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EngagePLUS Criteria

You may apply for EngagePLUS notations in six categories:  Artistry, Career Related Work Experience, Experiential Learning, Leadership, Service-Learning and Undergraduate Research. Additionally, you may use your engaged learning experiences to satisfy the Human Diversity requirement.


Artistry experiences are eligible for transcript notations provided they do not result in academic credit and they meet the following criteria:

  • You complete a minimum of 80 hours of active engagement in an extensive and immersive artistry experience.
  • You worked under the close guidance of a qualified mentor.
  • Experience deepened your knowledge of artistry.
  • Experience involved direct application of classroom knowledge to “real world” activities or problems.
  • You focused on art as process or product.
  • Experience led to the creation of a new work and/or the development of personal voice/pedagogy/technical mastery in the arts.

Career Related Work Experience experiences are eligible for transcript notations provided they do not result in academic credit and they meet the following criteria:

  • You complete a minimum of 120 hours of active engagement in an extensive and immersive internship.
  • You worked under the supervision of an appropriate supervisor.
  • Experience deepened your knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Experience involved direct application of classroom knowledge to “real world” activities or problems.
  • You developed and made use of professional skills and strategies.

Experiential Learning experiences are eligible for transcript notations provided they do not result in academic credit and they meet the following criteria:

  • You complete a minimum of 80 hours of active engagement in an extensive and immersive pre-professional experience, such as field or clinical work, co-op, instruction or other practical learning experience.
  • You worked under the close guidance of a qualified mentor.
  • Experience deepened your knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Experience involved direct application of classroom knowledge to “real world” activities or problems.
  • Experience led to increased professional preparation including the development of skills in problem-solving and decision-making.

Leadership experiences are eligible for transcript notations provided they do not result in academic credit and they meet the following criteria:

  • You complete a minimum of 80 hours of active engagement in an extensive and immersive leadership experience.
  • You worked under the close guidance of a qualified mentor.
  • Experience deepened your knowledge of effective leadership.
  • Experience involved direct application of classroom knowledge to “real world” activities or problems.
  • You were directly involved with high-level decision making and skill development.

You demonstrated the ability to involve followers, create a shared vision, articulate shared goals and how these goals have been achieved, and/or reflect on personal and professional growth of both self and others.

Service-Learning experiences are eligible for transcript notations provided they do not result in academic credit and they meet the following criteria:

  • You complete a minimum of 80 hours of active engagement in an extensive and immersive service-learning experience.
  • You worked under the close guidance of a qualified mentor.
  • Experience deepened your knowledge of the community they served and its needs.
  • Experience involved direct application of classroom knowledge to “real world” activities or problems.
  • Experience included intentional reflection of your sense of personal, social and community responsibility.

Undergraduate Research experiences are eligible for transcript notations provided they do not result in academic credit and they meet the following criteria:

  • You complete a minimum of 80 hours of active engagement in an extensive and immersive research project.
  • You worked under the close guidance of a qualified faculty mentor.
  • Experience deepened your knowledge of the subject matter and of best practices in academic research.
  • Experience involved direct application of classroom knowledge to “real world” activities or problems.
  • Experience led to the creation of new knowledge and/or the expansion of current knowledge.

EngagePLUS and other Human Diversity experiences will satisfy the Human Diversity requirement provided they do not result in academic credit and they meet the following criteria:

  • You complete a minimum of 48 hours of work. This corresponds to 33 percent of a 16-week course – 16 contact hours and 32 hours of work outside of class.
  • You worked under the close guidance of a qualified faculty mentor or staff supervisor.
  • Experience focused on one or more of the following social categories: gender, ability, race/ethnicity, citizenship, wealth/material resources, religion, age or sexual orientation.
  • Experience involved an analysis of power and addressed people’s differing access to resources/opportunities.

Qualifying Human Diversity experiences must also meet NIU’s baccalaureate student learning outcome on intercultural competency:

  • Exhibit intercultural competencies with people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives