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ABC7, Sun-Times, DNAinfo Feature NLU Star Scholarship Mayor Emanuel praises scholarships to high-achieving students

CSS-BannerChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised National Louis and five other Chicago-area universities for offering Chicago Star scholarships to high-achieving students who have graduated from the City Colleges of Chicago with a two-year degree.

The Chicago Sun-Times, and ABC7 both featured the story. The Sun-Times article quoted the mayor as saying, ““Having a college education should always be determined by a student’s willingness to work, not their ability to pay. So with the support of our partners at Chicago’s top universities, we are giving our students a clear pathway from high school to four-year degree. The Chicago Star Partnership will help ensure that our hard-working graduates remain in Chicago for college, and continue to contribute their talents and skills to our growing economy and communities.”

ABC7 quoted City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, who said, “In order to secure a family-sustaining career in today’s economy, a post-secondary credential is needed, and in many cases, that credential is a bachelor’s degree. The Chicago Star Partnership offers our high-achieving high school students a way to earn an associate’s and bachelor’s degree, saving tens of thousands of dollars along the way.”

The scholarships are available to students who originally graduated from Chicago Public Schools. For more information, see the Star Scholarship website.

Education Leaders Brainstorm Higher Ed at Gates Symposium at NLU They examine today's realities, opportunities, hear from experts


Gates Symposium attendees at National Louis University listen to keynote speaker Mitchell Stevens of Stanford University.

Top educators, policy analysts, EdTech designers, foundations and other thought leaders from around the nation gathered Oct. 1 at National Louis University (NLU) for the “Higher Education on the Growing Edge: Uncommon Thinking Around the Common Core and New Models for Student Success” Symposium, generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

As higher education grapples with a shift to digital learning, high costs, the need to prepare students for viable careers and bridging the high school-to-college divide, experts are challenged to uncover new solutions to enduring barriers that prevent access to and persistence through higher education for millions of American students. Continue reading »

Calm Stress By Adding Serene Moments of Pleasure Written by: Patti Essig, Response Center, NLU Lisle Campus

RelaxSlowDownHow to Manage Stress. It seems like so many of us today experience stress in our lives. As a yoga teacher I know practicing yoga regularly helps to manage stress. However, there are some very simple techniques to manage stress and lessen its negative effects.

Look Inward: Spend a few quiet minutes every day meditating or practicing mindfulness; this will help ease anxiety and lower stress hormones.

Get Moving:  Be physically active for 20 to 30 minutes each day, says Ronald Petersen, MD, PhD, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Choose an activity you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, practicing yoga, bicycling, kickboxing, aerobics, or doing tai chi. Anything that gets you moving vigorously will help reduce stress – but check in with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Binge on Big Bang Theory Reruns. Anything that makes you laugh makes you feel good – and some evidence even suggests that laughter can deactivate stress hormones.

Tune In To Mellow Music. Music has a powerful effect on the brain, and can release calming hormones, reducing stress, says Mark Gudesblatt, MD, a neurologist at South Shore Neurologic Associates in Patchogue, NY.

Strengthen Friendships. There is strong evidence that being socially active boosts cognitive ability, says Gary Small, MD, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences. “Interacting with other people helps us avoid feelings of loneliness, which may protect the brain, since associating with others appears to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, even if you like being alone,” Dr. Small said.

“Becoming and staying socially engaged may reduce your risk for dementia by as much as 60%.” (Reference adapted from Neurology Now, April/May 2015.)

Also, new research shows that if you pick a meaningful goal that takes months or even years to reach, your life will feel more purposeful and gratifying. But if we don’t give our brains small daily rewards, stress levels build up and motivation decreases.

The solution: a few seconds of pleasure will refresh the brain and increase productivity.
Here are six ideas of one-minute pleasure breaks you can do every hour throughout the day to increase motivation and success.

  1. Do something physically pleasurable. Slowly stretch. Run your fingers through your hair. Wash your face. Or yawn: It’s a great way to massage your brain.
  2. Recall a pleasant memory. Visualize someone you love or an event that brought you deep satisfaction. Think about a beautiful place you’ve been. Immerse yourself in the memory, and you’ll notice that your body relaxes and your mind becomes serene.
  3. Think about something you’ve accomplished in the past year and savor the satisfaction it brought you.
  4. Think about one thing you feel grateful about and notice how it makes you feel.
  5. Meditate on a word that captures one of your deepest personal or spiritual values. Repeating that word will turn on 1,200 stress-reducing genes!
  6. Give yourself a compliment.

Sixty seconds of pleasure once each hour–that’s all it takes to increase motivation, happiness, satisfaction and success.

Thanks to Mark Waldman from Loyola Marymount University and Andrew Newberg from Jefferson University Hospital for these simple but powerful techniques. These two gentlemen are world-renowned for their neuroscientific research and authors of “Words Can Change Your Brain.” They also write for Science of Mind Magazine ( where this information was published.

Enjoy your successful and stress-free journey.

