We all know that college students or their parents spend lots of time and money on a college education. What are - and what do you want to be - the hot higher education topics for your audience? Is your audience interested in the best ways for colleges to ensure that their graduates will succeed professionally, get a quality education, learn technology, develop character, address crucial shortages of workers for vital jobs, be able to afford their education and get real value for it? What's the best approach to college athletics? How is education today going beyond traditional academic and geographic boundaries? Which is more important, conducting research or teaching undergraduates? What are the cutting edge issues in college education right now?
Millikin University has been nationally recognized for its approach to some of these issues and has several aspects that would make great stories. Located in Decatur, Illinois, Millikin is a private institution that U. S. News ranks as one of the best "comprehensive colleges" in the Midwest. Millikin's approximately 2,400 students study more than 50 majors in four colleges: arts & sciences, fine arts, nursing and business. Please contact Millikin Media and Public Relations Coordinator Dane Glisser at 217.420.6636 or email@example.com if you are interested in pursuing any of the following story ideas.
Higher Education Story Ideas: Millikin University
Nationally Recognized Curriculum
Millikin offers innovative ways to learn. In 2001, the American Association of Colleges and Universities recently honored the University's curriculum-the Millikin Program of Student Learning (MPSL). Millikin's educational experience blends theory with practice. Hands-on and interdisciplinary learning are emphasized. In the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Millikin Students scored high in areas of academic challenge, active and collaborative learning and enriching educational experiences.
Research from Alaska to the Rain Forest
While our faculty's main focus is on teaching, Millikin's curriculum offers unique undergraduate research opportunities. Students work on individualized research projects under the direction of faculty mentors. A large and growing number of Millikin undergraduates have presented their findings at national, regional or state science conferences - and their presentations have compared favorably with presentations by graduate students from other universities. The research is not limited to the Millikin campus. Students have done field studies on spiders in the Dominican Republic, tropical ecology in Costa Rica, and aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico to name a few.
Quality and Value
Barron's Best Buys in College Education rated Millikin a best buy and said that Millikin has "strong programs spread among all 4 colleges and schools." U.S. News & World Report ranked Millikin as the best bachelor's degree comprehensive college in Illinois and # 15 in the Midwest. Bachelor's degree comprehensive colleges focus on undergraduate education in liberal arts (including science) and professional fields such as business, nursing, education and/or fine arts.
Community Service, Not Lip Service
Millikin students are encouraged to give back to the community. Service learning is a major part of their education. Last school year 100% of our freshman performed community service projects. Millikin students annually perform more than 110,000 hours of community service and other experiential learning.
Millikin University graduates are successful. Even in today's faltering economy, 97% of our recent graduates have secured employment or are continuing their education.
Millikin is affordable. About 97% percent of Millikin students receive some type of financial aid. Millikin spends about $24 million on financial aid. Millikin prides itself in the number of students who are the first generation in their family to attend college.
Innovations in Teaching Science
Our Chemistry Extreme course was so unique that the Chronicle of Higher Education did a story about it.
We use problem-based learning (PBL) so students learn by solving real world problems.
A new science building actually designed around the curriculum opened in 2002. Although it features state-of-the-art technology, what makes it so unusual is that it's specially planned to foster student-faculty interaction, interdisciplinary approaches and undergraduate research.
Since 1991, 19 Millikin professors have received grants from the National Science Foundation for programs and equipment that allows Millikin to our unique hands-on approach to teaching science.
Fighting the Teacher Shortage
Millikin offers a large teacher education program. Hundreds of Millikin alums are teaching in classrooms throughout Illinois and surrounding states.
Students learn to teach in elementary school or to teach biology, chemistry, English, French, mathematics, physical education, social science, Spanish, art, music or physical education in middle or high school.
