Enriching Educational Experiences

Complementary learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom augment the academic
program. Experiencing diversity teaches students valuable things about themselves and other cultures. Used appropriately, technology facilitates learning and promotes collaboration between peers and instructors. Internships, community service, and senior capstone courses provide students with opportunities to synthesize, integrate, and apply their knowledge. Such experiences make learning more meaningful and, ultimately, more useful because what students know becomes a part of who they are.

Activities and conditions:

  • Talking with students with different religious beliefs, political opinions, or values
  • Talking with students of a different race or ethnicity
  • An institutional climate that encourages contact among students from different economic, social, and racial or ethnic backgrounds
  • Using electronic technology to discuss or complete assignments

Participating in:

  • Internships or field experiences
  • Community service or volunteer work
  • Foreign language coursework
  • Study abroad
  • Independent study or self-assigned major
  • Culminating senior experience
  • Co-curricular activities
  • Learning communities

NIU Results

Enriching Education Experiences Benchmark 2012

What types of honors courses, learning communities, and other distinctive programs are offered?
During their first year, 20% of students participate in a learning community. By their senior year, 15% of students have taken an independent study class.

How often do students interact with peers with different social, political, or religious views?
60% of FY students say they frequently have serious conversations with students who are different from themselves in terms of their religious, political, or personal beliefs.

How often do students interact with peers from different racial or ethnic backgrounds?
62% of FY students frequently have serious conversations with those of a different race.

How many students study in other countries?
By their senior year, 9% of students have studied abroad.

Do students participate in activities that enhance their spirituality?
21% of FY students frequently engage in spiritually enhancing activities such as worship, meditation, or prayer.

What percentage of students participate in community service?
By the time they are seniors, 56% of students have participated in community service or volunteer work.