The College of Education recommends students become involved in professional organizations in order to increase their awareness of the field of education, issues in education, and to improve leadership and communication skills.
The Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER)
AER is the only international membership dedicated to rendering support and assistance to professionals who work in all phases of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired children and adults. The NIU chapter of AER provides such support to university students who are training to become teachers of children or adults who have visual impairments -- through professional activities such as conference attendance, guest speakers, and field trips; service activities that involve members in the community working with visually
Adviser: Susan Dolton (815) 753-1619
The worldwide mission of the CEC is to improve educational outcomes for exceptional individuals. The NIU Student Chapter (SCEC) pursues this mission by organizing informational presentations for prospective educators and by providing service to organizations serving students with disabilities. SCEC welcomes individuals from all disciplines and programs.
Adviser: Christy Cunningham (815) 753-8359
The IEA Student Program is a pre-professional organization for undergraduate and graduate students who are preparing for careers in education. When a student joins, they will be a part of the 97,000 member Illinois Education Association, the largest professional organization for teachers in the state. They will also be affiliated with the National Education Association, a network of state associations that has two million members and is a major force in shaping the nation’s education agenda.
Future educators on more than three dozen public and private Illinois college campuses have joined the IEA-NEA Student Program. IEA-NEA’s Student Program is governed by a Student Advisory Board, which oversees program activities. Students from colleges around the state comprise this Board with an elected chairperson who also represents the Student Program on the IEA-NEA Student Program.
Adviser: Mary Keil (815) 753-8363
Minorities Inspiring Teacher Education (MITE)
The MITE organization provides support and pertinent information to students in teacher education programs in the College of Education. Information is transmitted via speakers, mentoring from NIU faculty and alumni, and networking opportunities for minority students.
The organization’s goals are to increase minority retention, recruit more minority students into teacher education, improve the academic environment of the College and University, serve as a channel to communicate and coordinate activities that provide cultural awareness and foster social interaction between students, NIU, and the community.
Adviser: Office of Recruiting (815) 753-4303
The Northern Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children (NIAEYC)
NIAEYC is a local affiliate group of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Nationwide, NAEYC is a membership organization of over 100,000 early childhood professionals who are committed to fostering the growth and development of children from birth through age 8, the critical years of development. Our local affiliate group, one of the largest in Illinois, has a membership of more than 175. Membership is open to all who share a desire to serve and act on the behalf of the needs and rights of young children.
NAEYC’s primary purpose is to provide developmental and educational resources to adults who work with young children. In practical terms, this goal translates into sponsoring activities that are designed to improve the professional practice of early childhood education and to educate the American public about the importance of good quality early childhood programs. NAEYC and its affiliate groups work towards achievement of this goal by sponsoring professional conferences, publishing books and other resources, and through public awareness campaigns.
This group is administered through the School of Family, Consumer & Nutrition Sciences in the College of Health and Human Sciences.
Adviser: Dr. Linda Derscheid (815) 753-6341
Physical Education Majors Club (PHED Club)
PHED Club is designed to promote community fitness and to further professional interest in physical education and recreation. The Club provides opportunities for learning, friendship, and leadership through club-sponsored activities and services. The Club is open to all physical education majors and minors, including graduate students, in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Adviser: Dr. Jenny Parker (815) 753-6361
Students have an opportunity to get involved in various University committees that serve the NIU community at large. These include committees like:
- Academic Planning Council
- Committee on the Improvement of Undergraduate Education
- Committee on the Undergraduate Academic Environment
- Committee on the Undergraduate Curriculum
Being involved in such a committee enables a student to begin networking across campus with faculty and administrators, as well as develop skills that will be valuable in their future careers, like communication skills, problem solving skills, and teamwork. They will also be an influential member of a committee that helps shape what NIU is.