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Open Doors 

 An e-newsletter for community college advisors


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Degree/Program Updates

Biology "2+2" Reminder

If transfer students want to complete a “2+2” or a “2+3” program in biology, they need to enter NIU with their prerequisites completed as follows: MATH 155 (Trigonometry), MATH 229 (Calculus I), CHEM 210, CHEM 211, BIOS 208 and BIOS 209 (Introductory Biology).  If these are not completed before entering NIU, students may need as long as 4 years at NIU to complete their biology degree.

Changes to Chemistry Emphases, Courses

Starting in fall 2013, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will offer the following emphases:

  • Professional Chemistry (degree certified by the American Chemical Society)
  • Professional Biochemistry (degree certified by the American Chemical Society)
  • Secondary Teaching
  • Chemistry for Pre-professional Students

Aside from these emphases, the department will continue to offer a minor in Chemistry.

CHEM 338 (Organic Chemistry Lab), previously a 2.0 credit hour lab offered only in the fall, will be replaced with two 1.0 credit hour labs offered in the fall and spring semesters (CHEM 338 and CHEM 339, respectively).

Note that Environmental Science Teaching is no longer offered as an emphasis. 

Communication Department Eliminates 'pre-communication' prerequisite

The Department of Communication has eliminated the Pre-Communication category.  Students will no longer have to wait to be accepted into a major area in Communication.  Students can now declare their area of interest when they initially apply to NIU.  

Don’t Forget: Community College Articulation Conference March 1, 2013

Join us for NIU’s annual Community College Articulation Conference on Friday, March 1, 2013, in the Holmes Student Center – Regency Room on our DeKalb campus. The day begins at 8:30 AM with registration and light refreshments, followed by the program from 9:00 AM-Noon, when lunch will be served. Representatives from each college will make presentations and address any questions you may have. You’ll also have time to talk with NIU Admissions personnel.  Contact Andrew Hlubek at or (815) 753-0446 to RSVP. 

Deadlines and Events

Registration Dates for Fall 2013 Semester Students who transfer to NIU and plan to take classes in the spring or fall 2013 semesters will need to complete orientation and meet with their advisor before registering for classes. Check the registration appointment schedule!

Huskie Chat Nights 

Got questions? We have answers! Sign up to participate in one of our upcoming Chats.  Log in from your home, office, Starbucks-- anywhere you have Internet access-- post questions, get answers and find out what you-- and others-- need to know about our programs and NIU from faculty, current students, and CLAS Advising and NIU Admissions staff.  Chats last one hour, from 6:00-7:00 PM.  Join us for lively and fast-moving discussions!

Wednesday, February 13:  

  • CLAS Advisors
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Physics 
  • Political Science 

Wednesday, April 10:   

  • CLAS Advisors
  • English
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Center for Latino & Latin American Studies 

Thursday, April 25:

  • CLAS Advisors
  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Center for Latino & Latin American Studies

TGIF!  The next Transfers Get Information Friday  is March 22, 2013. Students must register online by March 19th.

The Latino Film Festival returns for its third year in 2013, with Pecados de Mi Padre showing on Tuesday, April 9 in Cavan Auditorium (Graham Hall), Maria Full of Grace on Monday, April 15 in Cavan Auditorium (Graham Hall), City of God on Wednesday, April 17 in Cole Hall, and Miss Bala screening on Thursday, April 18 in Cole Hall.  All films begin at 7:30 PM and include a post-screening discussion.  

February is Black Heritage Month, and there is something exciting happening every day!  Check out the list of events on the NIU Center for Black Studies web site.

March is Women’s History Month, and the 2013 theme is “Looking Back on the Feminine Mystique,” in honor of the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s groundbreaking book, The Feminine Mystique.  NIU’s Women’s Studies Program, along with their sponsors, are offering a full calendar of events. 


Program Showcase

CLCENew Major: Commnuity Leadership and Civic Engagement

The CLCE major was created for students who want to make a difference in the world while also pursuing a well-paying career. It is unique in Illinois, and one of a few such programs nationally. this interdisciplinary program exposes students to a wide variety of topics in sociology, public administration, and business. Students graduate with a well-rounded perspective, essential leadership skills, and business acumen, along with firsthand knowledge of the nonprofit sector. 



Lindsey DiehlTopping the News: Journalism major impresses bosses at ABC7 during internship

Carthage College transfer student Lindsey Diehl has excelled in the Communication Department since coming to NIU. She recently completed two consecutive internships with ABC7, where she impressed her employers so much, they extended her summer internship into the fall. Learn more about Lindsey's experiences at NIU Today.



My NIU Experience

Check out the video of Pablo Alvarez, a counselor at Highland Park High School, and an alumnus of the College. His experiences at NIU had a profound effect on him, and now he wants to share that with others. 


