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Supporting Your Success

Overcome Your Fear of Networking by Adopting a Host Mentality You're there to help others connect, not just for yourself

By Paula Rucci Voigt, National Louis University Career Development Office

networkingYou may have heard the phrase, “Your Network Is Your Net Worth.” Noting that studies have shown that networking is the most effective way to land a job, it is evident that networking is essential to the health of your personal brand, your career, and your job search strategy. defines networking as “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.” Sounds simple and straightforward, right? Continue reading »

Mayor Emanuel Honors NLU for Awarding Up To $9,000 in Star Scholarships NLU is offering merit-based aid to CPS grads who complete City Colleges



Aarti Dhupelia, National Louis University’s VP of Strategic Initiatives, greets Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the mayor’s Nov. 5 ceremony honoring universities participating in the Star Scholarship program.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel invited representatives from National Louis University and 11 other Chicago universities to a Nov. 5 ceremony he said heralded a great future for young Chicagoans who graduate from a Chicago Public Schools high school and then go on to complete their associate (two-year) degrees at Chicago City Colleges.

In the Star Scholars program, 12 universities, including National Louis, will offer them scholarships to complete their bachelor’s (four-year) degrees. Continue reading »

Students Pioneer the Gateways Early Childhood Credential NLU students earn Gateways Infant/Toddler distinction

InfantToddlerCohortCelebration was in the air recently as a cohort of NLU students, all directors of early childhood centers,  completed a course sequence leading to a valuable Illinois credential.

The state awards the distinction, called the Gateways credentials, as a symbol of professional achievement in the early childhood education field. Earning Gateways credentials will expand employees’ opportunities for employment and advancement. Continue reading »

12 Steps to Making the Most of your Internship Written by Nayesha Pruitt, Graduate Student

InternshipIllustrationSo, you’ve secured an amazing internship?  Here are 12 easy steps to making the most of your internship experience and showing future employers that you’ve taken initiative in developing your skills. Continue reading »

Student Wins $21,000 Grant Before Completing Grant-Writing Class Cari Stevenson got profs' help when she saw great opportunity

Cari Stevenson, psychology professor

Cari Stevenson, psychology professor

National Louis University graduate student Cari Stevenson, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Community Psychology, learned this month that she was awarded a $21,000 planning grant from the Prevention Institute and Movember Foundation.

Stevenson, who has a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology, teaches psychology at Kankakee Community College.

“As the saying goes, ‘timing is everything.’ Just before our NLU Grant Writing course (LAS 655) began, one of my cohort colleagues forwarded a newsletter which happened to include a link to grant opportunities,” Stevenson said. 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. Continue reading »

Grow your Student Experience this Spring; Give Back, Too The Winter blues are over, and we've planned plenty to get you out and about with your NLU Family with anything from service projects and professional development, to concerts and family art!

140512-NLU-CHICAGO-CAMPAS-MICHIGAN-AVE-41_smallIt’s spring outside. It might finally be here to stay. Around National Louis, it feels like things are just getting started. There are so many things to look forward to this term and we’re certain to keep you busy until the glory days of summer are upon us. Spring at National Louis is easy as 1, 2, 3.

#1 – Treat Yourself to Some Enlightenment & Professional Development

  • April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and activities are well under way. We will be focusing on important topics such as Healthy Relationships, Dating Violence, and Bystander Intervention. National Louis is actively working on policy changes, programming and training to ensure we have a safe and respectful environment for student learning.
  • Online Webinars are scheduled in April and May for the following topics: Domestic Violence, Overcoming Procrastination, and Making the Transition from Student to Professional. Join us from the comfort of home or work!
  • Is your LinkedIn profile polished, professional and ready to impress employers? Workshops are scheduled in Chicago, Wheeling, and Lisle the last week of April. Do not miss this opportunity, as it will help you prepare for the Spring Career Expo in Chicago on May 12th.

#2 – Show a Little Love to your Community

  • Donate to the NLU USO Drive and Support our Troops as we collect donations to send care packages overseas.
  • Join the Office of Student Experience during our Month of Service in May for a variety of community service projects including: assembling safe sex kits on May 6th, donating blood at the Lisle campus on May 13th, or visiting a high school and speaking to minority students on May 15th.
  • Looking for other ways to volunteer, or not sure what’s out there? Stop by the Virtual Volunteer Fair! Our Civic Engagement Team will be in Chicago April 28-30 from 12-6pm in the 6th floor Student Center. Not convinced? Check out our webinar Lead as You Lend a Hand on May 4th at 12pm where we will discuss how and why NLU students should be civically engaged.

#3 – Be a Part of the Inspiring NLU Family

  • April is also dedicated to Faculty Appreciation. Please take a minute to nominate a great faculty member for our annual Excellence in Teaching Award, post a Shout Out to recognize a faculty member who inspires you, and post a #nlufaculty selfie on Twitter with your favorite faculty!
  • Give back to NLU and become a SafeZone Ally. This special training program equips our students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to support the LGBTQ community on campus. RSVP:
  • Our NLU Family Day at the Art Institute of Chicago is May 16th.  All NLU community members and their guests will be granted free access to the museum. May 16th is also the Art Institute’s Family Festival; there will be activities all day for the whole family.
  • Join us for a little musical fun as we see RAIN: A Beatles Tribute at the Bank of America Theater. These Broadway in Chicago tickets will be on sale in May for $10. A limited number is available so let’s Come Together for a great night on May 21st.
  • For our graduating students, you will not want to miss Countdown to Graduation on May 27th in Chicago and May 28th in the suburbs (Lisle). Get your picture taken in a cap and gown, pick up a special graduation gift, and there will be fun activities for the whole family. Look for more details soon!

