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August 2015, Vol. 1, Edition 3 Adjunct Council Website »
Greetings from National Louis University Adjunct Council

The Adjunct Council is excited to publish the third quarterly newsletter. The purpose of the newsletter is to briefly share practical information relevant to adjunct faculty. Inside the quarterly issue, you will find important dates, resources, contact information, adjunct accomplishments, and current news. With each issue, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, we will provide the latest news and resources to keep you updated and informed.

NLU Adjunct newsletter first edition
About the Adjunct Council About the Adjunct Council Mission of the Adjunct Council Mission of the Adjunct Council

The Adjunct Council, which consists of 10 members holding three-year terms, held its first meeting in 2002. The purpose of the Council is to actively participate in University governance initiatives and work to improve the quality of life for adjunct faculty throughout NLU. The Council meets a minimum of 10 times within an academic year, in addition to selected council committees, and annually at Fall Connection.

The Adjunct Council's mission is (a) to represent the professional interests of the adjunct faculty at National Louis University and (b) to enhance the adjunct faculty role at National Louis University through active participation in shared governance.

Upcoming Dates



Aug. 28:    

HLC credentialing requirements due

Sept. 7:

NLU Closed for Labor Day

Sept. 14:

Fall Term Begins

Sept. 14:

JIT Adjunct Orientation Stages 1 & 2 due before teaching

Sept 9,10, 11:

Fall Connection for Faculty, Staff, and Adjuncts

Oct. 18:

First 5 week classes end

Oct. 25:

First 6 week classes end

Oct. 26:

Late start classes begin

Nov. 22:

Fall 10 week classes end

Nov. 26-27:

NLU Closed for Thanksgiving

Dec. 6:    

Second 5 and 11 week classes end

Dec. 13:

Second 6 and 12 week classes end

Dec 21-25:

NLU Closed for Holiday

Dec 31:    

JIT Adjunct Orientation Stage 3 due



Jan. 11:

Winter Term Begins

Jan. 18:

NLU Closed for Martin Luther King Day

April 4:

Spring Term Begins

May 30:

NLU Closed for Memorial Day

For more dates visit

Who's Who at NLU

Tracy Costello, Assistant Director, Prior Learning Assessment Office

Tracy Costello as the Assistant Director coordinates the Prior Learning Assessment Office which provides several options for NLU’s adult learners to acquire credit for prior learning gained outside of the traditional classroom. NLU is committed to recognizing the knowledge and skills, the “prior learning,” that students bring with them to college, whether it was gained through professional, personal, or other kinds of experiences. NLU offers to students a variety of ways to gain credit for prior learning, both externally awarded options such as nationally recognized tests like CLEP, DANTES/DSST, and the American Council for Education’s (ACE) credit recommendations, as well as the new ACE Alternative Credit Project courses, and the University’s own internal prior learning Portfolio assessment, which now includes three different options for Portfolio Submission (outlined below).

Beginning Fall 2015, two new prior learning options are being implemented in three test programs -- Portfolio Options 2 and 3 (see below).

Portfolio Development and Submission, Option 1

ACL301: Perspectives on Prior Learning: This 2QH course provides a structured experience in which students learn to recognize, document, and validate learning from life and work experiences for potential college credit. Throughout this course, students are offered group and individual assistance in the development of a portfolio documenting their prior learning experiences and evidence of achievement of specific learning outcomes. This course is offered on a quarterly basis, both online and at various site locations. Undergraduate students enrolled in the BSM, BSMIS, ABS, HCL, Human Services, Criminal Justice and Communication programs are currently eligible to take this class. 

Student learning outcomes are assessed and credit awarded through the institution’s standard, dual independent, faculty evaluation process. Submission and assessment of one Portfolio is included in ACL301 tuition.

Credit by Portfolio - Options 2 and 3

Beginning fall term 2015, students in the following undergraduate programs may also elect portfolio Options 2 or 3. Students may currently seek prior learning credit in the following programs: BA Communications, BSM, and BA Criminal Justice.

