Imagine a place where learning with an open mind and active hands is not only encouraged, it is a pillar for success. A place where collaborative learning laboratories and classrooms are used to link foundational knowledge with applied learning; where curiosity is encouraged; where inquisitive minds are fostered; and where the faculty advance knowledge with the resources of a large university while focusing on the individual learner. That place is our College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) at Illinois State University.
Here, we bring more than 4,700 motivated students together with a caring and talented faculty to inspire applied learning across more than 30 areas of study. For many of our academic majors, the placement rate for our graduates is at 100 percent within three months of graduation. For majors requiring a national board examination after graduation, our pass rates exceed national averages for each of the exams.
Within CAST, dynamic programs and people focus on translating classroom learning into real-world situations. Students engage in a variety of learning opportunities, including harnessing sustainable sources of energy, maximizing soil productivity, preventing acute injuries and chronic diseases, enhancing cybersecurity, developing interior environments that enrich the quality of life, and understanding human behavior as it relates to criminality. Instruction with an emphasis on application allows CAST graduates to transfer theoretical and practical knowledge from the class- room to their profession.
Through Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State, we will build on the College’s history of success, excelling in educating the applied science and technology leaders of tomorrow.
Redbirds Rising will enable the University to achieve three critical outcomes: supporting student and faculty scholarship, educating globally aware and socially engaged leaders, and sparking continuous creativity and innovation. To advance these objectives, we offer multiple ways to support CAST within our key funding categories:
Privately funded recruitment and retention scholarships will enable CAST to attract exceptional students and graduate research assistants who will be best served by our student-centered, applied-learning focus. In addition, an excellence fund in this area will provide an invaluable means for the College to host guest lectures and schedule interactive workshops that serve as integral learning tools and open doors for community engagement.
Providing an individualized educational experience that allows students to partner with faculty in research and learning is an unwavering College commitment. This requires faculty with strengths as scholars and teachers. Endowed professorships and a professional development fund will allow us to reward and retain our exceptional faculty and to attract promising new faculty to campus.
Innovative learning environments and resources are essential for CAST to deliver applied research and techno- logical instruction to students. Laboratory equipment must be updated regularly to ensure our graduates are prepared for the changing workplace. Examples include flatbed printing technology for the graphic communications lab, injury treatment modalities for the athletic training lab, and a light simulation feature for the interior design lab.
CAST students have a competitive advantage developed through experiences beyond those offered in classrooms and laboratories. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in professional competitions, conferences, and study abroad opportunities, where classroom skills are applied in a hands-on setting. An investment in support of these opportunities enhances the experience of the students, helps set CAST graduates apart, and builds upon the legacy of thousands of our alumni who were impacted by similar student experiences.
CAST must be able to respond quickly to opportunities that can benefit our students and faculty, as well as enhance our reputation for excellence. Generous, ongoing support through the College’s annual fund and other unrestricted accounts provides students and faculty with the resources necessary to stay innovative and be leaders in their fields. Recent donor investments have allowed us to secure computer software to augment our teaching and research laboratories, replace drafting tables in labs used by interior design and horticulture, and provide state-of-the-art equipment in our teacher education labs.
The College has achieved excellence by upholding the University’s core values. Going forward, CAST faces the unique challenge of preparing graduates for technical professions that are competitive, continuously changing, in high demand, and experiencing growth. You can help secure the future for our College, our university, and the society we serve. Join us in supporting Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State.
In addition to our variety of academic programs, CAST serves as the home for the University Farm at Lexington, the Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Therapy Clinic, the Child Care Center, Horticulture Center, and Gamma Phi Circus. These affiliates provide additional learning, leadership, and service opportunities for CAST students.
The priorities described here represent only a small sampling of funding opportunities in every department, school, and program within the College of Applied Science and Technology. For more information about how you can support the College’s campaign priorities, contact:
College of Applied Science and Technology
Director of Development
College of Applied Science and Technology