Success tips for NIU

By Tim Griffin

Greetings from the Ombudsman!

Welcome to all members of the NIU community from the staff in the Office of the Ombudsman!

For those of you who may not know, the Ombudsman serves as a neutral party to provide impartial, confidential, and informal assistance to anyone at the university who is trying to resolve a university-related concern. If you encounter some type of difficulty or bureaucratic snafu, we can provide you with advice on how to address the matter.

The following tips may help you avoid some university-related issues:

1. Read and understand your course syllabus for each class and note any changes announced during class. Whenever questions arise, consult your instructor for clarification and assistance immediately.

2. Save a copy of your course work and retain all graded materials returned to you until you have received your final grade. It is also advisable to obtain and save receipts for purchases, library book returns, etc.

3. Free tutoring is available on campus through the ACCESS program provides walk-in tutoring services, one-on-one tutoring services, and study groups for specific courses.

4. Check “My NIU” regularly.

5. Familiarize yourself with university policies, procedures, and deadlines shown in online publications, such as the NIU catalog, the Schedule of Classes, etc.

6. Read the Northern Star for info about upcoming activities and important announcements regarding university policies and regulations that might affect you.

7. Academic misconduct can lead to severe sanctions, including potential expulsion for the university. Know your instructors’ expectations and policies regarding proper citation of references in papers, whether or not it is acceptable to collaborate with other classmates on assignments, etc..

8. See your academic advisor at least once a year to monitor your academic progress and degree requirements.

9. Become our Facebook friend at “Ombudsman NIU” to receive weekly updates of important NIU deadlines and services.

10. And last, but not least, we encourage all members of the community to treat others with the same respect and dignity that you would like to receive.

If you need assistance with a university-related matter, please contact us at 815-753-1414. Our office is located on the 6th floor of the Holmes Student Center, and additional information is available on our website.

Once again, welcome to NIU, and we hope you have a wonderful year!