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Ten ways to maximize your college learning

January 14, 2014
Gabriela Arriaga stands with her poster as the Summer Research Symposium.

Gabriela Arriaga stands with her poster as the Summer Research Symposium.

NIU’s Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL) offers a wide variety of great experiential learning opportunities.

OSEEL collaborates across NIU’s campus to provide undergraduate students with engaged learning opportunities both in the classroom and outside, that range from undergraduate research to peer mentoring opportunities, service learning, internships and others too!

With plenty of opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved, students are only an application away from getting involved in one of OSEEL’s impactful programs.

The following program applications are now online, with deadlines ranging from Friday, Feb. 7, to ongoing (“rolling”) opportunities.


Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)

The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) gives NIU undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct paid, faculty-mentored, research during the summer months.  The program gives participants the chance to develop personally, academically and professionally through a variety of workshops, field trips and activities. Applications are due by Friday, Feb. 28.

Research Rookies

Huskie Research Rookies links students with faculty mentors in their major or area of interest to conduct a small-scale research project. Participating in Research Rookies is the perfect way for highly motivated students to connect with one another as well as with supportive faculty and staff. Applications are now being accepted.

Undergraduate Research & Artistry DayUndergraduate Research Assistantship (URA)

The Undergraduate Research Assistantship program offers on-campus employment opportunities for NIU undergraduates. Students selected for Undergraduate Research Assistantships are able to work under the guidance of faculty members in positions directly related to their career paths and/or academic disciplines.

Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP)

The Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) provides opportunities for College of Liberal Arts and Sciences undergraduates to work one-on-one with faculty members on their cutting-edge research projects. The program is designed to stimulate awareness of advanced research and interest in graduate study. Interested NIU faculty members can find the 2014-15 URAP call for proposals online.

Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day (URAD)

Registration for Undergraduate Research and Artistry Day (URAD) is now open. Undergraduate students at NIU can register to present the independent research at the fifth annual URAD event. Abstracts are due to OSEEL by Friday, March 7.

Research Opportunities at Other Universities

In addition to NIU’s summer research programs; there are many national research programs for undergraduate students interested in off-campus research opportunities. Students studying all majors are encouraged to visit the list of other summer research opportunities.


A TLC consists of two or three courses taken in conjunction in order to examine a common theme across disciplines like the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Themed Learning Communities are open to incoming freshmen students, but OSEEL is now accepting applications for Peer Leaders – experienced upperclassmen who serve as a resource to first-year students. Peer Leader applications are available online.

Students visit the Huskie Service Scholars Community Garden.

Students visit the Huskie Service Scholars Community Garden.


HSS is a program strives to develop a peer network and provide support that enables students to engage in service work on campus and in the community. First-generation or low-income students entering NIU for the first time are placed into teams with  upperclassmen mentors. The Huskie Service Scholars program is now accepting applications for Fellows (first-year students) and Peer Mentors (upperclassmen).


Course Transformation Project (CTP) courses are lower level, large lecture classes that have been transformed to offer an engaging alternative to traditional large lecture format. CTP classes engage students more fully and actively with the content material during class.


The Northern Lights Ambassadors are a select group of students who are chosen on the basis of academic leadership and excellence and involvement in engaged learning activities who represent each college on campus and in the community. These students commit to serving a complete academic year (fall and spring semester). The Office of Student Engagement & Experiential Learning is now accepting applications for NLAs for the 2014-15 academic year.

For more information, call (815) 753-8154 or email [email protected].