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Music-Loving Alum Turned Passion Into Profession Assistant band director enhanced his music leadership skills at NLU

3 - CopyBefore Willie Snipes Jr.  came to NLU to earn his  M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision in 2010, he made history at the college where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. He was the first recipient of a degree in music from Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama. Today he is still bringing music to his (first) alma mater.

Snipes’ interest in music came at an early age, which helped him to stay focused and out of trouble while he was growing up. From then on, music played a key role in the trajectory of his life.

In high school, Snipes’ band director helped him qualify for a scholarship to Miles College. And when a degree in biology turned out to be the wrong pursuit for Snipes, the academic staff at Miles helped him to graduate with a degree in music instead.

During a rewarding career as a band director at Van Buren Middle School, Snipes’ colleague encouraged him to take success a step further by honing his educational leadership skills at National Louis. When he started the program, Snipes quickly realized he was the only student with a music background enrolled in the NLU Master of Education program. Not content to let any student feel out of place, Stuart Carrier, Ph.D., Program Coordinator for Educational Leadership at the Florida campus, was there to encourage Snipes. In fact, the NLU faculty always cheered him on, Snipes recalled, and that made a lasting impact.

Now Snipes is the Assistant Director for Bands at Miles College, leading band clinics and high school camps, offering his expertise as a marching band judge across four states and recruiting for the Purple Marching Machine, the Miles College marching band. He’s on the lookout for students that need a bit of extra inspiration, so he can make his own lasting impact on the next generation of lifelong musicians.

NLU Named to 50 Best Online Master’s Degree Programs Early Childhood Education program ranked for quality, marketability


50-Best-Online-Master’s-in-Early-Childhood-Education-Programs-2015-300x257An independent college search and rankings website, SuperScholar, has ranked National Louis University among the to 50 Best Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education Programs for 2015. 

The website said it ranked universities’ programs based on affordability, starting salaries of recent grads, market reputation, awards and recognition, and flexibility. Continue reading »

Student Veteran Aggie Wajda Designs Her Way To Justice Career Five years in the Navy transformed her from 'shy' to leader


By Kellie Kennedy

Agnieszka (Aggie) Wajda initially pursued dreams of becoming an interior designer, but realized that she had a different calling. She joined the U.S. Navy, which opened her eyes to skills and talents that she didn’t know that she possessed.

Her work in the military also increased her interest in continuing her higher education so that she could achieve her dream of becoming a police officer. In just a few months, Aggie will achieve this dream. Learn more about Aggie’s experience at National Louis University (NLU) and the Veterans Program. Continue reading »

NLU Celebrates 25 Years of Americans with Disabilities Act, Removing Barriers to Higher Education ADA has fundamentally changed higher education


wheelchaircroppedBy Peter Ploegman, Library and Learning Support Specialist

It has been 25 years since Americans with disabilities had their civil rights affirmed by law, and that’s a milestone to celebrate.

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.

The ADA is a piece of civil rights legislation guaranteeing the rights of all disabled persons to equal and timely access to public and private facilities, employment opportunities, and education beyond a high school diploma.

As it relates to higher education, the ADA requires that all higher education institutions provide equal access for all students affected by a disabling condition, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Looking back over the past 25 years, the ADA has made it possible for millions of Americans to not only pursue higher education on an equal footing with their nondisabled peers, but also to achieve a bachelor’s, master’s, and even a doctoral degree.

In accordance with the ADA, National Louis University has been working to remove barriers preventing students from pursuing academic programs. Through the Library & Learning Support office, students with a variety of chronically disabling conditions can formally request academic adjustments, called accommodations, that will allow them equal access to their courses.

Various assistive technologies have  aided many universities who seek to ensure access for all students. For example, NLU provides audio amplification devices for students with hearing deficits. For visually-impaired students, we provide screen reader technology such as JAWS, Kurzweil 3000, and ABBYY Fine Reader 6.0.