Option 2: PLA Facilitator
An NLU-appointed facilitator provides students with a one-on-one experience through which they will be coached and guided in assembling their portfolio of evidentiary artifacts for award of credit.

Option 3: Self-Submission The self-submission option is for NLU students who wish to create their own portfolio without guided assistance, other than the services available to all NLU students (i.e., the online writing center, library support staff, etc.). Option 3 is not recommended for students who have not already submitted a portfolio via Options 2 or 3. It is important to note here that if the student's self-submission fails to achieve the minimum performance level to be awarded credit, the student may elect to resubmit only after completing Option 1 or Option 2.      

For more information, please contact, or call 1-630-874-4319

Did You Know?

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) at NLU was built on the standards originally developed by the Council on Adult & Experiential Learning (CAEL). 37 years after the initial inception of PLA at NLU, the institution is ready to move our credit for prior learning processes to the next level by updating, expanding, and enhancing the classic CAEL recommendations. Using the best practice performance-based assessment processes and methodologies developed and institutionalized at NLU in our University-wide assessment process, the institution has implemented changes that increase the validity, reliability, and rigor of prior learning assessment.  The key instrument that allows us to increase validity and reliability of performance-based assessment is the standardized rubric.

The goal in this methodological shift is to radically reduce the subjective nature of the assessment process, which we achieve through the objective method of analyzing performances of learning against a faculty-developed, criterion-referenced rubric. Importantly, the rubric-anchored assessment process is also a means to decrease time spent on grading while increasing consistency. Going forward, any faculty member who is successfully trained on the norming and rubric processes will be able to review almost any portfolio paper or project, regardless if the topic is one of familiarity or not.  Of course, there will be exceptions, particularly in assessment of upper-division portfolios, where subject matter experts will be required.

In order to become part of our new cadre of highly-trained PLA evaluators, you must participate in the required training. You can contact Tracy Costello to indicate that you wish to participate in the training, and become a PLA evaluator. Once you have successfully completed the training, then you will be able to review PLA portfolios submitted under any of the three PLA Portfolio Submission Options (outlined above). These new processes will be ongoing and open to all faculty. Successfully trained evaluators who are assigned to assess PLA Portfolios will receive a stipend.

To reiterate, PLA needs your help!! Please consider completing the norming training in order to become a PLA evaluator. To do so, please email or call Tracy Costello at or 630-874-4319.

Adjunct Spotlight

 Amy King, Adjunct Faculty Operations Manager  

After graduating with a degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University, Amy has worked in Human Resources as a sales, management, and restaurant recruiter for 11 years and as a manager in both restaurant and retail locations for 7 years. 


Since joining National Louis University in 2014, she has worked closely with college leadership, faculty, and adjunct faculty in the recruiting and on-boarding process for both Full-Time and Adjunct Faculty positions. This experience has provided Amy with a unique perspective in how the University and the adjuncts might better serve one another. Now in her new role as the Adjunct Faculty Operations Manager, her goal will be to continue the progress started by the Adjunct Lifecycle Taskforce by implementing new processes and programs aimed at building a more inclusive environment for all adjunct faculty members at NLU.

News You Can Use

Check Active Courses Routinely

Be sure to check your D2L list of active courses for the current and future terms routinely. Even if you are not teaching in the current term, courses are occasionally cancelled and/or added. If you have any questions regarding courses listed in D2L or a course is suddenly not listed, contact your Program Coordinator for details.

Adjunct Council Roster


Roy Kaelin, Co-Chair

Sharon McNeely

Kristen Mitchell

Susan Neustrom


Nancy Hekkema, Chair

Linda Kryzak

Nancy Silverman

Terry Costello

Barbara Gomez


Christina (Tina) Bavone, Secretary

Adjunct questions or concerns, contact Nancy Hekkema, Chair -

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