Undergraduate Education

A U of I undergraduate education has always been a world-class education — and remains a world-class bargain as well. This year, more students than ever came from Illinois — 94.2 percent, an increase of almost 5 percent over `97. And the quality of our students continues its arc of excellence. Standardized test scores are higher than ever before. So are high school class rankings, now in the 92nd percentile.

 

The Bumper Class of 2002

THEY SAID YES IN A BIG WAY. More than 50 percent of those accepted by the university for fall 1998 decided to attend, making the UIUC Class of 2002 a bumper one. And while this influx only increased CBA's freshman class by about ten, college numbers have soared overall by around 200 students because of cross-campus transfers. "The credentials of the LAS students applying to transfer have improved," observes Larry Johnson, CBA's assistant dean of undergraduate affairs. "And the demand for business majors has, for whatever reason, increased." Johnson explains that the option of cross-campus transfer is open to UIUC students at junior level and above, who have a B average and meet other requirements. Of fall enrollment he says: "Our first-day figures stood at 3,133. That's 167 more than last year." Interestingly, more students come from Illinois this year. Overall, first-day enrollment at UIUC stood at 35,364, up 256 from a year ago.

 

CBA ENROLLMENT 1998
FR SOPH JR SR OTHER* TOTAL
Accy 148 141 273 292 1 855
BA 132 117 271 362 1 883
Econ 22 14 13 15 0 64
Fin 86 94 265 332 1 778
Unassn. 306 213 37 0 29 585

TOTALS 694 579 859 1,001 32 3,165
*non-degree or second bachelor's
VITAL STATISTICS
CBA UNDERGRADUATE ENROLLMENT
1997 3,017 12% of total
1998 3,165 11.5% of total
INCOMING FRESHMEN
Enrollment by gender:
1997 Male-54.3% Female-45.6%
1998 Male-56% Female-44%
Non-resident enrolment:
1997 10.0%
1998 5.8%
Average ACT score:
997 27
1998 28
Average SAT score:
1997 1231
1998 1239
High School Percentile Rank:
1997 90
1998 92

 

Quad Day — where students can check out hundreds of clubs across the UIUC campus.

A Stellar Transaction

A home-grown product gets attention —
today ALS buys STARS, tomorrow . . . . .

 

THANKS TO THE COMMERCE UNDERGRADUATE OFFICE,  academic advisors over in the College of Applied Life Studies (ALS) have got STARS in their eyes. And that works like a dream. STARS (Student Tracking and Records System), an on-line advising program, developed in-house with the help of the Office for Information Management (OIM), has for the past several years been a flagship project for undergraduate affairs. The computerized set-up has proven so effective that, after attending a special presentation held at the OIM lab in the spring of '98, the ALS administration decided they wanted STARS too and that they were willing to buy it. "Part of the problem for Life Studies is that the classrooms and offices are in different buildings all over campus. There was no centralized tracking system for records. A student could go to two different advisors for the same problem or question without either of the advisors being aware of this," says CBA records officer Cynthia Faullin. "STARS maintains a contact history, with advisor notes and other relevant information, such as petitions. It's so much more effective than a manila file folder."

STARS gives a comprehensive record of a student's contact with the undergraduate office. Over the past several years, the undergraduate office has steadily expanded the program's capabilities. Now students can submit petitions on line, requesting a change of major, for example, or a degree audit, or asking to add an extra semester, or citing the need for an overload. There are also flags for anomalies such as underloads. With the help of an independent network analyst, undergraduate affairs has also been able to provide ALS with support in getting the program on line. "We `talk' to each other on line, but students records are kept strictly separate," Faullin says.

"Every semester we come up with a new twist on STARS," she concludes. "I think it will continue to evolve to a point where we may even see intercollegiate transfers on a Web-based program. Now I hope that other colleges at UIUC will jump on the bandwagon."

Notes from Abroad

THE STEADY SURGE OF GROWTH IN THE CBA STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM not only brought the number of undergraduate students in business programs overseas to 129 in 1997-98 (see chart) — more partners have joined the college in international educational exchange. New to the program are the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Philippines, and IPADE (Insituto Panamericano de Alta Direccion de Empresa). Commerce now has seventeen international partners in ten countries.

Elsewhere on CBA's international front, two centers have joined forces. CIERA (Center for International Education and Research in Accounting) and CIBER (Center for International Business Education and Research) have begun jointly funding international speakers invited to campus by faculty members, as well as faculty and summer research programs. Both also offer scholarships for study abroad. In 1999, CIERA will sponsor its thirty-fourth International Accounting Conference. Theme for the conference is "Accounting in the Global Markets of the Next Century," and it will be held April 22-24 on the UIUC campus.

 

New Student Advisors

On November 3, 1997, an important convergence was taking place. That's the day Jenni Mueller and Teresa D'Urso both walked into the Emerson Cammack Office of Undergraduate Affairs to begin their new jobs as academic advisors. "It's a big university, and a big college," observes Jenni, who came to CBA from the Pavilion, a Champaign mental health facility where she worked as a counselor. "It can be easy for students to get lost in the shuffle."

Teresa, who moved to Commerce from admissions and records at LAS, also had worked for many years in several hospitals. "Our responsibility is to help the students adjust to what it's like to deal with people in real life," says Jenni. "We provide a good balance of skills for the office." ALIGN="JUSTIFY">And the technology in the office helps them perform at their best. "STARS allows students to do routine requests and petitions on the Web. It keeps the traffic in the office down and frees us up to take care of concerns that are not strictly procedural," Teresa observes. Adds Jenni: "STARS can be really helpful when it comes to understanding someone's situation. It helps students feel like advising is more personal because there's a record of contact."

In her year at CBA, Jenni has shown a special affinity for publicity, making improvements to the undergraduate Web page, and also creating fliers and brochures to let students know about college events and academic information. "I started as a fine arts major," she recalls. "Then I realized that I wanted to work with people." Now design work for undergraduate affairs "allows me to exercise my creative side. I've learned a lot." As well as a more efficient set-up for the Web page, other innovations include posting the degree list on the `net. When it comes to getting the word out, Jenni observes: "Sometimes students get `grapevine' information that's simply inaccurate. So we use redundancy as a tool. E-mail. Bulletin board postings. The Web. The Student Handbook. Brochures. Fliers."


Teresa D'Urso (front)
and Jennifer Mueller

 

"Registering by computer can be one of the most confusing things about attending the U of I," notes Teresa. For both the new advisors, perhaps the major initial challenge was dealing with the sheer numbers of students clamoring for help. The office had been short-staffed before the two were hired. Even at full staff, there are only three advisors — including head advisor Doris Howard — for 3,000 students. One solution has been freshman group advising. "We help them adjust and learn college policies," notes Jenni. Teresa has found out that "a lot of my job has been answering basically the same questions, then dealing with the different degree requirements. It has helped to become familiar with the policies and procedures. It makes you better able to direct students — to be a resource for them and for the university."

She concludes, not without amusement: "We get the occasional student who comes in and wants to be an advisor like us." And as to happy endings at CBA, she says: "The happy ending comes when they graduate."

"STARS frees us up to take care of concerns that are not strictly procedural."

- Teresa D'Urso, academic advisor


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