While these types of accommodations are important, it is critical that higher education institutions actively work towards eliminating potential barriers inherent in course design. NLU programs address this need by curtailing or eliminating timed exams. Further, online courses designed in the Desire 2 Learn platform allow faculty to create accessible lecture and video material.

Over the past 25 years, the ADA has fundamentally changed higher education. Adult students who were once unable to pursue law, medical/nursing, music or education degrees because of a lack of necessary supports can now do so.

On this important anniversary, let’s remember that ensuring equal access for all students regardless of disability is a civil right and not special consideration or an act of charity. Students who have needs that require a certain access accommodation should be seen as otherwise qualified students seeking a degree. They merely form another diverse set of learners within the larger diversity in society as a whole.

Why College is Life of Pie, And How To Get Your Ice Cream College is the time to join a club, try something new, make a friend

french apple pie tarte ice cream

By Danielle Laban, NLU Director of Student Experience

College is like apple pie. Apple pie is always better a-la-mode, with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream!

One of the greatest shifts you’ll experience coming from high school to college is the variety of choices available to you, all of which are optional and extra opportunities to grow and have fun beyond the classroom! With great freedom comes a risky trap some students fall into, which is not participating in any of the extra activities, events, or programs. Continue reading »

Business School in Poland Graduates 400, Enjoys High Tech Business Incubator NLU is exploring more collaborations with WSB-NLU in southern Poland


WSB-NLU3graduation2015By Judah Viola, Dean of NLU’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement

I recently traveled to Poland to represent NLU leadership at the commencement ceremonies of WSB-NLU (Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu – National Louis University). The name  translates as “Higher School of Business.”

WSB-NLU graduated approximately 400 students this year in bachelor’s degree programs in business, computer science, political science and psychology. It also graduated students in master’s degree programs in business and computer science. Continue reading »

NLU’s New Quality, Low-Cost Education Model is Genius Creates 'Pathways' to College and Career Success

shutterstock_143025157By Stephanie Poczos

Everywhere you turn, news headlines proclaim the preposterously high cost of earning a college degree. Higher education is struggling to adapt to today’s challenging financial times. As part of the evolving landscape, National Louis is presenting a new model for education—one designed around you.

With this model, we are addressing the needs of our incoming students in three ways. First, we are lowering the cost, so your tuition will come to $10,000 per year. Students at certain income levels may be eligible for aid, which will reduce the net cost to zero. Continue reading »

College? What’s That? Eighth-Graders Visit NLU To Find Out Legler tells kids from low-income areas they can continue after high school, succeed


150604-burroughs-school -9 150604-burroughs-school -16-LEighth-graders from Burroughs Elementary School remained hushed as NLU’s Ray Legler, Ph.D, took them on a tour of NLU’s Chicago campus, then explained how they could attend a university, or a vocational school, after they graduated high school.

The 45 kids stayed so quiet, in fact, Legler wasn’t sure they had taken it all in. Continue reading »

How to Survive your First Year of College These insider tips can help things go well


By Danielle Laban, NLU’s Director of Student Experience

This is a really exciting time for you. I remember the summer before I started college, I felt so free and on top of the world! I was excited about moving on to new challenges and experiencing new things. Let’s kick the new school year off with advice to help you survive your first year of college from someone who’s done it and who’s made a living out of working closely with college students. Your story is just getting started;  let’s begin that first chapter! Continue reading »

After saving lives in combat, student veteran Derrick Mitchell hopes to save lives in hospitals In this Student Veteran Spotlight, Mitchell explains how military service shaped his career goals


derrick_mitchell.jpgAs a combat medic, Derrick Mitchell sometimes had to run into battle to pick up fallen soldiers and administer emergency treatment. Now, pursuing his Master’s in Health Services Administration at NLU, he plans to continue assisting with medical care—without the combat—by working in healthcare or hospital administration.

Serving our country was almost a given for Mitchell, 32, who started at NLU in April, 2014.  He has five family members who served, including his parents and grandfather.  In this recent interview, he told us why service was a life adventure, and how it’s shaping his education and career. Continue reading »