Principal Mentoring Program Selects NLU as Partner Future School Principals Prepared for Leadership in Chicago Schools


ChicagoLeadershipCollaborativeNational Louis University students who aspire to become school principals have an exceptional opportunity to be mentored by a high-performing principal in a Chicago Public School.

Through CPS’ Chicago Leadership Collaborative (CLC),  aspiring principals participate in a year-long internship. It is designed to train and support effective principals-to-be, and prepare them to lead a school from day one on the job in a principal position.  Continue reading »

Are They Really All Named Charlie? How Reading Teachers Teach Complexity A 7-Year-Old Looking At A 'Je Suis Charlie' Crowd Asks an Obvious Question


Jan. 11, 2015.
Credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO /

By Susan McMahon, Ph.D.,  professor in Reading and Language at National Louis University

The other day, I was shopping at one of the major national stores, waiting in line to check out.  Ahead of me was a mother with three children—a toddler, one about 5, and the oldest maybe 7.  The oldest was looking at the magazines that lined the left side of the check-out lane.  There were a couple with pictures of the French standing together holding the sign “Je suis Charlie.”

“Momma, I can’t read this,” said the boy.

The mother temporarily turned her attention to the magazines and said, “It means ‘I am Charlie,’” then returned to piling her purchases on the conveyer belt and containing the other two children.

“Wow!  That’s a lot of people with the same name!” said the boy, who turned his attention to some plastic toys below.

This interaction between a mother and son was complete and appropriate.  She answered his question and he had gained some understanding of the meaning communicated by the picture.  The parent in me understood her response, as well as the need to keep the answer simple given the situation.

At the same time, the reading teacher in me had to think about how complex his question really was, and that in a classroom the teacher could use this as a means of exploring complex texts with her students.

Imagine a classroom in which a student brought in the same picture and asked the teacher the same question. She would have to decide whether to focus on just a literal meaning or delve more deeply into the interpretive or critical significance.

Certainly the age of the student would matter, so the teacher’s response may be as simple as that of the mother above.  At the same time, focusing on a literal meaning addresses only the functional purpose for reading.

Teachers understand that students need to learn to delve more deeply into complex texts.  For example, the Common Core State Standards require students to read critically to evaluate meanings.

Teachers question how they can identify “complex texts” and think they need entirely new sets of texts—which they may.  However, the pictures that filled the news after the terrorist attack in Paris were good examples of complex texts that could provide deep analysis and discussion in a classroom.  Let me explain.

Imagine any one of the many pictures published in the media with crowds of people holding a sign saying “Je suis Charlie.”  As adults, we immediately know that all those pictured are not literally named “Charlie” so we begin looking for other meanings.  However, students may only comprehend the literal.

A good reading teacher would lead students to a number of different, yet plausible reasons people whose name is Francois or Marie carried this sign.  This may include reading additional related articles about the terrorists who killed staff members at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper or killed Jewish shoppers in a grocery store a few days later.  By reading additional texts, teachers could help students understand that proclaiming “Je suis Charlie” was a way of speaking up for those killed, for freedom of speech in general, or for democratic values.  Therefore, the teacher would make clear that for each individual who chose to proclaim, “Je suis Charlie,” the meaning differed.  That varied meanings emerge from the same document is one characteristic of a complex text.

In addition to an interpretive stance, a good reading educator helps learners construct a critical meaning from complex texts as well.  In this case, she may ask students to consider what the political implications might be for large demonstrations in a city already attacked by terrorists.  Such discussions would enable students to discuss the potential increase in danger as well as the ramifications of doing nothing.  Through such instruction, a teacher could encourage readers to look for different perspectives on the same events, deepening their reading comprehension of multiple texts.

The busy mother in the checkout lane did not discuss all of these—nor should she have.  The mom answered her son’s question in the most appropriate way for the circumstances.  However, when asked the same question, a teacher needs to encourage students to move beyond a literal meaning.

Recent policies, such as No Child Left Behind, reduced reading to a response to “right there” questions on tests, focusing only on literal comprehension and emphasizing functional reading. As we move into an age of the Common Core State Standards, teachers are now being asked to enable students to think more deeply about the texts by examining claims and the subsequent support.

Therefore, teachers must push their practice to encourage students to read more deeply, to analyze and critique the ideas.  Are you ready to provide such instruction?   As a literacy leader, are you capable of supporting teachers who are looking for better ways to teach reading?   Both students and professors in National Louis University’s advanced reading doctoral program enjoy the thrill of working with such ideas and analysis. I can’t imagine doing anything more professionally rewarding.


Community College Undergrads Visit, Learn Early Childhood Education Options Profs brief them kindergarten teachers will need early childhood endorsement in Illinois

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About 35 Triton College students sang multicultural songs, critically examined children’s books and contemplated getting an Early Childhood Education degree at National Louis University when they visited the Chicago Campus for an Institute Day on December 1.

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