Millikin School of Education added a new major in Early Childhood Education to meet the needs of an ever-growing population of learners who desire a bachelor’s degree and certification in Early Childhood Education. The program will allow current and new workers in the early childhood field to meet new state and federal guidelines. Over the next several years new regulations will be phased in that will require all full-time teachers in early childhood programs to have a bachelor’s degree. Education students can truly begin their major in their freshman year.
Nationally Renowned School of Music
Nearly one-third of all Millikin students are a part of the nationally renowned College of Fine Arts.
Millikin recently invested $10 million to renovate the School of Music building, which includes a state-of-the-art recording studio.
Millikin University has its own student-run record label.
In addition to traditional music majors, Millikin also offers majors in Commercial Music and Music Business.
Arco's Performing Arts Major's College Guide says, "Millikin's music program features a solid faculty."
Millikin University was the first university in Illinois to be named a Steinway School. Having this prestigious title means that Millikin has committed to providing only the best pianos for students and faculty while practicing and performing. Being designated a Steinway School puts Millikin in a very select group including The Julliard School and Yale University.
Millikin has one of oldest and largest Musical Theatre programs in the country. The program attracts students from across the nation with over 50% of the majors from outside of Illinois. Students are coming to Millikin for the program from as far away as Florida and Oregon.
Experiential learning is at the center of the business education program. Students do field internships using Decatur as a working laboratory. Millikin students have internships at Fortune 500 companies like Caterpillar and ADM.
All the University's students benefit from more than 110,000 hours/year of hands-on experiential learning. A Millikin education is not just theory and lectures.
Innovative Training for Future Business Leaders
Millikin is also a source for information about starting and operating your own small business.
Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship allows students to serve as consultants for real world business clients and provides local businesses with valuable business expertise and consulting services. Faculty guide students and consult themselves.
The Center is home to one of few on-campus chapters of the Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE) in the nation.
Students can major in a range of business fields including an International Business major that includes a dual degree program with Ecole Superieure de Gestion et Commerce International in Paris. The business school faculty has experience in industry as well as education. For example, they have done business in Poland, the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Russia and France.
Tackling the Nursing Shortage
Millikin University nursing students learn in a fully accredited nursing program and take part in clinical experiences supervised by experienced nursing faculty.
Millikin University nursing majors get jobs after graduation. Millikin has a 100% career placement rate. Nursing graduates are working in institutions like the Mayo Clinic, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
College Athletics Done The Right Way
Millikin, a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletics Association, has 2,400 undergraduates, 550 or 23% of whom participate in the University's 20 intercollegiate sports.
Millikin is an excellent example of college athletics done the right way. Millikin's student athletes are successful both in the classroom and on the playing field. Millikin ranks 15th nationwide among all colleges and universities in all divisions with 66 Academic All-Americans.
The women's basketball program has had seven Academic All-Americans, including two GTE Academic Players of the Year.
National Caliber Athletics Teams and Facilities
Millikin's women's basketball team has won the conference title in nine of the last eleven seasons and advanced to the NCAA Tournament each time.
The football team has won the CCIW title twice in the last five seasons, and advanced to the NCAA Playoffs both times.
Millikin has hosted national championship events in basketball, track and field and golf in the last couple of years.
Millikin's unique interdisciplinary approach to higher education allows students to combine three areas to customize a program of learning to fit their interests and career goals. This includes unusual majors like Music Business as well as nursing students who also major or minor in Spanish to be better prepared for jobs in the healthcare field.
Millikin has a strong educational program involving travel to and study in the Dominican Republic. Since 1997, more than 250 students and more than 50 faculty members have learned and/or provided community service in that country.
What's the proper role for our universities? Should they educate students solely for the workplace, or - like Millikin - promote citizenship and a meaningful personal life?
Millikin faculty and administrators have expertise in many areas including education, fine arts, business, science, politics, society, technology, athletics and more. For a list visit www.millikin.edu/news/experts.
For more information please contact Millikin University Media and Public Relations Coordinator Dane Glisser at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217.420.6636.