Education & Schools
TILE classrooms promote active, student-centered learning PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Hawkeye Caucus   
Friday, 07 September 2012 12:11

What if students had classes that helped them earn better grades and that they liked better than traditional classes?  At the University of Iowa, thousands of students now have an opportunity to do just that as they experience a very active style of learning through tech-infused TILE classrooms.

TILE stands for Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage.  Since 2010, the UI has created five of these student-centered learning spaces, which support in-class collaboration, inquiry-based learning, peer instruction, and more interaction with faculty.  TILE rooms accommodate 27 to 81 students and are equipped with round tables, laptops, and whiteboards to facilitate hands-on projects and small-group discussions.  Multiple projectors and screens around the room allow them to share their work.

To date, instructors have taught 148 TILE courses in an array of fields, including STEM disciplines, foreign language, education, political science, theater arts, business, urban and regional planning, and more.


ITS-Instructional Services is assessing the difference in learning outcomes in TILE and traditional classrooms.  All other things equal, students in TILE classrooms earned slightly higher grades than students taking the same courses in regular rooms—an outcome consistent with prior research about similar classrooms at M.I.T. and the University of Minnesota.


Sample comments from UI students who took TILE classes: “It compels collaboration.” “It gives us a chance to learn from each other.” “It’s more of a facilitator’s classroom versus a lecturer that holds all of the knowledge and bestows it on us.”

Skip-a-Long Child Development Services – Rock Island Campus – ALL staff now hold CDA Credential! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Liz Strader   
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 14:38
Skip-a-Long Child Development Services is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible care to all children, staff at the center regularly participate in training opportunities and continuing education. Today the staff at this center have reached a milestone!

EVERY staff member at the Rock Island Skip-a-Long Campus now holds a CDA (Child Development Associate) Credential! This means all staff who nurture and teach our children at this site are Teacher Qualified.

According to The Council for Professional Recognition, “The Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™ is based on a core set of competency standards, which guide early care professionals as they work toward becoming qualified teachers of young children. The Council works to ensure that the nationally-transferable CDA is a credible and valid credential, recognized by the profession as a vital part of professional development.”

We are very grateful and thankful for our dedicated staff who work to ensure excellence and quality in our child care center. Please celebrate this achievement with us, because it means that when you put your trust in Skip-a-Long to care for your child you can be assured that he or she is receiving the best care available from an organization whose mission is to provide “high-quality accessible child development services where learning is fun!”

Rep. Morthland: WIU Breaking Ground on Future PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:40

Moline, IL … Today, Rep. Rich Morthland (R-Cordova) participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for Phase II of the new Western Illinois University Quad Cities Riverfront campus in Moline.

“I am grateful for all of the hard work that went into this worthwhile project,” said Morthland. “With the opening of Phase I and now the groundbreaking of Phase II, the Quad Cities no longer has to hang its’ head as the largest community in America without a public 4-year university.”

Morthland says this is an important step towards the development of WIU and the Quad Cities.

“This is a tremendous day for WIU and our other institutions of higher education. We are not just breaking ground on a new building; we are breaking ground on the future of the Quad Cities. This is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when leaders from both the public and private sector come together and work towards a common goal.”


USDA Celebrates the Start of a Healthier School Year for America’s Kids PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:38

New Standards Ensure Students are Offered Healthier, More Nutritious Foods in the Lunch Line logo

WASHINGTON, August 29, 2012 – Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon today announced that America’s students will see healthier and more nutritious foods in the cafeteria as they return to school this year. The new nutrition standards for school meals, implemented as a result of the historic Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, will help to combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation's children.

“Improving the nutrition of school meals is an important investment in the future of America’s children,” said Concannon. “We know that healthy food plays a vital role in strengthening a child’s body and mind and the healthier school meals will help to ensure our children can learn, grow, and reach their full potential.”

Starting this school year, schools will phase in the nutrition standards over a three-year period. Schools will focus on changes in the lunches in the first year, with most changes in breakfast to take place in future years. The new meal standards:

-          Ensure students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;

-          Substantially increase offerings of whole grain-rich foods and low-fat milk or fat-free milk varieties;

-          Limit calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size; and

-          Focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.

The new meal requirements are raising standards for the first time in more than fifteen years and improving the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids that participate in school meal programs every school day. The healthier school meals are a key component of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was championed by the First Lady as part of her Let’s Move! campaign and signed into law by President Obama.

Watch a special back to school welcome video from First Lady Michelle Obama.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including school meals programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs. To learn about the meal standards, go to


Governor Quinn Announces New Advanced Science Building at University of Illinois at Chicago PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Thursday, 30 August 2012 07:30

Project Expected to Create Nearly 300 Jobs and 
Boost Illinois Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing and Research


CHICAGO – August 29, 2012. As part of his commitment to putting people back to work and fueling economic growth, Governor Quinn today announced the construction of the Advanced Chemical Technology Building (ACTB) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The $104 million project will be supported by a $64 million investment from state capital funds and is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs, in addition to 81 permanent campus jobs once the project is completed. The ACTB will serve as a new hub for high-tech investment and cement UIC’s position as one of the nation’s leading research universities.


“The best investment a state can make is in education,” Governor Quinn said. “Today’s announcement means more jobs, more innovation and a stronger University of Illinois-Chicago that will support our students as they prepare to enter the 21st century workforce.”


The ACTB will house select UIC faculty from chemistry, biology and physics and support cutting-edge research focused on connections between chemistry, physics and biology, such as tumor growth, HIV/AIDS, immunology, dental services, orthopedics, laser dynamics, nanoscience and environmental science.

Construction on the building is scheduled to begin after the end of the current school year and take approximately 30 months to complete.


“This state-of-the-art facility will bring together top researchers who will pool their expertise to develop pioneering solutions to society’s most critical problems. By working together, they will forge cutting-edge approaches that might never have surfaced working alone. On behalf of the university, I’m deeply grateful to Governor Pat Quinn and the General Assembly for their generous financial support of this critical investment in Illinois’ future,” University of Illinois President Robert Easter said.


The new chemical technology building will be designed to increase collaboration between scientists and encourage greater sharing of technology and advanced research, which will increase productivity and research quality. The facility will contain state-of-the-art laboratories for chemical scientists and other researchers. The environmentally-friendly building will also be submitted for a minimum LEED Silver certification.


Research activity in the building will include drug discovery and development, neuroscience, nanoscience, bioscience and materials science, and is expected to generate new innovative commercialized technology, patent filings and start-up companies with substantial economic benefits to the city and state through job creation in biopharmaceuticals and other areas. The building also will enable UIC faculty to generate more competitive external research funding and intellectual projects.


Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! program includes $1.5 billion for higher education, including $788 million for public universities and $400 million for community colleges. The overall $31 billion program is creating and supporting an estimated 439,000 construction jobs and is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history.


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