UNIV 101/201

Be a UNIV 101/201 Instructor


Selection Process

Applicants Must:

  • Be a current member of the NIU faculty, staff, or administration;
  • Have completed a master's degree;
  • Have prior college teaching experience;
  • Attend the required instructor developments, trainings, workshops and conferences.

Instructor Overview Meetings

Tuesday, February 11 at 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the HSC, Illinois Room

Tuesday, February 18 at 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the HSC, Illinois Room

Wednesday, February 26 at 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the HSC, Illinois Room

Wednesday, March 19 at 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in Altgeld 100

Tuesday, March 25 at 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. in Altgeld 100

Teaching Philosophy

As part of the new instructor application, we require that you describe your own individual teaching philosophy. Below is an example of a teaching philosophy written by a former UNIV Instructor:

I believe that students learn through being engaged and involved in the subject matter. Students should feel encouraged about their ability to think, learn, and perform in a learning environment that is supportive and filled with enthusiasm for the subject matter. For this to occur, students need to see the connection between the subject matter and how they can apply it in their daily lives.

As a UNIV 101 instructor I feel it is important to have:

  • Planned learning experiences using a variety of formats to address different learning styles;
  • Flexibility to adjust plans according to the individuals and needs of the class;
  • Excitement and enthusiasm for the learning process and the first-year experience;
  • An open, inviting disposition that encourages students to connect with the instructor on an individual basis
  • Confidence in one's teaching style allowing for students to make mistakes in a learning environment that is both challenging and supportive.

Additional information on teaching philosophies:

Other examples of teaching philosophies:


Expectations of UNIV 101/201 instructors:

  • UNIV 101/201 instructors are required to teach the entire 15 weeks of the course (16 weeks for CHANCE sections). * No sections are to end prior to the fifteenth week ending December 5, 2014. All sections should meet in class for 800 to 1,200 contact minutes. Also, instructors will need to plan at least 2 office hours each week when students can meet with them.
  • Attendance is required at all development workshops (date, time and locations TBA):
    • May Instructor Development Conference
    • Course Planning Workshop
    • August Department Meetings 
  • By Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. instructors will submit a copy of their course syllabus to the coordinators who reserve the right to request that the syllabus be amended prior to instruction. A sample syllabus will be made available. All syllabi must include:
    • Instructor contact information;
    • Course objectives;
    • Required materials;
    • Class policies and procedures (e.g., grading, attendance).
  • While course content and activities will vary to some degree from section to section, all course activity must reflect the objectives of UNIV 101/201 and be appropriate for a one credit-hour course. Also, each section of UNIV 101/201 must incorporate the following into its requirements:
    • E-mail contact with instructors using the NIU student e-mail system;
    • An individual conference between the instructor and each student;
    • Reflective writing assignments;
    • In-class discussion;
    • Student participation in campus activities;
    • Teaching students how to access and use Blackboard course management tools
      (More information about required and suggested course content and activities will be provided at training workshops and department meetings.) 
  • Instructors will assess student performance using the university's letter grading system. Peer Instructors are not to assign or maintain assignment or course grades.
  • All sections must use the NIU Essentials for Success customized textbook, the Undergraduate Catalog, and the Student Handbook, and require that students use an academic planner. (We recommend the NIU Academic Planner). If an instructor wishes to require additional materials they must first gain approval by the course coordinators.
  • Instructors must participate in the course evaluation process. Course and instructor evaluations are completed by students near the end of the course and are carefully reviewed by the UNIV coordinators. Each instructor will receive information about the results of the evaluations for his or her section. This information may be shared with the instructor's supervisor(s) and will be used in making future decisions about involvement with UNIV.
  • Instructors must agree to abide by Northern's academic policies and procedures.
  • Instructors will keep the course coordinators informed of emergency and critical situations involving UNIV 101/201 students and classroom encounters.
  • All instructors agree to read the weekly newsletter and respond to requests in a timely manner.