daily-visitAs Give Something Back strives to provide students with an education, the unique array of support services and engaged learning opportunities at partner college, Northern Illinois University make their chances at academic and career success even greater! Like all undergraduate students at NIU, Give Back scholars have many ways to gain new skills and set themselves apart.

These specialized opportunities are one of the main reasons Give Back wanted to partner with the university in 2016 to help support our growing scholars program.

“One of the key advantages to having NIU as a partner was the vast array of innovative student support activities that they have built into their normal operations. Everything from academic help to housing our students in common communities is available to Give Back students.” – Steve Cardamone, Give Back Executive Director, Illinois Chapter.

The NIU experience is defined by high-impact practices which are described by the Association for American Colleges and Universities as rigorous and time-intensive, increasing students’ ability to apply classroom knowledge and think critically. The university encourages all students to engage in at least two high-impact practices during their college career, with the first occurring within their first year at NIU.

As valued members of the NIU community, Give Back scholars are placed in their own Living-Learning Community. Many residence halls provide students with an option to live with others based on common personal or academic interests such as our Give Back scholars. Together, they participate in social and cultural activities, academic engagement experiences and workshops.

At NIU, some Give Back scholars also engage in research under the guidance of an NIU faculty member, where their work can lead them to new insights into their professional fields. Along the way, they learn how to write formal research proposals, find and analyze academic literature, and learn how to evaluate and organize data.

In addition, the university also provides professional development training on topics such as networking, résumé writing, presentation skills and how to craft the perfect elevator speech. Students can even choose to become involved in more than 320 different student organizations or many of the cultural resource and academic centers on campus. Students can also become a member of the NIU Leadership Academy—the school’s premier leadership program.

From experiential learning, leadership training, research and personal development, future career success is all within reach.

Even though the first cohort of Give Back scholars will not arrive until fall 2019, efforts to create a genuine sense of belonging and connectedness for them are already in play. Regular occasions throughout the year have been planned in concert with the Office of Admissions, the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning, and the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development to fold potential scholar engagement into regularly scheduled activities hosted for students.

Give Back scholars at NIU will develop skills that will help them throughout their Huskie careers, graduate school and in the workplace as they move on to earn their degrees and achieve academic and professional success.