Student Professional Organizations

The College of Education recommends you become involved in professional organizations in order to increase your awareness of the field of education, issues in education and to improve leadership and communication skills.

We are committed to the development of an inclusive and diverse community; promoting and advancing student achievement and success toward professional achievement.

Academic Interest and Professional Organizations

The Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (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, field trips, and service activities that involve members in the community working with visually impaired individuals.

Advisor: Stacy Kelly, 815-753-4103,

The College Student Advisory Committee (CSAC) is composed of student representatives from departments in the College of Education and provides an invaluable service to the college.

Representatives advise the dean on college and departmental academic policies and procedures, program quality and viability, as well as ways to honor outstanding student achievements and service. This feedback contributes to the overall improvement of the student experience in the college.

Membership criteria:

  • Currently enrolled in a College of Education degree program
  • College of Education Major affiliation
  • In compliance with NIU Student Code of Conduct
  • In good academic standing with the University

Student representatives (2022-23 academic year)

  • Luis Barbosa
  • Alyssa Brasch
  • Kiyora Daniels
  • Emily Darnell
  • A’Jah Davis
  • Noor Dogar
  • Juilia Hoelzer
  • Izel Jimenez
  • Judy Kohler
  • Marta Kuklik
  • Katelyn Mathis
  • Sarah Meyer
  • Claudie Miller
  • Genesis Miranda
  • Allie Pyle
  • Sisi Ramos
  • Nathan Scheibe

Advisor: Jennifer Johnson, 815-753-4265 

The Exercise Science Club (NIU EXS) is dedicated to assisting in academic and professional development of its kinesiology undergraduate members. NIU EXS provides networking with NIU's Exercise Science alumni and faculty, tours to facilities in the northern Illinois area, meetings with speakers and professionals within the field, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities. For more information email

KNPE Majors 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.

Advisor: Gail Koehling, 815-753-3903,

Certified athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activity. As part of a complete health care team, the certified athletic trainer works under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care professionals, athletics administrators, coaches and parents.

The goals of the Northern Illinois Athletic Training Students Association include:

  • Promoting the profession of athletic training to the NIU body and general community
  • Educating the community about the field of athletic training
  • Enabling members to become better acquainted through a variety of professional and social activities
  • Providing educational services and resources to athletic training students, athletic training majors, and the general community.

Advisor: Phil Voorhis, 815-753-0211,

Northern Illinois University Counseling Association (NIUCA) is a chapter of the Illinois Counseling Association, which is a state branch of the American Counseling Association. This group participates in volunteer, social and informational meetings to build camaraderie and friendship, while also expanding the mind and understanding of students in the counseling program. It is open to all undergraduate, master's level, and doctoral students who wish to learn more about the field of professional counseling.

NIUCA's mission is to enhance human development throughout the life span and to promote the counseling profession within the northern Illinois area.

Please contact the Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE) for more information at

The NIU Chapter of Educators Rising Collegiate is an organization for pre-service teachers and education advocates. NIU Educators Rising offers opportunities for collegiate students to broaden their perspective beyond the classroom through professional development, leadership development, and access to a variety of resources. Membership is open to all majors.

Educators Rising is a national organization committed to supporting undergraduate students to be an active voice in the future of education, find support from mentors and other like-minded aspiring educators, and advocate for diversity in local districts and schools.

Please email our Office for Student Success, for more information.

The NIU Chapter of the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children (NIUIAEYC) is a non-profit organization that promotes early learning for young children and their families. NIUIAEYC is a service-based student organization that strives to work together within the community to advocate for the rights, needs, and well-being of young children and promote professional development opportunities for NIU students that focus on early education. 

Advisor: Natalie Young, 815-753-2845,

The purpose of NIU Educators Club is to enhance the development of future educators by fulfilling the aims of service, learning and diversity.

  • Service shall be fulfilled by interacting and assisting peers, students and educators on a voluntary basis in a learning environment.
  • Learning shall be fulfilled through a dedication to lifelong learning by experiencing real-life testimony, participating in discussion and being conscious of and knowing how to utilize the plethora of resources available to educators.
  • Diversity shall be fulfilled by being attentive to the vast range of differences in the field of education.

NIU Educators Club hopes to fulfill these aims while creating a network of future educators and having fun while growing our craft together!

