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Chicago State University, often called CSU or Chicago State, is a modern university that sprung out of the Cook County Normal School. Founded in 1867, the Cook County Normal School was a small school near Chicago that offered training programs for teachers. The founder of the school wanted those teachers to develop strong skills that they would use in local classrooms and schools. It continued operating under this name until the 1930s. Even after becoming the Chicago Teachers College, it retained its focus on the training of future teachers. As other teaching schools opened in the city and nearby, the school decided to shift its focus towards other programs. This led to it becoming Chicago State College and later Chicago State University.
Though not a historically black college, Chicago State does have a high population of African American students. Its location in Cook County became predominantly African American in the 1960s and later. The Thorgood Marshall College Fund named the university one of its member colleges in recent years. Each of the five schools within the college offer dozens of degree programs and opportunities for enrolled students. Notable students who attended or graduated from Chicago State since its inception include professional athletes, politicians, activists, writers and musicians. President Gerald Ford received an honorary doctorate from the university's law school as well.
Chicago State University Accreditation Details
Many students know that Chicago State University has accreditation for its education programs, but prospective students may not know that it has other types of accreditation as well. Regional or institutional accreditation comes from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The NCACS allows the university to give students degrees for successfully completing all requirements of one of its programs. NCACS does routine inspections of the university every decade to ensure that it should keep its accreditation. Another type of accreditation that the university has is something called specialized accreditation, which some call program accreditation. For example, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education granted Chicago State accreditation for its lower level and advanced teaching programs. Other organizations that gave the university specialized accreditation include:
Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
American Occupational Therapy Association
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
National Association of Schools of Music
Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
Council on Social Work Education Office of Social work Accreditation
National Recreation and Park Association
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
Chicago State University Application Requirements
CSU gives new students the chance to apply in one of two ways. You can either complete the general application found on the university's website or complete the Common Application. The Common Application is a separate website that allows students to create and register an account. You can use that account to apply to multiple colleges and complete all required steps. When using the Common Application, you will need to select CSU and view all additional steps required of the school. Other colleges may have separate steps that you need to complete as well. Those who want to transfer credits earned at another college will need to complete the official CSU application and submit a college transcript after paying the application fee.
If you are a new student and never took college courses before, Chicago State asks that you pay a $25 application fee and provide either a high school transcript or proof that you obtained your GED. You will also need to ask the testing board to send a copy of the score you earned on the SAT or ACT. Chicago State also requires a letter of recommendation from either a high school teacher or guidance counselor. The last thing you need to submit as part of your application is a personal essay statement of 650 words or less.
Tuition and Fees
The cost of attending Chicago State as a full time student is around $5,500 a semester for new students who live in Illinois. Out of state residents will find that their tuition fees come in at around $9,500 a semester. That tuition rate lets you take 12 credit hours or more. CSU has its own guaranteed tuition program, which states that your tuition rates will not rise. The cost charged when you first enroll is the same amount you will pay in the future. As long as you graduate within the next six years, the university will never raise your tuition rate. If you receive financial aid, the university will issue you a book voucher that lets you pay for your textbooks and other supplies before your aid arrives or posts to your account.
Most students who attend CSU receive some type of financial aid. You will need to file the FAFSA before enrolling to see what you will get. Students generally qualify for at least one loan and at least one grant. Your parents may qualify for additional loans and grants as well. If you need more money for college, you can apply for private scholarships and scholarships available through the university. CSU may enroll you in a work-study program too.
Chicago State University is one of the only colleges in the country that offers a unique degree program for bilingual students. The BSED program allows you to earn your teaching license and learn how to work with students who speak two different languages. There is also a BSED program that culminates in a specialist degree rather than a teaching license. These programs require the completion of 129 credit hours or more in courses like education psychology, characteristics of exceptional children, health for elementary school teachers and multiple Spanish classes. Those enrolling in the teaching portion of the program will complete fieldwork in local schools.
The criminal justice program at CSU is also popular among students. The university offers plenty of opportunities for students to gain experience working in the criminal justice system. You might work for an outreach organization that informs children and teenagers of the dangers associated with illegal activity, a reoffender program that talks with former criminals about how they can change their lives or for an agency designed to help children who were victims of abuse at home. Chicago State University requires that all criminal justice students take additional courses in social work and philosophy.