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State Stix

Higher education: Americans earn degrees

A survey was done in 1984 of 19,000 households in the United States. The educational attainment of the U.S. population was:

Highest level reached

Proportion of U.S. adults













Some college, no degree


High school diploma


No high school diploma


Note: The figures cover the civilian, resident population of adults age 18 and older. Source; U.S. Census Bureau.

What should be taught?

The debates continue on curriculum, teaching and the undergraduate experience in general. At the front once again is the battle between proponents of the Great Books approach and those who want a more multicultural curriculum, but a stronger emphasis also will be placed on improving science education and foreign language proficiency.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, September 6, 1989.

Choosing classes

While some educators argue for a strict core curriculum, the trends show that academia is being shaped by the fascinations of the public. The following are courses being offered on U.S. campuses:

Video Music 454 (California State-Los Angeles).

Rhetoric of Cultural Genres (Northwestern University).

History, Media and Social Change in 20th Century America (Boston University).

Sociology of News (University of California-Santa Barbara).

Rock 'n Roll is Here to Stay (Brown University).

Backgrounds in Modern Literature: Poets Who Sing (Washington University).

Spy Novels (University of Rhode Island).

Theories of Pop Culture (Virginia Tech).

History of Rock 'n Roll (University of Texas).

Source: The Washington Monthly, October 1989.

What they are not learning

According to a report from the National Endowment for the Humanities, more than 80 percent of college students graduate without a course in American history; almost 80 percent graduate without a course in Western civilization; 37 percent graduate without any history course at all. About 77 percent graduate without studying a foreign language. And 45 percent leave school without ever taking a course in American or English literature.

Source: Same as above.

Deciding to go to college

College freshmen in the fall of 1988 noted these reasons as very important in deciding to go to college:




Parents' wishes



Could not find a job



To get away from home



To be able to get a better job



To gain general education



To improve reading and study skills



Nothing better to do



To become a more cultured person



To be able to make more money



To learn more about things



To prepare for graduate school



Source: The American Freshman: National Norms for Fall 1988, by Alexander W. Astin, published by American Council on Education and University of California at Los Angeles.

What about Illinois?

As of the fall of 1988, Illinois had 191 colleges and universities. There are 12 public universities, 106 private colleges and universities, 50 public community colleges and 23 proprietary institutions throughout the state.

Source: Deb Smitley, Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Growing enrollment

From 1977 to 1987, Illinois' overall college enrollment grew 12 percent. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the largest university in the state and the 10th largest university in the nation with an enrollment of 38,347 in the fall of 1988.

Source: U.S. Department of Education.

Achieving diversity on campus

In the fall of 1987, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was tied with the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor for 11th place in enrollment of foreign students among U.S. institutions of higher education. Both universities had 2,446. Southern Illinois University Carbondale ranked 15th in the nation with 2,203 foreign students.

Source: Institute of International Education, New York, N.Y.

Paying your way

Average annual tuition and fees in Illinois are $1,708 at public four-year institutions. The U of I is the most expensive at $2,788 per year. The average at private four-year institutions is $6,560 with the University of Chicago at the top with $14,025 per year.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac, September 6, 1989.

State funding

Higher education has been appropriated $1,625,400,000 of state funds for fiscal year 1990. Illinois community colleges will receive 13.8 percent of these appropriated funds.

Source: Illinois Community College Trustees Association.

General funds

The general funds balance at the end of November was $243.470 million. The average daily available balance was $349.839 million.

Source: Office of the Comptroller.

Labor force: almost six million

In November the national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 5.4 percent from 5.3 percent in October. Illinois' seasonally adjusted rate remained at 6.8 percent.

In November 5.966 million people were in the state's labor force - a record high. Of these, 5.586 million people had jobs, a high for the month, and 410,000 were unemployed - 7,000 more than last month. There were job gains in holiday hiring and losses in construction, mining and transportation. Manufacturing jobs were up for the 32nd consecutive month.

Final unemployment rates in the state metro areas in September were:

Aurora-Elgin, 4.8 percent.

Bloomington-Normal, 3.4 percent.

Champaign-Urbana-Rantoul, 3.4 percent.

Davenport, Rock Island, Moline (Illinois sector), 6.2 percent.

Decatur, 6.9 percent.

