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Program to recognize students ‘who have taken a different path’

October 8, 2014

Veterans spring barbecueStudents who identify as non-traditional have unique and individualized needs while they provide a wide range of diversity to the NIU student population.

Non-traditional students at NIU often identify with multiple titles such as transfer students, commuters, parents, older than 24, living in off-campus housing, international students or members of the U.S. military.

They often miss out on campus information and programs because to minimal face-time with the campus and its inner workings. This also causes many of these students to be overlooked in receiving recognition for achievements and participation in events on and off campus.

NIU’s Off-Campus and Non-Traditional Student Services (OCNTSS) office is initiating a recognition program its student population.

Off-Campus and Non-Traditional Student Services works to welcome, incorporate, and promote non-traditional students in the campus environment. This includes recognizing those students who have taken a different path, taken extra steps, persevered through struggles or simply have a great story to tell about their academic and life journeys.

Recognizing the contributions these students provide to NIU fosters their sense of visibility and advocacy on campus, in addition to encouraging a stronger presence on campus.

Gabriela Arriaga (left) and Jenna Jane, recipients of the 2014 Eli Whitney Award of Excellence

Gabriela Arriaga (left) and Jenna Jane,
recipients of the 2014 Eli Whitney Award of Excellence

Featured Adult Learners is an initiative that will recognize many students throughout the school year based on nominations provided to OCNTSS by other students, faculty or staff.

A nominee should be chosen based on character, leadership and citizenship, as well as academic successes. This student demonstrates excellent behavior inside and outside the classroom, displays excellent citizenship by his/her willingness to help fellow classmates and demonstrates leadership and integrity.

The student shows exemplary character through his/her compassion, honesty, trustworthiness, responsibility, optimism and loyalty in helping to create a positive university environment.

Finally, the nominee might simply have an inspirational story to share with his/her peers. Recognition as a Featured Adult Learner automatically introduces these students as candidates for receiving the Eli Whitney Award in the spring.

For more information about the nomination process, contact Jessica Alford at (815) 753-9999 or [email protected].