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Faculty Voices

NLU Faculty In Action: Gates Foundation Data-informed Instruction Case Study Supports Underrepresented Students

Five National Louis University faculty members partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in a new case study that explored instructional strategic “best practices” and “strengths-based approaches” for supporting students inside and outside of the classroom using data informed learnings. Tara Bryant-Edwards, Lisa Downey, Bethany Harding, Doug McCoy, Margeaux Temeltas, and Stephanie Poczos contributed their expertise to the study.

The case study spotlights the usage of data to support teaching, including faculty content meetings that help with instructional planning to meet learning objectives, individualizing instruction, and interventions to promote success with at-risk students. The case study uses specific data such as the “early-warning sign data” to provide critical support for students to persist towards graduation. These data points promote collaboration amongst other colleagues and departments to give undergraduate students the best chance at success.

The data described in the case study support faculty intervention and allow for intentional adjustments in best practices for the classroom, while also assisting in reaching students on a holistic level. The data provide faculty members the ability to make accommodations in the classroom lectures, to utilize resources on campus in the classroom such as the writing support team and student success coaches, and to create individualized plans to help break down assignments in manageable sections.

This case study led by NLU faculty and sponsored by the Gates Foundation is another step the institution is taking to support undergraduate students, ensuring the best practices are being applied in and outside of the classroom. The methods described in the case study support the use of technology, data-driven instruction, individualized instruction, faculty collaboration, interaction with students, and active classrooms. The case study can be found here.

Helping Transform Ordinary Kids Into Writing Enthusiasts IWP announces summer trainings, including all-new workshop

By Steve Zemelman, Ph.D.
NLU adjunct professor and director of the Illinois Writing Project

SteveNational Louis University’s Illinois Writing Project (IWP) is one of the most active and widely praised affiliates of the National Writing Project, a network of university-based professional development programs for educators. The IWP works with teachers across Chicagoland, providing workshops on teaching writing, summer leadership institutes, conferences, kids’ summer writing camps and consulting to help schools achieve in-depth improvement in writing instruction.

Accomplished IWP teacher leaders help teachers make writing meaningful and engaging for students. They guide teachers to organize their classrooms to address students’ individual needs and actively teach and support writing, rather than just make arbitrary assignments and mark them up with comments kids don’t learn from. Students’ writing becomes an authentic use of their voices to communicate with real audiences, and a tool for learning in all subjects. Kids begin to plead for more writing time, rather than moan about dreaded assignments.

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WBEZ 91.5 interviews NLU Professor Lauren Heidbrink on the influx of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S. from Central America

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.08.46 AMWBEZ reporter Odette Yousef interviewed Lauren Heidbrink, Ph.D. on her book, titled Migrant Youth, Transnational Families and the State: Care and Contested Interests, and her recent field study work in the Departments of San Marcos and Quezaltenango in western Guatemala. Dr. Heidbrink is an anthropologist, Co-Director of the NLU Public Policy program, and teaches in the Social and Behavioral Sciences department.

Full story and interview available here.

NLU Professor offers unique insight into the realities of unaccompanied migrant children

heidbrinkblogWith an unprecedented increase of Central American migrant children to the U.S., there is an urgent need to examine the realities of children beyond their initial apprehension by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. While the issue has recently garnered widespread attention, the following insights remain absent from the national conversation:

  • Detailed accounts of conditions within Office of Refugee Resettlement facilities,
  • Discussion of the long-term impacts of migration and detention on children, and
  • Experiences of children and their families following deportation.

Migrant Youth, Transnational Families, and the State, by Lauren HeidbrinkIn her book, Migrant Youth, Transnational Families and the State: Care and Contested Interests, NLU Assistant Professor Lauren Heidbrink, Ph.D. takes a timely look at how young migrants navigate the legal and emotional terrain beyond apprehension while examining essential areas surrounding this issue. Over a three-year period, she observed operations in 12 facilities, interviewed over 100 migrant youth from 19 countries both in detention and following release, and interviewed over 350 stakeholders in the U.S., El Salvador, and Guatemala.

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Supporting the pathway to post-secondary education and careers

shutterstock_150378902I am pleased to have the opportunity to tell readers of the NLU blog a little bit about my work. As a community psychologist, I am interested in strengthening partnerships between schools, families and communities. In particular, I am interested in strengthening the connections between K-12 education, post-secondary education and training, and employment in low-income communities. I am collaborating with the Chicago Public Schools Department of Family and Community Engagement to support the activities of the Community Action Council in Bronzeville.

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Chicago 3.0: Propelling Chicago’s education system forward

shutterstock_102586190Recently the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released the results of its Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a leading survey of education systems conducted every three years and taken by 15-year-olds in 65 countries. The results revealed that U.S. student scores are stagnant while other countries’ are improving. With this in mind, for the U.S., and Chicago specifically, to become more capable of impact on a global scale, we need to fortify our foundations through education. From a local perspective, we need a “Chicago 3.0” plan.

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