There is no more important way for NIU to engage with its region than by serving the educational needs of the region's citizens at every stage of their personal and professional lives. To that end, the University is committed to expanding off-campus course offerings and delivery methods.
Needed: New Degree Offerings for Adult Learners
Degrees that meet regional student and workplace needs will attract greater enrollments. NIU increased baccalaureate degree completion programs from 5 to 7 in 2012. Milestones for new, blended/online degree programs: 4 by 2015 and 6 by 2020. High-demand degrees will emphasize leadership development and management in fields such as computer technology, business, arts and culture, and public safety. Research continues to assess regional needs.
Off-campus Total Enrollment Milestones
Needed: Increased Flexibility for Adult Learners
In FY12, the number of students enrolled in traditional classes declined by 25%, and the number in online courses increased by 38%. Substantial increases in enrollment will require more online/blended programs, services customized to meet the schedules of off-campus adult learners, and marketing targeted to their needs.
A plan submitted for Vision 2020 funding would develop new programs; improve adult learner services; target promotions; and increase flexibility through accelerated courses, weekend and summer courses, and other alternatives.
Off-campus Undergraduate Enrollment Milestones
Graduate School Enrollment Milestones
Online Degree and Certificate Milestones
Expansion of online degrees and certificates will be funded through Distributed Learning.
NIU will adopt a university-wide definition of "engaged learning" that includes disciplinary content available outside the classroom, in which the student actively participates and then connects the experience to classroom learning. These experiences include internships, research, service learning, themed living environments, etc.
Engaged Learning Milestones in ENGAGE!
Regional and International Outreach and Engagement
Outreach brings NIU resources to bear on societal needs, while engagement requires collaboration with the larger community to identify shared problems at local, regional, and international levels that are addressed in ways that produce mutually-beneficial solutions.
2010-12 – Establish an infrastructure that facilitates increased engagement activities
2018 – Increase number of international partnerships
2020 – Document regional engagement to measure constituent recognition of NIU’s role and commitment
Faculty Involvement in Outreach and Engagement Activities
Outreach and Engagement activities greatly enhance faculty research, scholarship and artistry, and improve the overall student learning experience. Increasing faculty participation requires incentives such as public acknowledgement, promotion and tenure status, and financial reward.
2012 – Raise visibility of engaged learning, engaged research, and engaged service
2015 – Every department lists discipline-specific outreach and engagement activities on ENGAGE!, annually expanding engaged learning opportunities.
2018 – Incorporate outreach and engagement into tenure and promotion processes in all departments so that incentives exist for faculty participation
2020 – Document increases in faculty outreach and engagement activities from 2012