graphicThe 65 public school districts that serve residents of Chicago Southland's 71 communities and surrounding areas share a single goal : excellence in programs, facilities, instructors, and staff.

As a result, many have earned state and national recognition for excellence in education and serve as models for other Illinois schools.

Rich Township High School District 227, which operates three high schools and serves Matteson, Tinley Park, Country Club Hills, Chicago Heights, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, and Richton Park, is typical of Chicago Southland school districts. Rich South High School, located in Richton Park, is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education's Award for Excellence. The district's three high schools offer advanced placement courses, gifted and talented programs, vocational education programs, special education programs, a daily tutorial period, and summer school classes. Seventy-eight percent of the racially balanced district's graduates go on to some form of higher education. Other award-winning districts include Arbor Park (serving Oak Forest), Beecher, Evergreen Park, Flossmoor (a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon award winner), Rich, and Summit Hill (serving Frankfort and Mokena).

Alternatives to public education are offered by the parochial systems and private schools in Chicago Southland communities. They appeal to parents who want educational programs that equal public school quality, but with a religious base.

graphicAll of the schools of Chicago Southland provide the education and training necessary for continued growth of the area's business and industry.

Five two-year community colleges, four four-year colleges, and a regional university serve the people of Chicago Southland, giving students, wherever they live, convenient access to higher education.

Palos Hills' Moraine Valley Community College, along with a satellite site in Worth, is the state's sixth largest two-year institution. It awards associate degrees in arts, science, and applied science and in such career programs as parks and recreation, electrical, culinary art, and telecommunication electronics. It also offers certificate programs that can be completed in a single year.

Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, with satellites in Matteson and Homewood, offers a full range of academic degree transfer programs and close to 40 career programs.

With its main campus in South Holland and a satellite in Oak Forest, South Suburban College offers nearly 50 career education programs and a full range of transfer programs. Like most community colleges, three quarters of its students attend classes part-time.

Serving the entire area, Governors State University in University Park augments Chicago Southland's community colleges by providing only the final two years of work toward a bachelor's degree. The university has branch facilities in Homewood and Orland Park.

Kankakee Community College in Kankakee and Joliet Junior College in Joliet draw students from nearby communities such as Lockport, New Lenox, Momence, and Peotone. Both colleges offer academic and career associate degree and certificate programs.

Joliet's College of St. Francis is a private, four-year, liberal arts facility offering bachelor's and master's degree programs. It provides off-campus educational opportunities at sites in Burbank, South Holland, Oak Forest, Kankakee, and Evergreen Park.

Lewis University's aviation programs set it apart from all other colleges and universities in the Chicago metropolitan area. In addition to aviation, the Romeoville university offers more than 40 degree programs.

Orland Park is home to two branch facilities of leading educational institutions. St. Xavier University's branch offers courses leading to bachelor and graduate degrees; its main campus is in Chicago. The Keller Graduate School of Management also has a branch in the community.

In addition to campuses within the Chicago Southland area, students can readily commute to such well-known institutions as Illinois Institute of Technology, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois - Chicago, DePaul University, and Loyola University.


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