Academic Literacy and Learning Program

Available to all students, the Academic Literacy and Learning Program provides classes in college-level reading, learning and study strategies. These courses provide skill-building through note-taking, reflection, rehearsal, review and vocabulary development. In addition to developing tangible skills, these courses include theoretical and conceptual emphases on learning theories to further contextualize and guide active reading, self-regulation and learning on a variety of academic texts. 

The Academic Literacy and Learning Program is the reading/learning skills component of the highly collaborative communication skills group (English, communications and reading), geared toward supporting students in their retention and academic success goals while at NIU. As such, our program staff maintains frequent communication with students’ academic advisors and counselors to offer a high-touch component toward supporting students "in the moment' with daily and weekly communication. Students in our courses are guaranteed constant communication with their instructors and academic support team regarding their learning needs.

Our program courses are designed to improve reading and learning skills, thus helping students to have more successful and meaningful experiences at NIU. To aid in that endeavor, some of our program courses serve as general education courses ("*") denotes general education status), enabling students to count these courses toward any NIU undergraduate degree program.

During the fall and spring semesters, we usually offer multiple sections of "Learning to Learn" courses in college reading and study strategies that include time management, goal-setting, note-taking, test-taking and vocabulary development. The motivational courses focus on active reading and learning, self-monitoring and evaluation.

  • *LTRE 191 - Learning to Learn: developing contextualized college reading and study strategies for the humanities
  • *LTRE 192 - Learning to Learn: developing contextualized college reading and study strategies for the Natural Sciences
  • LTRE 193 - Learning to Learn: developing contextualized college reading and study strategies for the Social Sciences
  • LTRE 194 - Learning to Learn: developing contextualized college reading and study strategies for general studies    

In addition to directly supporting and serving NIU initiatives of retention and academic success, the Academic Literacy and Learning Program occasionally provides test preparation courses for College of Education students preparing to take mandated state or national exams directly tied to teacher licensure.

  • LTCY 100 - Individualized Competency Unit. Successful mastery by the student of a discrete professional competence in education embodied in a standardized learning package and measured by diagnostic as well as summative evaluations. Units monitored by members of the faculty.

In unique situations, we partner with various departments to offer a paired college reading and study course to enable direct application of those strategies in a content-specific setting. These partnerships work much like a TLC (Themed Learning Community) in which students have an applied setting to directly integrate their self-regulatory reading and study skills into a high-literacy course setting.

  • LTRE 201 - Special Topics in Advanced College Reading. Refinement of college reading comprehension skills, including critical and analytical reading, reading flexibility, acquisition of vocabulary and organizational structures common to specific disciplines.


Contact Information

Acting Program Facilitator
Rebecca Vaughn

Contact Us

Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Gabel Hall 147
815-753-8563 (fax) 

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