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Governors State University ready to welcome freshmen

Courtney Sanders vice president for enrollment management Governors State University University Park.  |  Phocourtesy Governors State University

Courtney Sanders, vice president for enrollment management at Governors State University in University Park. | Photo courtesy of Governors State University

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Updated: March 7, 2014 1:45PM



Plans for Governors State University’s first freshman class are on schedule, and the university will welcome them in the fall with a unique twist.

The freshman class will have 270 students, divided into three sections of 90 students. This system, the cohort model, is prevalent in graduate schools. The students will be grouped together for the first two years, when they will take at least three classes together.

Once a student is accepted by Governors State, he or she must choose one of three academic themes — global citizenship, civic engagement or sustainability.

“The first two years, they will take general education courses in the common core (subjects), and they will revolve around those themes,” said Courtney Sanders, vice president for enrollment management.

“The cohort model leads to a higher retention rate, and they develop more relationships (with their peers). The themes are a way to interweave the courses together.”

Governors State began accepting applications in August for the 2014 freshman class. Applicants had a Nov. 15 deadline to apply and learned by Jan. 1 whether they would be able to attend GSU.

Sanders said students have until April to notify the university if they plan to attend.

She did not know exactly how many applications GSU received but said more than 100 high schools were represented in the application process, and that the numbers of applicants was what the university expected.

“We want more students to apply,” Sanders said.

“There are some out-of-state students applying, and we hope to see more.”

Construction has begun on Prairie Place, the university’s first residence hall. Sanders said there will be 300 beds in the hall, and the building will open for the fall semester.

Sanders said the estimated cost for an in-state freshman to attend GSU is $4,000 for tuition and fees and $5,200 for room and board.

She said the university’s board of trustees will discuss whether to increase tuition, fees and room and board at its
Feb. 28 meeting.



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