Incoming Northern Illinois University freshman have a unique opportunity to engage deeply with a course theme, connect learning across courses in collaborative and active ways, develop relationships with peers and faculty, and ease the transition into college by enrolling in one of NIU’s Themed Learning Communities (TLC) during registration.
“We hope that our students learn that the NIU experience is about collaborating and transferring knowledge from the classroom to the world around them,” says Dr. Julia Spears, director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning. “NIU’s Themed Learning Communities allow students the chance to explore a topic they are interested in in great depth and to understand various points of views.”
Themed Learning Communities are groups of two or three classes bundled together around a common theme with the goal of providing students the opportunity to engage deeply with a course theme, connect learning across courses in collaborative and active ways while at the same time developing relationships with peers and faculty that enhance their college experience.
Faculty members create assignments that require students to draw on concepts from the other TLC classes for an enhanced, integrative learning experience.
The class size is capped at 25 so students are able to better connect with their professors and form close relationships with their classmates. These relationships can be very important in acclimating to university life and in matriculation.
Spears continues, “Students have a robust learning experience which is only enhanced by the small class size, greater contact with the faculty and peer mentoring. It’s a great way for students to adjust to college life and take general education courses around a topic that interests them.”
A variety of communities are available to incoming freshman, and many offer professional development opportunities, field trips and other engaged learning opportunities, and the opportunity to work with faculty from different fields. A listing may be found below.
Health & Human Sciences Majors:
Visual & Performing Arts Majors:
For more information, please contact Dr. Julia Spears at 753-8152 or [email protected].