NLU President Explores Tech Learning at Educelerate Megahed moderates keynote panel at conference



Dr. Nivlne Megahed, NLU President, from left, Raghu Krishnaiah, COO of Western Governors University and Phil Komarny, CEO of Robots and Pencils speak during the Educelerate keynote.

How can personalization in learning technology aid students? How can developers help instructors become comfortable with personalization technology? And can personalization help higher education attract more students and see them through to their degrees?

National Louis University President Nivine Megahed moderated the keynote panel at the Educelerate conference Sept. 24, guiding a discussion featuring presenters Raghu Krishnaiah, COO of Western Governors University and soon-to-be COO of the University of Phoenix, and Phil Komarny, CEO of app developer Robots and Pencils, which developed TEx, the University of Texas system learning app which debuted in early September 2015.

“Personalization is the latest trend everyone’s talking about, and it’s being proposed as an answer to the national achievement gap we’re all grappling with,” Megahed said at the day-long conference, held at NLU’s Chicago campus.

While personalized learning, often grouped with competency-based learning and adaptive learning, can mean different things to different people, the foundational idea is that it uses technology to let students learn at their own pace. For example, if a teacher is presenting a reading lesson to 30 students, the technology might enable students who have already mastered the material to receive more challenging assignments, and open up additional teaching time for students who need to catch up.

Noting the Lumina Foundation is predicting a shortage of 11 million college graduates to fill future workplace needs, Megahed asked how personalization could help address that.

“There is going to be a significant change in the way we think about education,” Krishnaiah said. In the past, education was seen as the transferring of knowledge from one person to another; it is now becoming seen as the absorption of knowledge, he explained.

Much of what Western Governors University has done involves bringing contextualization –making learning useful and putting it into context—and timing—supplying the learning at the time the student needs it— he said.

“What’s worked most for us is getting faculty engaged, and knowing what to do at that moment in time to help that student,” he said. As an online University, WGU’s faculty and students work from home, but through technology, faculty are able to have one-on-one conversations with a pool of 80 to 100 students.

That has helped Western Governors grow from 3,000 students to more than 60,000 students with graduation rates well above the national average, he said. Most graduates earn what they spent on their schooling within two years of graduation.

Komarny brought up the fact that teachers have to become comfortable with this way of teaching.

While a CIO at Seton Hall University, Komarny said he focused on using psychology to get faculty and others to use the technology. Both men agreed that faculty, students and others can be afraid of data, but if they can get over that, they will find it useful.

While they agreed data is only a tool, not the end goal of facilitating learning, Komarny said it’s important to get the right metrics in compiling data. However, holistic analytics can enable schools to take student experience and see it as one data set.

“All these things together give us a picture of the students,” he said. That’s one indicator educators can take into account as they consider personalization and responsive technologies for learning.

Apply for $4,000 Scholarship for Making a Difference Encourages students to lead generous, purpose-driven lives


handofheartsmulticolorStudents who have volunteered, made a difference in their communities, or are leading a purpose-driven life or working toward one, are encouraged to apply for a $4,000 scholarship from the Fathom Fund for Purpose-Driven Students.

To apply, you must:

  • Be a full-time college student or incoming freshman.
  • Impact your community for the greater good.
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Include a resume-style list of community- and impact-focused activities.
  • Include one letter of recommendation from a non-relative.
  • Provide one non-relative reference.
  • Provide a copy of your most recent transcripts. (Freshmen may use high school transcripts.)
  • Write a 500- to 1,000-word essay sharing your story. Please include:
    • The origins of your desire to make a difference
    • Your motivations for impacting your community
    • Adversities you’ve faced throughout the process
    • Your goals for the future

Apply for the 2015-16 academic year scholarship by the deadline: September 30, 2015

Please see this link for more information.

The scholarship is provided by Fathom Education, which provides consulting for National Louis University’s website. Fathom is encouraging young people to lead generous and purposeful lives.

You Learn Differently From Others, So Find Your Learning Style Did you know there are five ways to take notes?

By Amanda DaSilva, Associate Director of Student Development

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 4.33.04 PMWelcome back to school, NLU Eagles!

While it’s hard to believe, the time has come to trade the beach for the books. Are you ready to retire as grillmaster and adjust back to student mode? Getting a jump on effective study skills can ease this transition and make you productive from the start!

Reflecting on your study habits, what has worked well for you? Are there areas where you want to change the routine? Learning is impacted by many factors, including some that you might be overlooking. Check out the resources below to assess your current study methods and gain tips for more effective studying this year.

  1. Study within your preferred Learning Style: Are you trying to memorize concepts aloud when seeing pictures would work better? Do you ever feel like the information is just not sinking in? Take this short quiz to discover your preferred style and find ways to study that fit you.
  2. Manage your environment: What distractions could be getting in the way of your best studying? Explore these easy techniques to enhance your study setting for better academic performance.
  3.  Listen Up! How do your listening skills measure up when facing a long lecture? Brush up on the basics and add some new tools to your skillset so you’re finely tuned for Fall.
  4. Take notes like a pro: Did you know there are multiple note-taking styles, and (see #1) using the one that best fits you can make learning quicker and less stressful? Check out this fun video to explore a new style and uncover your secret study weapon.
  5. Use your resources: NLU offers customized study support, tutoring and more through Library and Learning Services,

NLU is eager to help make this your best term yet. Now put down the popsicle and get to work!

