Quick Navigation

Open Doors


Open Doors 

 An e-newsletter for community college advisors


Degree/Program Updates

Students Want to Study with Award-Winning Professors? At NIU, They Can!  

Several professors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have been selected for top honors from NIU.

Professors are awarded these highly competitive, very selective awards based on national and international renown, teaching impact, research and scholarship – particularly when such activities directly involve students – and service to community and region.

Imagine all that your students can learn from these professors and the numerous other award-wining scholars in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

The Course Transformation Project

Several Liberal Arts and Sciences courses are receiving overhauls as part of our Course Transformation Project (CTP). 

CTP courses are designed to be a whole lot more than your average college course. Instructors are invested in giving the best possible experience, and students can expect a lot more hand-on, interactive learning on a flexible schedule. 

View a list of CTP courses and

Transfer Students: Success Stories

The word’s out: Transfer students succeed at NIU!  Read about students Wayne Duerkes, Lindsey Diehl, Heather Jurs, and Meredith Wood and why they say transferring to NIU was a great decision. 

What can your students do with an NIU degree? Help them discover all the possibilities.   

We have a new electronic publication that will give you and your students an idea of the numerous opportunities available in the NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Exploration and Discovery: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Northern Illinois University provides a broad overview of our college and departments, along with profiles of our accomplished alumni and testimonials from current students. 

Biological Sciences:  Professor Karen Samonds was one of five women explorers featured as part of National Geographic’s celebration of International Women’s Day.  

Communication:  Professor Randy Caspersen has been awarded a $15,000 Research and Artistry Grant from NIU’s Division of Research and Graduate Studies. This Opportunity Grant will be used to help fund a project entitled The Penguin Process. Caspersen will be working with media students in the Department of Communication to produce a documentary about the collaboration between Dekalb Children’s Community Theatre and the Penguin Project, an organization that “provides children and young adults, ages 10-22, with developmental disabilities the opportunity to take center stage in a Broadway-style musical production, filling all roles from leads to ensemble.” For further information see the Penguin Project website.

Congratulations to the NIU Forensics Team for winning the Team of Excellence Award at the Pi Kappa Delta Nationals in St. Louis recently.  


Deadlines and Events

Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day – April 23, 2013.  Holmes Student Center, 600 Lucinda Ave.  All are welcome – encourage your students to come and learn more about the research they could be involved in at NIU. 

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!

Sunday, April 14: Admissions Chat

Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 22: Final Steps Chats

Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday April 25: CLAS-focused chats
Featuring representatives from:

  • Admissions
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising
  • Communications
  • English
  • History
  • Sociology
  • 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.  


Program Showcase: Transfer Students Succeed at NIU!

Meredith WoodSenior meteorology major chases tornadoes, whips up new plans to teach science, math

Meredith Wood never thought about pursuing a science degree because she was not confident in her mathematics skills. After taking a meteorology class at the College of DuPage (COD) and going on a storm-chasing trip, however, she was hooked.

I chose NIU because of its reputable meteorology program,” Wood says. “My transition from COD to NIU was very smooth. I felt very prepared for the advanced meteorology and mathematics classes. 

Heather JursScholarships help 'map' geography major's path

Heather was a transfer student from Highland Community College. Since coming to NIU, she's excelled in the Department of Geography. She also received a two prestigious scholarships offered by the department.

“I would definitely recommend NIU to incoming transfer students because there is a wealth of resources available specifically for transfer students.”

Read more at NIU Today.



My NIU Experience


In today’s challenging job market, internships provide that competitive edge that will help students land that critical first job after graduation. A December 2012 study conducted by Internships.com, which surveyed more than 7300 students and recent graduates along with over 300 human resources and recruitment professionals, underscored the benefits of an internship experience:

  • 53% of companies plan to hire more interns in 2013 that they did in 2012
  • Relevant work experience, such as that obtained through internships related to your major, is more important to employers than strong academic performance
  • Internships DO lead to job offers: 69% of companies with 100+ employees made full-time job offers to their interns in 2012. 

