Peoria Schools Cater to Nurses, Engineers and Undecided Alike

By Hollie Deese on June 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm EST

From students who have their minds set on a specific career to those who can’t decide on a major, Peoria’s Bradley University has options for everyone.

But don’t just take our word for it; the independent, privately owned school established in 1897 has received nods from nationally recognized sources, including The Princeton Review and Forbes magazine. Most recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked it No. 6 among comprehensive universities in the Midwest, while also giving special notice to the department of industrial and manufacturing engineering and technology, named it No. 2 in the nation. No wonder it’s the school’s most popular major.

But mechanical engineering is far from the only course of study here. The fully accredited university consists of five colleges with more than 100 programs combined and also offers 30 graduate programs as well as the Academic Exploration Program for students undecided about their career path.

What’s more, the enrollment is small and selective: One-third of the incoming freshman in fall 2007 ranked in the top 10 percent of their class. This selectivity means that the average class at Bradley contains fewer than 23 students, giving them the opportunity to get the most from their teachers.

Peoria has several other options for those seeking higher education.

For 120 years, Midstate College has been a leader in professional training and education. Small classes are offered day or night, providing students from all walks of life the opportunity to learn. Choose from academic or training programs, including health care, accounting, judicial reporting and much more.

The St. Francis Medical Center College of Nursing, meanwhile, turns out new nurses every year through its bachelor’s and master’s programs. They recently opened a new state-of-the-art nursing resource center with four large laboratories and simulation mannequins to help students develop clinical and decision-making skills.

Additionally, one of the University of Illinois College of Medicine’s four locations is in Peoria, providing medical students with a first-rate training facility and an inimitable education.

Younger learners can benefit from a variety of high schools. Peoria High School won the state boys’ basketball championship two years in a row, in 2003 and 2004. Known as Central to distinguish it from other schools, the 150-year-old high school is supposedly Illinois’ oldest.

Central is part of Peoria Public Schools District 150, which also includes Washington Gifted, the top-rated middle school in the entire state.

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