At the College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST), we bring more than 4,600 motivated students together with a caring and talented faculty to inspire applied learning across more than 30 areas of study.

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 classroom to their profession.

None of this is possible without the support of alumni and friends. 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.

There are multiple ways to support the College of Applied Science and Technology within key funding categories:

  • Expanding student support: 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.
  • Attracting and developing top faculty: 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.
  • Reinventing our classrooms and learning spaces: Innovative learning environments and resources are essential for CAST to deliver applied research and technological instruction to students. Laboratory equipment must be updated regularly to ensure our graduates are prepared for the changing workplace. Examples include materials testing equipment for the engineering technology lab, injury treatment modalities for the athletic training lab, and commercial-grade appliances for the food science lab.
  • Putting theory into practice: 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.
  • Sustaining excellence: 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.

Whether through tuition assistance, leadership programs, research opportunities, or access to top faculty and technology, every CAST student benefits from private support. Philanthropic gifts from alumni and friends create a margin of excellence that provides opportunities for all students.

Join fellow alumni and friends in supporting the College of Applied Science and Technology through Redbirds Rising. Your generosity will keep CAST on the path to continuous improvement.

Contact CAST director of development Katelyn Jacobs at or (309) 438-3134 to learn more about Redbirds Rising and discuss how you can support your passion in the College of Applied Science and Technology.