Recognizing the critical role that internships play in career opportunities, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has established an Internship Office dedicated to finding internship placements and working with students to prepare them to land these prime opportunities. Cathy Doederlein, coordinator of internships in the humanities, has helped countless students land some pretty impressive internships. Recent students have interned at Rockford and Chicago television stations, publishing companies, and various university offices, including those focusing on media services, communication and marketing. The office has also prepared students to apply for positions with the Sundance Film Festival and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  

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

Student Profile

CLCE majors are encouraged to take part in real-world experiences to supplement their classroom activities. Amanda Insalaco, who attended Elgin Community College, is a student who has embraced this philosophy wholeheartedly. Over the past year, she took part in the CLCE in Washington D.C. spring break trip, was selected for an Undergraduate Research Assistantship, co-authored a case study to be published later in 2013, is presenting a research poster at NIU’s Research and Artistry Day, and was asked to travel to Springfield to talk about her research with state legislators. Amanda was recently selected as one of NIU’s Outstanding Women and will take part in an internship at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C. this summer.

Summer/Fall course listing up on CSEAS website

The Summer 2013/Fall 2013 SEA Studies Course Listing for courses that can be applied toward
SEA studies minors/contract majors or SEA studies graduate concentrations has been posted on
the Center website. New course offerings will continue to be added, so check back frequently. If you have any questions, please contact the center at 815-753-1771.

Anthropology M.A. student Anthonie Tumpag is again sharing his collection of objects and artifacts in “Mending Our Unraveled Tapestry,” an exhibit of material culture from the Austronesian region including Southeast Asia on display until May 1 in the lobby of the Stevens Building. Part of Tumpag’s collection was displayed previously this year in a one-day show at the Asian-American Center.

Burnish your resumé: Sign up for SEA Studies minor or grad concentration

Adding a minor to an undergraduate degree or a graduate concentration to an advanced degree can put a resumé at the top of the pile. In a global marketplace, an internationally focused area of study can open more doors. To learn about NIU’s Southeast Asian Studies programs, visit the CSEAS website or stop by Pottenger House, 520 College View Court. Undergraduates may make an appointment with Outreach Coordinator Julie Lamb at jlamb@niu.edu. Graduate students should contact Assistant Director Trude Jacobsen at tjacobsen1@niu.edu.

NIU ECONference

On May 1, the Department of Economics will be hosting the NIU ECONference, a half-day economics conference starting at noon in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center.  Interested community college instructors and students are invited to attend.  Attendance is free, but pre-registration by April 17 (woolbright@niu.edu) is requested.  A box lunch may be ordered for $10 at the time of registration or food may be purchased in the Holmes Student Center.  Please see the program of sessions.  Please direct any questions to Ms. Debra Woolbright at the above email address.   


Would your students be interested in free housing?

Apply for our Transfer Center Residential Scholar Award. Winners receive a residence hall suite with bath at Stevenson Tower, normally worth $9,500! Students are not required to apply for housing before applying for this scholarship.

Eligible students must:

  • be admitted transfer students with 24 or more transfer hours for the Fall 2013 semester.
  • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time of application.  
  • be involved in extensive extracurricular activities. 

Accepting students are required to participate in Move-in day, and in at least two hours of NIU Open House events. A total of 20 non-renewable awards will be given for the Fall 2013/Spring 2014 terms. 

CLCE Scholarships Available

These $500 scholarships are available to students entering NIU who plan to major in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE). Freshmen and transfer students are eligible to apply as are students who are returning to NIU who have not been enrolled for at least three years.

The deadline is April 30, so encourage students to apply now! Download the application.

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 Undergraduate Studies, Jill Boersema

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you so much to those who joined us for the Spring 2013 Articulation Conference at NIU.  It was terrific to see so many advisors, from so many community colleges, attend and speak up!

Your voices spoke so positively for the future of our students, and Michelle Pickett, Director of the Academic Advising Center, and Andrew Hlubek, Director of the Transfer Center, put together a wonderful day.  We hope you will continue to attend this and other events in the future to share your wisdom and advice.

At the end of April 2013, I will be retiring from NIU.  I look forward to walking through the National Parks and, in anticipation of that new adventure, I already have an atlas, a couple of comprehensive guidebooks, and a lot of enthusiasm.

Steve Estes will step in as the Acting Director of Undergraduate Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Many of you already know him; he has been here for many years and is extraordinarily knowledgeable. I know you will help welcome him to his new role.  Please feel free to email him at sestes@niu.edu, or he may be reached by calling (815) 753-0114.

Thank you for your patience and kindnesses over the years.  I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you.  

Jill BoersmaJill Boersma
Director, Undergraduate Studies
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences





College Advisors by Department

Transfer Credits and Program Majors Guide

To unsubscribe to this newsletter, please email CLAS-Communication@niu.edu with the subject "Unsubscribe."

FacebookLike us on Facebook!

Visiting Campus

Campus tours are offered:

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
1:00 - 3:00 PM

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Virtual Campus Tour