Joliet, 5.7 percent.

Kankakee, 6.7 percent.

Lake County, 3.5 percent.

Peoria, 5.4 percent.

Rockford, 5.5 percent.

Springfield, 4.2 percent.

St. Louis (Illinois sector), 6.3 percent.

Source: Department of Employment Security.

Thomas E. Morris

6/January 1990/Illinois Issues

Earthquake preparedness

The Earthquake Preparedness Task Force, created by Gov. James R. Thompson in October after the San Francisco earthquake, will hold public hearings this month and next, according to its new chair, Thomas W. Ortciger, director of the Illinois Emergency Services and Disaster Agency. Hearings will be held January 10 in Carbondale, January 17 in Collinsville, January 24 in the Chicago area (suburb to be announced), January 31 in Lawrenceville and February 7 in Springfield.

Task force members other than state agency heads include:

Architecture: Hans Fischer, partner, Fischer-Stein and Associates, Carbondale (former mayor with previous experience with state emergency services); Robert Swenson of Swenson, Kaha Architects. Carbondale.

Banking: Raymond C. Burroughs, chairman, City National Banks, Murphysboro.

Business and industry: Lester W. Brann Jr., president, Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, Chicago; Arthur R. Gottschalk, president, Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Chicago; Max W. McCombs, general superintendent for government and environmental affairs, Monsanto Chemical Co., Sauget.

Education: John C. Guyon, president. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; Stanley 0. Ikenberry, president, University of Illinois; C. Robert Leininger, state superintendent of education; Lawrence Pettit, chancellor SIU.

Emergency response: William L. Braden, chief executive, Mid-America Chapter, American Red Cross, Chicago; David M. Cornell, civil engineer with Air Force experience in disaster recovery, now with Woolpert Consultants, Fairview Heights.

Engineering: W. Gene Corley, Construction Technology Laboratory, Skokie; Robert Gende, engineer with expertise in highway design, Carlyle; Richard A. Parmelee, chairman, Structural Engineers Examining Committee, Chicago; Mete Sozen, University of Illinois Department of Civil Engineering, Urbana.

Insurance: John Maes, assistant regional manager. Insurance Information Institute, Chicago; Laura Sullivan, vice president - counsel and secretary. State Farm Insurance Co., Bloomington.

Local government: Verna Clayton, Illinois Municipal League president and mayor of Buffalo Grove; Louis E. Conneen, president, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, Calumet City; Carbondale Mayor Neal Dillard; Carol Dobbs, Wheaton, Illinois Chiefs of Police; Cairo Mayor Alien E. Moss; Wes Weber, chairman, Wayne County Emergency Planning Committee; Richland County Sheriff Joe Willis, vice president, Illinois Sheriffs' Association.

Medicine: Richard Moy, dean. Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield; Deborah Smith, president. Emergency Nurses Association, Bloomington.

Telecommunications: William T. Adelman, network manager, General Telephone, Bloomington; Clyde E. Bollinger, general manager, Egyptian Telephone Corp., Steeleville; George Geotsalilis. service manager, Illinois Bell Telephone Co., Chicago.

Railroads: Gordon E. Longhta, Illinois Railroad Association, Springfield,

Utilities: James R. Chapman, general manager, Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, Marion; Charles A. Mast, president, AMOCO Pipeline Co., Oakbrook Terrace; Donald C. Miller, manager. Southern Division, Central Illinois Public Service Co., Marion.

General Assembly members include: Sens. Ralph Dunn (R-58 DuQuoin), William L. O'Daniel (D-54, Mount Vernon), James F. Rea (D-59, Christopher) and Frank Watson (R-55, Greenville); and Reps. William B. Black (R-105, Danville), Karen Hasara (R-100, Springfield), Larry Woolard (D-117, Carterville) and Wyvetter H. Younge (D-113, East St. Louis).

State agencies whose chief executives are members: Capital Development Board, Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, Illinois Commerce Commission, Department of Employment Security, Department of Energy and Natural Resources, Illinois State Geological Survey, Department of Insurance, Department of Mines and Minerals, Illinois National Guard, Department of State Police, Department of Public Health, Office of the Commissioner of Banks & Trust Companies, Department of Transportation.

January 1990/Illinois Issues/7

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