The Illinois Institute of Technology was born from the fusion of the Armour Institute of Technology (created in 1893 with a philosophy of inclusiveness for all) and the Lewis Institute (the first in the country to offer adult education in the late 19th/early 20th century). Located in Chicago, Illinois Tech opened its doors officially in 1940, with a motto of “Transforming Lives, Inventing the Future”, quickly becoming one of the largest metro PhD colleges in the country.
Currently offering Bachelor, Master, PhD, and certifications to students of all ethnicities, genders, and geographic areas (through extensive online options), IIT is a research heavy college offering “distinctive and relevant education in an environment of science, technological, and professional knowledge creation and innovation”. Housing four colleges, two institutes, and two schools on five locations around the Chicago area (as well as independent research/certification centers), students can study anything from law (Chicago-Kent College of Law) to Molecular Biochemistry (College of Science and Letters). Enrollment is around 7700 students overall, with about 2500 in undergraduate programs and the other 5200 in graduate and professional programs. The school has a very extensive medicine program, with dual majors in that as well as several other major programs.
Research is a large part of learning at IIT, giving students opportunities to work on “government, foundation, and industry funded research projects in all areas”, as well as faculty (most of which are terminally degreed in their fields). Internships abound (largely due to its location) and the school maintains the Stuart Career Management Center to help guide students to their final goal and give graduates opportunities to find employment upon receipt of an undergrad degree (or find them further employment after achieving a graduate level degree).
The Illinois Institute was one of the first schools to offer a form of distance education, using televisions to broadcast lessons to satellite locations. Today, the information is delivered through the internet (though TV courses are still utilized), with students working towards degrees from the comfort of their own home. At IIT, “there are no IIT online students, there are only IIT students who take their courses and programs online”, a philosophy that assures that all students receive the same opportunity and education regardless of delivery format. Utilizing Blackboard, online courses are delivered and allow for viewing of lectures and materials at any time, though courses are designed with deadlines and follow the same semester/quarter format as on campus classes. Though students will never HAVE to go to class, professors can be emailed if a distance learner would like to participate in a traditional class.
Most degrees can be attained completely online, with dozens and dozens of courses each semester, as well as online learning and certifications programs that are always offered (in the areas of IT, Computing Tools, and professional learning programs). Library services can either be accessed on line, or books can be reserved at nearby I-Share locations. IIT also offers business learning seminars, delivering asynchronous and synchronous courses designed to improve any employer’s work force.
Ranked as a tier 1 university (with US News and World Report ranking their law and engineering programs as some of the top in the country), IIT is recognized as the best school in Chicago behind (of course) Northwestern and the University of Chicago. Their vision to be “internationally recognized in distinctive areas of education and research…driven by a professional and technology-oriented focus, and based on a culture of innovation and excellence” has resulted in an all inclusive college that provides an entire lifetime of education in hundreds of areas, yet keeps it all under one name (if not one roof).