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Working group offers vision for student population of tomorrow

July 5, 2011



This is the third in a series of articles offering a brief overview of the Vision 2020 working group reports.

The Vision 2020 Student Recruitment, Retention and Success Working Group was asked to identify a set of measures to define the size, composition, quality and success of NIU’s student population over the next decade.

The 15-member working group, comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni, outlined a detailed set of recommendations in a report compiled as part of the Vision 2020 Initiative, NIU’s effort to become the most student-centered public research university in the Midwest by the year 2020.

That report (and five others) is online and available for review and comment so that the university community can help define the path to that goal.

Members of the Recruitment, Retention and Success Working Group benchmarked NIU against similar schools across the state and region to compare the size and quality of incoming classes (both high school seniors and transfer students) and more.

A Vision 2020 Initiative working group has offered recommendations for the size, composition and quality of NIU's future student population.


The working group recommended:

  • Significantly increasing the size of incoming classes – of both high school and transfer students;
  • Working to attract students with higher ACT scores and class ranks through stronger scholarship support and other means;
  • Expanding the number of accelerated programs (e.g. combined bachelor’s and master’s programs);
  • Expanding recruitment efforts downstate and in neighboring states;
  • Striving to increase graduation and retention rates.

Each recommendation includes: justification for why it is important; specific steps required to carry out the recommendation; organizational or policy changes that might be required; budgetary considerations; a list of planning documents that might help guide the effort; and a suggestion as to which organizations on campus should be charged with approving and implementing work toward attaining the goal.

“The recommendations set forth in this report, and the others, offer a clear path forward,” said NIU President John Peters. “What we are looking for now is feedback from the NIU community as to which of these priorities should be treated as most important to help us set the course toward our future.”

The campus community can share thoughts on those issues by visiting the Vision 2020 website, where six of the seven reports (both full reports and executive summaries) are currently available for review and comment. Deadline for input is Friday, July 15.