NIU is hosting a free Internship Fair from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM on Tuesday, February 19, 2013, at the NIU Convocation Center. Click here for an extensive list and description of the employers who will be attending the fair.  

The CLAS Internship office website is an excellent resource for transfer students who are interested in an internship for the Fall 2013 semester and beyond. Contact Cathy Doederlein, Coordinator of Internships, at 815-753-1016 or via email at for more information. Find the office on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest internship news.  

Study Abroad

From Cambodia to Tanzania, numerous faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are hosting study abroad experiences this summer, and many are open to students from other institutions. Visit the NIU Study Abroad website for more details, including costs of each experience.

Department News

Department Social Media Tracker

Stay connected – See what our departments are up to!

Computer Science offers Research and Development Internships

Research and Development Internships (RDI) are designed to augment and complement classroom experiences. Employers contact the department regarding their RDI needs and expected skill sets. Based on those criteria and in consultation with the faculty who teach those skills, the department identifies the best qualified students, who are then interviewed and selected by the employer.  Students register for an RDI course and then work at the employer’s site for up to 20 hours per week during spring or fall semester and up to 40 hours per week during the summer. Students receive hands-on, paid work experience that they can put on their resumes, and employers are able to fill research and development needs – a win-win for all! For more information, visit the Department of Computer Science website. 

Community Leadership and Civic Engagement:  A “Make a Difference” Major

Are your students looking for a college major that will actually make a difference in the world?  Tell them to consider NIU’s new interdisciplinary major in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement. CLCE prepares students for life-changing careers in the public service and nonprofit sectors. 

This video highlights transfer student Tom Babbit's decision to pursue this new degree at NIU.

The Department of Economics invites community college faculty, transfer advisors and students to attend ECONference, a half day economics conference starting at noon on Wednesday, May 1, 2013.  Mark your calendars now – more details in our April/May issue and on the department's website.

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures is inviting students to participate in its Foreign Languages Residence Program (FLRP), an opportunity for students of Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish to live in our International House and practice language skills with native speakers, faculty, and other residents. FLRP participants also enjoy extra cultural excursions and retreats at no extra cost.  Contact Dr. Greg Ross ( for more information.

WISSARD Makes Headlines. The Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling project (WISSARD) includes NIU professor Ross Powell (geology) on the executive leadership team, NIU professor Reed Scherer (geology) as a principal investigator and several NIU student researchers.  The project is using a variety of tools and techniques to explore subglacial Lake Whillans and the nearby grounding zone on the southeastern edge of the Ross Sea in Antarctica.  Follow their progress via the WISSARD blog and on the NIU Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences website.

Salsa Anyone? The Center for Latino and Latin American Studies is hosting the NIU Latin Dance Jazz Party featuring Victor Garcia and the NIU Latin Jazz Ensemble, from 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM on Monday, April 8, 2013 in Boutell Memorial Hall on the DeKalb campus.


The Center for Latino & Latin American Studies invites transfer students to apply for these undergraduate scholarships:

Robert Marcelin Memorial Scholarship - $500.00
Deadline:  March 19, 2013
More information and an application form may be found online.

Center for Latino & Latin American Studies’ Latino Scholarship - $500.00
Deadline: March 19, 2013
More information and an application form may be found online.

Please note: One application form is used for both scholarships, but only one scholarship will be awarded per applicant.

Visit the CLAS Departments’ home pages and follow the NIU Scholarships Facebook page to keep up with the latest scholarship news. 

Advising News

The CLAS Advising Office website offers a host of specialized information to help you answer your students’ questions.  Can’t find an answer?  Contact one of our Advising Office staff

Afterword: From the Director of College Communications, Deborah Fransen

"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a
seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to
unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream."
                                                                            - Barbara Winkler

In a few weeks, the winter of 2012 will be but a distant memory, and we’ll gleefully welcome the harbingers of spring – that first robin, first daffodil, those first lacy leaves unfolding on trees. Anticipating spring’s arrival makes us appreciate these “firsts” all the more, as Winkler says, and it nurtures our dreams. 

Many students who transfer to NIU will achieve “firsts” in their own right – first in the family to graduate from college, the first to study abroad, the first to hold an internship or the first to receive a scholarship, an award or a fellowship.  These “firsts” are well within the reach of many students who transfer to NIU, and our advisors, faculty, and staff are here to make sure that no dream goes unrealized.

Our articulation agreements, transfer guides, 4-year degree paths and other resources, such as this newsletter, are tools to assist you and your students in finding the college, the major, and the degree path that is right for them.

Please contact us if you have any questions or if we can assist you as you continue to “nurture the dream” for the students you advise.

Best regards,

Deborah Fransen

Deborah Fransen
Director of College Communications
NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
(815) 753-0518



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