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Though Governors State University now offers degree programs at all levels, it initially only offered bachelor's degrees. Founded in 1969 by an act of state legislature, it opened two years later with a small number of students. Called a university without walls, it used an experimental program that awarded students a pass or fail marking on each class they took instead of assigning them grades. The idea was that students could learn more effectively if they didn't worry about their grades. The university changed quite a bit over the years and now uses a more traditional grading system. It also brought in the use of smart products to help students better write down notes in classes and complete work at home.
The university received recognition in 2014 for its dual degree program. This program allows students to earn two degrees in less time. Many of their required courses in one program will count as requirements or electives in another, which significantly reduces the amount of time they spend in school. It also received an award in 2015 for its sustainability efforts. The university hopes to further reduce its carbon footprint and help the environment in other ways. Governors State University has a convenient location near Chicago, which allows students to complete placements and internships in that major city.
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Governors State University Accreditation Details
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), which accredited the university's business program, is one example of the program accreditation it has. Also called specialty or specialized accreditation, this means that a larger organization approved the degree programs offered by a specific department on campus. Its physical therapy, occupational therapy and social work programs all have accreditation as well. Organizations that accredited Governors State University programs include:
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
- American Occupational Therapy Association
Governors State University also has regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). NCACS accreditation means that the university does a good job of preparing students for their future endeavors and that the degrees the university awards are worthwhile.
Governors State University Application Requirements
Any high school graduate seeking a degree from Governors State University and planning to enroll as a freshman must complete the freshman online application. The university's application asks about the classes you took in the past, your grades and any extracurricular activities or hobbies that you have. Admitted students typically scored 18 or higher on the ACT, had a 2.75 GPA in high school and completed a college prep curriculum. That curriculum includes at least three years of a foreign language, four years of math and English and three years of humanities/social sciences and life/health sciences. Once you submit the application, you must provide an official transcript from your high school and an official ACT or SAT score.
Graduate students, including those enrolling in a doctoral program, must complete the online application as well and pay a $50 application fee. You can contact the university and request a fee waiver if you cannot afford this fee. All students must submit an official score from the GRE or one of the other standardized tests. Depending on the program, you may need to submit some supplemental forms too, including an essay or statement of purpose, resume and letters of recommendation. Many of its medical programs, including those in nursing and occupational therapy, have a different application that you'll need to request a copy of from that department.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Governors State University charges different tuition rates for graduate students and undergrads as well as different rates based on where you live. In-state tuition comes in at more than $7,000 a year, but when you factor in all fees, you'll pay around $9,300 a year. The cost for nonresident undergrads increases to more than than $17,000 a year. These figures do not include the cost of living on campus, transportation costs or expenses relating to school supplies and textbooks. The cost for graduate students, including all fees, is just under $7,000 a year. If you are not an Illinois resident, your cost will come in at around $12,500 a year. Governors State University offers a tuition break for Indiana residents that reduces their annual costs.
As soon as you submit your online application, you can file the FAFSA. Based on the amount you earn each year or the income of your parents, you may qualify for need-based grants that you do not pay back. The university offers other options for undergrads, including scholarships, work-study jobs on campus and loans. While there are fewer scholarships and grants available for graduate students, you may qualify for an assistant job in your department or federal student loans. Grad students can also take out alternative or private student loans.
Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling
Governors State University offers four programs for those interested in psychology and counseling. The first is its psychology major, which is available to undergrads. You can choose a track or concentration based on your career goals in mindfulness studies, individual/organizational psychology, forensic psychology or pre-clinical psychology. You can then enroll in either the psychological theories or clinical psychology graduate program. Both programs let you spend time doing independent research, work in the field and attend traditional classes. Governors State University also offers a Masters in Counseling and a Masters in School Education.
Those who want to work in schools and help student within a certain age range may want to apply for the university's School Psychology EdS degree. It consists of two different phases. The first phase covers 36 hours of work and takes place during your first year. You'll take classes and seminars on human development, theories of psychotherapy and cognitive psychology. The first phase includes a final practicum too. The second phase includes 30 hours of work in classes like family theories, consultation and program evaluation, advanced assessment and intervention techniques. All students enrolled in this Governors State University program must also agree to do two different school psychology internships during the second phase.