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PROMISE Scholars receive academic boost from workshop

April 12, 2017

NIU freshmen and sophomores enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors recently got a boost from an innovative program offered to help their study skills.

Last month during their annual conference, PROMISE Scholars participated in a day-long workshop, the Guaranteed 4.0 Learning System, which teaches a three-step approach to learning. During the workshop, the 30 participants were taught how to study the way the brain naturally prefers to process information.

The NIU PROMISE Scholars Program is a campus-wide initiative for new STEM freshmen and sophomore students. PROMISE Scholars participate in a summer pre-college program, special learning communities, and receive specialized research and peer opportunities with faculty and students, as well as career readiness activities with national corporations.

Organizers say the approach makes study time more efficient and effective by enhancing critical thinking skills. Denise Hayman, director of the NIU CHANCE Program, said student feedback about the one-day workshop points toward a successful effort. She said students were surveyed after the program to see if they found the information useful, and most students reported they found the study techniques to be helpful as they transitioned into college and that they learned new ways to study.

Hayman said she selected the program for the conference because this year’s focus was academics. She has known the presenter, a former chemical engineer with Amoco (now BP), for more than 10 years.