Liberal Studies This Week

Sharing your experience as an online student

If you would like to become a contributor to this blog, contact Andy at aegiz1 at 

Friday Fun - Rock Band

This is the first of what will be a weekly time-wasting opportunity. Hopefully, everyone will have a few minutes to waste on a Friday as the work week ends and the homework weekend begins. (Feel free to post your own Friday Fun links as well.)

I chose this video, not just because it's really cool, but as a tie-in to an announcement. UIS once offered a Beatles course under the LSC prefix. (For newer students, LSC courses were an earlier version of what are now ECCEs.) Many students included the course in their degree plans only to be disappointed when it, along with all LSCs, disappeared from the catalog.

The Beatles class will return this spring as an LIS 460 so look for it this November when the spring schedule appears online.

Did you know . . .? It's our tenth birtdhay!

The Liberal Studies program, originally called the Individual Option program, was one of the first degrees offered by UIS, originally called Sangamon State University In the fall of 1999, it became the first online undergraduate program offered by UIS.

I started with the LIS program in the middle of that first semester and man oh man how things have changed. Back in the olden days of 1999, I spent a lot of time trying to convince students that online classes were real classes and that the diploma was the same diploma they might earn on campus and not something printed on a graham cracker. When we admitted students, we went through a 45 minute interview process to determine if they had the necessary technical skills. I was doing about 200 of these interviews a year so I was VERY happy when online learning started becoming “normal.”

One of my favorite memories of those early days was a visit from our dean. He was describing the proposal process for this new online venture in Liberal Studies. In his words, he said they set an enrollment goal semester one, semester two, semester three and then a miracle would happen. He was telling me this in the semester in which the miracle was proposed to happen – it had happened. LIS went from a pretty small degree program to one that was admitting 120 new students a year. The online program even jump-started the campus-based program so that now we are able to have strong groups learning in both options.

If you’d like a small glimpse of the early LIS online days, go the registration website. The smiling students you see there are some of the Spring 2002 LIS graduates.


Welcome back to school (or if this is your first semester, just plain welcome.) The first week of the fall semester is the second-most exciting week of the year. The most exciting week, of course, is graduation week. We’re all sad to see summer pass but happy to roll-up our sleeves and get busy once again.

This is a relaunch of the Liberal Studies This Week blog and my hope is that it will become a true community blog. I plan to post at least twice a week. One post will be a Did You Know . . . so that I can share things about UIS that you may not know. The other will be Friday Fun. This is an idea I’m stealing from my wife who is a communication director. This will be something that will hopefully make you smile and give you moment to relax and catch your breath before you leave the work week behind and begin the homework weekend.

But the goal is to make this a community so I need you to join in. I’d like everyone to have a chance to share their ideas and their experiences as students and as people. There are no rules involved, other than being respectful of others, so you can post about whatever you’d like.

Last semester, we had a few brave souls join me in attempting to form a community of blogs but this was a lot to ask of all of us – it’s hard to find time to post to a blog. Liberal Studies This Week will be a blog community so there is no pressure to post regularly – if you’re not posting someone else will be.

If you are a member of the Liberal Studies community and would like to post to this blog, send me an email, aegiz1 at . You do not need to be a blog expert to participate. It’s as easy to do as sending an email and, if you prefer, I’ll set you up so that you can send an email directly to the blog and it will post without you ever even logging into the site.