Gov. William Bissell signed a bill on February 18, 1857, to create a normal school and establish the Board of Education of the State of Illinois as its governing body. The bill stipulated that the permanent location would be the place that offered the most favorable inducements. Jesse W. Fell took up the campaign for Bloomington and obtained financial backing totaling $141,000. Abraham Lincoln, acting as attorney for the board, drew up the bond guaranteeing that Bloomington citizens would fulfill their financial commitments. Consequently, Illinois State Normal University was founded as the first public institution of higher education in the state. Established as a teacher education institution, Illinois State has developed into a multipurpose university with degree programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.
Illinois State University
100 N. University St.
Normal, IL, 61761
The University is one of 12 public universities in Illinois. Its academic departments offer more than 160 major/minor options in the Colleges of Applied Science and Technology, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Fine Arts, and Mennonite College of Nursing. The Graduate School coordinates 41 master's, specialist, and doctoral programs. The University's academic programs are supported by the services and collections of Milner Library, which contains more than three million holdings and special collections.
Illinois State is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The teacher preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and are certified by the Illinois State Board of Education. In addition, 22 programs hold discipline-based accreditation.
The University enrolls students from throughout Illinois, 40 other states, the District of Columbia, and 61 other countries. Students are mentored by a faculty that includes numerous teacher-scholars recognized at national and international levels, and all are dedicated to superior teaching.
Conveniently located in Central Illinois, the University is situated at the intersection of three major interstate highways, as well as along the Chicago-St. Louis railroad corridor. Because of its easy access in a region of strong economic growth and its multidimensional profile, Illinois State is able to respond to the varied needs and interests of its constituents and to contribute to the development of its students as responsible citizens.