Harry S. Truman College, commonly known as Truman, is one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago. The two-year institution began as a night school operating out of an inner-city high school. The school moved to its own campus in 1961, bearing the name of Mayfair College. In 1976, Mayfair College relocated to the Uptown neighborhood and took on its current name. The main campus has remained there to the present day, although several satellite campuses have been established in the interim.
Accreditation is granted by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Most academic departments are individually accredited by the relevant bodies. Easily the largest of the City Colleges, Truman has an enrollment of more than 20,000 students each year.
Thirteen academic departments comprise the academic curriculum. Five distinct associate’s degrees are available, including the associate’s of fine arts — a degree not offered at many colleges. The college also offers basic and advanced certificates in a number of areas. Continuing education, job training, English as a Second Language, and citizenship classes contribute to the college’s reputation as a true college for the community.
The Business and Computer Information Systems Department provides students a wide variety of academic and career paths. The department has reached out and formed beneficial partnerships with both local high schools and four-year institutions. Additionally, the department’s mission includes staying current in terms of technological innovation and best business practices. Students enrolled in business or computer degrees form important professional networks thanks to close ties with local industries.
Truman College led the way in offering the first two-year nursing program in Illinois. Others have followed suit, but the program here remains one of the most highly-regarded in the region. The entry requirements for aspiring nursing students are extremely rigorous. Clinical work is integrated into the program, and graduation is contingent upon passage of the City Wide Comprehensive Exam.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The college operates several academic and community programs which contribute to its continued enrollment growth and high regard in the city of Chicago.
Chicago Public Schools Bridge Program
Talented high school juniors and seniors can earn credit through the Bridge Program. Participants take courses on campus alongside regular college students. Eligibility requirements include a minimum GPA, attendance rate of 90 percent or better, and satisfactory scores on one of the school’s placement exams. Every public school in Chicago employs a CPS Bridge Counselor whose job is to assist talented children in applying for and succeeding in this unique program.
Adult education programs are designed to prepare participants for the General Equivalency Diploma examination. Study materials are available in either Spanish or English. For adults still below the GED level, an Adult Basic Education curriculum highlights reading and math skills. Literacy classes offer the chance to learn basic reading and writing.
The Biotechnology Program readies students to begin work in a laboratory, hospital, or research and development corporation. Students are advised to select course which align most closely with their academic and career goals. Women in Nanotechnology, a program offered in partnership with the University of Illinois, encourages female students to pursue futures in nanoscience.
All prospective students should apply online. If a computer is unavailable, the office of the Student Success and Leadership Institute has public access computers. The nearest public library in Chicago will also have computers for general use.
High-school applicants must submit complete and official transcripts to the Admissions Office. First-time college students will also need to take a placement test to assess proficiency in English, reading and mathematics. Students wishing to transfer in from another institution must meet the same requirements as freshman transfers in addition to producing official transcripts of all college course work.
After completing the application, students should fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The information provided on the FAFSA will determine a student’s eligibility for need-based financial aid.
Need-based aid includes grants and some scholarships. The federal government administers both the Pell Grant and the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Illinois’ grant funds are contingent upon the health of the state budget, though historically students have received either Monetary Award Program money or Silas Purnell Illinois Incentive for Access money.
Students pursuing teacher certification are eligible for the Illinois Future Teacher Corps Program. Both scholastic merit and financial need are factors in calculating a student’s award. The President’s Scholarship awards talented or financially needy students grant money from a fund sponsored by college employees. With all grant or scholarship programs, early application is critical in securing funds.
Student Financial Aid Details
A commuter campus, Truman College does not offer campus housing. Most students grow up in or near Chicago, with only a small percentage moving from out of state in order to attend. The student body is composed of both first-time college students fresh out of high school and mature adults looking to advance or change their careers.
A whole host of free and beneficial services are at the disposal of every student. The Disability Services Center helps physically or mentally challenged students find success in college and, later, in the world of work. A tutoring center is ready to assist struggling students in over a dozen subject areas. For students with young children, the Child Development Lab School provides weekly or per-day childcare at a discounted rate.
Student Enrollment Demographics
More than 1,000 part-time and full-time faculty members teach courses every semester. Slightly more than half of these are women, and another 55 percent represent minority groups.
Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.