Blackburn College was established in 1837 and named for the Rev. Gideon Blackburn. Blackburn is one of only seven federally recognized work colleges in the United States, and it has the only student-managed work program, enabling students to gain leadership experience as they manage other students. All resident students are required to work, but the program is optional for commuter students. Each student that works receives a tuition discount for the hours they work in the work program. It is also the least expensive private college in Illinois.
Blackburn’s campus occupies the 80-acre site originally chosen in 1835 by Dr. Gideon Blackburn, the College’s founder. It is typical central Illinois prairie, gently rolling terrain, with many trees and shrubs. It is good, open country with a clean sense of space and distance.Even though the College has been in existence since 1837, most buildings have been constructed since 1950. Students built nine of the principal buildings entirely or partially as part of the Work Program.
Blackburn College is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the teacher’s education program is accredited by Illinois State Board of Education. It is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges. Blackburn College offers the Bachelor of Arts degree with an academic major. A student has the option of selecting an academic minor, but a minor is not required for graduation. Blackburn students can choose from over 40 majors in the following sixteen academic departments/programs: Art, Biology, Business and Economics, Chemistry, Communications, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Education,English, History, Mathematics, Performing Arts, Physical Education, Political Science, Psychology, and Spanish. The College also offers pre-professional programs in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Law,Theology, Pre-Nursing, and Medical Technology.