residence halls, a fine arts center, fitness center, student center and a 700-seat chapel. Judson leads the way in innovative design, with the new Weber Academic Center, which is rated LEED Gold – one of the highest honors in green design. Students also have access to the culture-rich city of Chicago, located just 40 miles away from campus.
It’s the perfect home for one of the only evangelical Christian schools to offer a fully accredited graduate program in architecture. This program is gaining recognition for its innovative approach, including a one-year preceptorship and its context in an evangelical Christian institution.
Students at Judson have a variety of ways to explore the world off-campus. With nearly 30 student organizations, 19 different athletic teams, and a wealth of study-abroad programs worldwide, the opportunities for students to travel are endless.
The World Leaders Forum, established to begin an endowment fund for Judson’s new entrepreneurial program, will bring recognized world leaders, entrepreneurs and dignitaries to campus, emphasizing Judson’s global perspective on higher education. ❚