Fill your Tool Belt to Build a Healthy School Year By: Danielle Colletti, Graduate Student and Wheeling Response Center

College is an exciting time when we work on building who we are and who we wish to become. However, like any new project, we needed to be armed and ready with the right tools needed to make our next endeavor a success. Look no further– let’s load your tool belt with great tips to help you stay healthy and organized throughout your college career and beyond!


Purchase one of these right away so that you can begin using it the first day of the term! Better yet, pick one up on campus on 9/14! Take your syllabi and add all the due dates and assignments to your calendar. This way you know what is ahead of you and can plan accordingly. With this, make a to-do list each day with the most important tasks at the top. Set goals. Try to keep this with you at all times. This is something that I do each day to make sure that I am on top of all my tasks for school, work, and personal life. Make it fun and reward yourself with something special for completing everything on the list. Don’t forget to schedule time to relax!


Find out what time of the day you are most productive. Are you a night owl who gets all their work done before bed, or are you a rooster who likes to get up with the sun and complete some work to start your day? Once you have learned what time works best for you, try to keep a routine!

  1. EAT SMART TO BE SMARTwellnesswordle

Be sure to eat breakfast; it is the most important meal! Breakfast gives you the fuel and focus to tackle the day ahead. Always keep some healthy snacks with you such as almonds, fruits, veggies, yogurt, granola, even popcorn! Be sure to stay hydrated with a lot of water throughout the day. Try to avoid energy drinks. Instead have a cup of black coffee, juice or a smoothie! Know that it is okay to indulge every once in a while.


Do your best to fit in exercise whenever you can and try to make it a routine! Whether it is taking the long walking route to campus or taking the stairs, every bit will help you stay active and relieve stress. If possible, join a gym and get a buddy to do it with you! Two is always better than one when it comes to exercise and motivation. Always remember to stop and embrace the beauty around you.


We often look for ways to avoid getting sick. Here are a few: Never underestimate a good night’s sleep. Trying to establish a night time routine will work wonders for you in the morning. Remember not to do homework in your bed. Your brain needs to know that when you are in bed it is time to relax and sleep. Take vitamins. Lastly, be sure to remember to wash your hands (especially after using public transportation!)


College courses can certainly bring on a lot of stress so DO NOT be afraid to ask for help! There are plenty of resources at National Louis to help you make the transition to college a success. With this, identify the resources you have outside of the classroom.   Find relief from school in your hobbies, university events, family and friends.

With your tool belt full and your eyes set on the goal, you are ready to build your future! Best of luck!

Washington Monthly ranks NLU Among Top Best-Value Midwestern Universities It ranks colleges based on net price, graduation rates and success


wm_other_cg_cover_2Washington Monthly’s “The Other College Guide” has given NLU a score of 10, out of a possible 14, on its list of Best Bang for the Buck –Midwest Rankings list. Only 18 colleges, out of 403, earned higher scores. NLU’s actual rank was 43 out of 403.

The guide uses the ratings of Washington Monthly, an independent, non-profit news magazine that offers in-depth news articles on Washington government and politics as well as higher education. According to “The Other College Guide,” it ranks schools in the Midwest as to the best value for students based on “net” (not sticker) price, how well schools do graduating the students they admit, and whether those students go on to earn at least enough to pay off their loans.

You can view the rankings here. 


Olson Emerges As Human Rights Champion Against Torture NLU prof spurred American Psychology Association to ban psychologists from helping military bolster torture



BradOlsonphotoBradley Olson, Ph.D., was one of six American Psychology Association members who won a victory recently when the APA’s leaders voted overwhelmingly to ban psychologists from assisting the U.S. military with interrogations and subsequent torture of terrorism suspects.

“This vote represents the American Psychological Association’s movement from treating powerful sections of the government as the client to a state where the person’s well-being and human rights stand foremost,” said Olson, an associate professor at National Louis University, is co-director of  the Community Psychology doctoral program.

Continue reading »

CPS’ Aarti Dhupelia Joins NLU, Will Lead Professional Pathways Program Tells WBEZ it's an extension of the work she's done at CPS


Aarti Dhupelia will join NLU Sept. 28 as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives.

Aarti Dhupelia, a high-level Chicago Public Schools official charged with motivating high school students to enroll in college, graduate and achieve career success, is joining NLU as the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. She will lead the Harrison Professional Pathways Program, NLU’s reinvention of college into an innovative high-tech, high-touch approach to make a quality four-year undergraduate education affordable to almost everyone.

Dhupelia told WBEZ Radio’s Becky Vevea the job is a natural transition from her position as  Chief Officer of the Office of College and Career Success.

Read the WBEZ interview with Dhupelia and NLU President Nivine Megahed. Continue reading »