Watch the video of "Comcast Newsmakers" above and listen to GSU President, Elaine P. Maimon,
talk about the exciting changes and programs coming to GSU.
Governors State University will become a four-year institution in
the fall of 2014
This is a transformational year at Governors State University. Building on more than 40 years of academic excellence, GSU will become a full-service university.
Starting with the fall 2014 semester, GSU transforms from an upper division university that served transfer undergraduates and graduate students to a comprehensive public university that will serve all levels, from beginning undergraduate to doctoral degrees.
With the arrival of freshmen comes a many other exciting changes: new housing on campus, new programs of study, a new athletics program and the opening of the renovated science wing in E and F buildings, just to name a few.
Take a closer look at the transformations happening around campus.
Governors State University has been a commuter school ever since it first opened. Beginning in July 2014, GSU becomes a learning AND living community with the opening of Prairie Place, a 296-bed student residence hall.
Prairie Place offers a mix of suites and apartments for student living. There is a community kitchen on each floor along with a lounge, a convenience store, vending machines and laundry facilities. A classroom will also be available where residents can organize study sessions, meetings and gather to listen to guest speakers. Other amenities include:
- Free high-speed network and Wi-Fi throughout the hall
- Free cable service (80+ channels)
- All utilities included
- Supportive learning environment
- Convenient parking
- Student living areas secured 24/7
- On-site staff to provide assistance and support
- Shuttle service to academic buildings and the Metra
Prairie Place puts students within a short walking distance from the renowned Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, the Center for Performing Arts, library and athletic facilities. Students also have access to outdoor recreation fields, walking paths and a pedestrian friendly outdoor plaza. Students will live among academics, athletics and art.
2014 marks the beginning of GSU's first foray into intercollegiate athletics. For the 2014-15 academic year, GSU will field men's and women's basketball teams. By 2016, GSU will also have:
- Women's volleyball
- Men's and women's golf
- Men's and women's cross country
With its transformation to a four-year university, the inclusion of athletics is an essential component to a more rich collegiate experience for students. The benefits include:
- More learning opportunities– Sharing experiences with peers at extracurricular events gives students opportunities to become more well-rounded.
- More social interaction– Athletic events afford students a chance to get together with a broader section of the student population. Together, they can share a common interest while getting a break from academic pressures.
- Building friendships– With more opportunities for social interaction at athletic events, students build strong bonds with each other over shared interests.
- School pride and loyalty– A school with an enthusiastic following of its athletic teams is a more vibrant and fun place to be. While students connect to their school for a variety of reasons– a professor, a program, the preparation for the workforce it provides– athletics gives students an additional opportunity to connect and strengthen their ties.
GSU offers 30 undergraduate majors, 23 concentrations and 33 minors in liberal arts, sciences, education, business and health professions. And the list is expanding. For Fall 2014 are bachelor's degrees offered for theater and performance studies, and gender and sexuality studies.
GSU also offers 28 master's degrees and five doctoral degrees. The newest program is a master's joint degree program in political and justice studies and public administration.
For those looking to continue their education but aren't looking for a degree per se, GSU offers six undergraduate and 17 graduate-level certificates. A new graduate-level clinical mental health counselor certificate for post-master's degree graduate students is now being offered.
Science wing and library renovations
Fall of 2014 doesn't just begin a transformational year for GSU's academics and athletics. There are physical transformations for the university as well.
The fall semester means the science wing in E and F buildings will officially open, following a $22.6 million renovation to 80,000 square feet of space.
The main campus building's original architecture featured open spaces, which was rather common in the late 60s and early 70s. However, such a design could not meet growing program needs. The university hired LCM Architects to redesign E and F wings and construction began in 2011.
The new design houses functions for two colleges: Teaching and research labs for the College of Arts and Sciences' Biology, Chemistry and Computer Sciences departments; and, the College of Health and Human Services' Nursing, Physical Therapy and Communication Disorders departments.
GSU's library and academic computing services lab will also have a new look for the fall semester. The library will be remodeled to feature a more modern design. The computer lab's space will grow from about 5,500 square feet to about 9,000 and will add 80 additional seats for computers.
Governors State isn't just about academics. Helping students become well educated and well-rounded is an important goal. There are more than 70 clubs, teams and organizations to satisfy diverse interests. Many are academically oriented but there are those centered on special interests or social issues.
Students may also put their leadership skills on display with the GSU Student Senate, which represents GSU student concerns and interests to the faculty, staff and administration. Or there is a chance to be part of the GSU Program Council, the organization that helps create student-oriented events.
Chances are whatever a student's interests may be, there will be a club or organization that will help that interest grow and flourish. If not, there is always the opportunity to start a new club or organization.
For more information or to apply, visit here.