Advisors: Dianne Zalesky 815-753-9674, and Donna Werderich, 815-753-7639,

Northern Illinois University Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC) is an organization for pre-service educators and future support staff. NIU SCEC focuses on three pillars; professional development, services and community, and is open to all majors. NIU SCEC aims to provide a great experience for professional development and support a sense of community among our members.

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), our parent organization, is an international organization that supports research into best educational practices and offers professional development through several publications and conferences. CEC also works on a legal level, aiding in the development and renewal of the Individuals with Disabilities Education act of 2004 as well as developing college standards for syllabi.

Advisor: Lisa Liberty,

Community Service

Circle K International (CKI) has been helping the community through various types of service projects since 1962. One of the most known projects is the Dear Santa project, which has won at both district level and international level. CKC-NIU's focus is to promote service, leadership, and fellowship through community engagement, professional experience, and social interaction. CKC-NIU seeks to create leaders within the community and also provide opportunities for networking. The parent organization for CKC-NIU, Kiwanis International, provides members with the opportunity to connect with students from college campuses nation-wide and internationally.

Advisor: Paul Stoddard,

College Parents Group (CPG) supports, advocates and creates opportunities for college students who are parents and offers educational and social experiences for parents while including activities for their children.

Advisor: LaBrian Carrington, 815-753-5908,

Deaf Pride has been a student organization for over 20 years. The group promotes deaf culture and awareness on and around campus. The members range on a continuum of deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing. All of our members express an interest in some aspect of the culture and/or history surrounding the deaf community. Knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL) is not required to be a member in this organization. Deaf Pride promotes values of service, leadership, and education to our members and others around.

Advisor: Natalie Maurin Koop,

NIU Best Buddies' mission is to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Best Buddies created the 2020 Initiative in 2011, with the goal of opening offices in all 50 states, expanding into 100 countries, and impacting three-million people with and without IDD worldwide by the end of 2020.

The initiative also includes plans to train 4,000 Buddy Ambassadors, develop 1,000 jobs for people with IDD around the world, and increase the number of school-based chapters to 2,500. As a result of these ambitious expansion efforts, Best Buddies hopes to become a household name by the end of 2020.

Advisor: Jeff Chan, 815-753-8633,

Honorary Societies

Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), International Honor Society in Education, is an organization that recognizes the best and brightest in the field. Through its professional development programs and services, KDP supports and enhances the professional growth and teaching practices of its member educators throughout their entire teaching career. This all begins by joining the Delta Epsilon Chapter of KDP at NIU.

We are more than an honor society to put as a line on your resume--KDP provides leadership opportunities, commitment to service and access to the professional resources to help undergraduate and graduate students develop into high-quality educators. KDP members make a difference as educators – don’t miss this opportunity!

Advisors: Natalie Young,

Lambda Sigma Society Sophomore Honors Society is a national honor society for second year students dedicated to the purpose of fostering leadership, scholarship, fellowship and the spirit of service among college students and to promote the interests of the college or university in every possible way. Membership in Lambda Sigma is not only recognition for accomplishment, but also a challenge to serve throughout your college career and as an alumnus.

Lambda Sigma offers opportunities for personal growth, leadership experience, a sense of involvement on your campus, and the friendship of other student leaders/scholars. As a member of a group of outstanding second year students, you will be challenged to fulfill your own intellectual and leadership potential while serving your college/university and your community.

Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society recognizing college seniors for superior achievement in scholarship, leadership and service. Membership is synonymous with dedication and success. Mortar Board members are not only recognized as the top scholars and leaders on their campuses, but are presented with the unique opportunity to join a diverse group of students from vastly different disciplines and interests in our Society. The Society provides its members with opportunities for continued leadership development, promotes service to colleges and universities and encourages lifelong contributions to the global community. Additionally, Mortar Board offers numerous benefits to members, including career networking, fellowships and awards.

Advisor: Jason Goode, 815-753-9509,

Through established chapters at four year institutions across the country, Tau Sigma National Society for Transfer Students is able to recognize the academic achievement of the most outstanding transfers nationwide and, in the process, help universities better serve their transfer population. Tau Sigma members (among the most accomplished transfer students on campus) are perhaps the greatest resource available to serve the current and future transfers at all institutions.

Advisor: Alex Torres, 815-753-0676,

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Office for Student Success

Gabel Hall 138


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