National Louis University
National Louis University, Chicago
|Motto||Sapientia Dignitas Temperanta |
Motto in English
|Wisdom Dignity Judgement|
|Endowment||$29.8 million (as of February 2014)|
|President||Nivine Megahed, Ph.D.|
784 full-time, 609 part-time
1,425 full-time, 1,962 part-time
Chicago Loop, Illinois,|
Nowy Sącz, Poland,
|Colors||Platinum and blue|
National Louis University (NLU) is a private non-profit American university. NLU has locations in and near Chicago, Illinois, as well as in Florida and Nowy Sącz, Poland. Many courses and programs are also offered at-a-distance. Since its founding in 1886, NLU has played a historic role in education, when it helped found the National Kindergarten Movement, and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and stressed the importance of academic and professional training in early childhood education theory and practice.
National Louis University (NLU) began in 1886, when Elizabeth Harrison founded the school to train "Kindergarteners", young women teachers who began the early childhood education movement. The school's requirements became a model for education colleges nationwide. In 1893, the university published Harrison's book, The Kindergarten as an Influence in Modern Civilization, in which she explained, "how to teach the child from the beginning of his existence that all things are connected [and] how to lead him to this vital truth from his own observation . . .." 
The university's name was changed to the Chicago Kindergarten Training School (1887), Chicago Kindergarten College (1893), the National Kindergarten and Elementary College (1912) and then the National College of Education (1930). The "National" part of the university's name came about when the school became the professional school of the National Kindergarten Association. The university championed the concept of kindergarten and early education teaching in America and was one of the first teachers' colleges in the country to offer a four-year program culminating in the bachelor of education degree.
In the 1920s, the university partnered with Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jane Addams to provide educational opportunities to the largely poor, immigrant population served by Hull House. In 1954, the university's graduate school was accredited to offer masters and doctorate level degrees. The university organized its general liberal arts offerings into the College of Arts and Sciences in 1982, and began its business and management school in 1989, offering both bachelors and master of business administration degrees.
In 1990, National Louis united the name of National College of Education with that of trustee and benefactor Michael W. Louis, the son of Henrietta Johnson Louis. Louis’ significant gift spearheaded the transition from college to university and enabled the university to greatly expand its programs. NLU encompassed three colleges — National College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Management and Business. It offers 60 academic programs, with degrees extending to the doctoral level. In 1999, the historic 22-story Peoples Gas Building at 122 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago's Downtown, built in 1910, became the flagship location of NLU. Designed by Daniel Burnham, the university's new home housed faculty and administrative offices, a library, classrooms and computer labs.
In 2006, the university closed its former main site in Evanston, Illinois, replacing it with its current location in Skokie, Illinois. In 2011, the university became the first in the USA to participate in a Groupon discount on course registration fees when a three-credit graduate-level course was offered for a 60-percent discount on the usual $2,232 fee. The College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Management and Business were combined in 2014 into the College of Professional Studies and Advancement, with the programs organized in the School of Health and Human Services, the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the School of Business and Management. In 2018, National Louis University acquired the assets of Kendall College, transferring its programs in general education, early childhood education, business, hospitality management, culinary arts, and baking & pastry.
National Louis University has many different undergraduate, and graduate programs for students of any age. The university has three different schools: The School of Business and Management, The School of Health and Human Services, and The School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
The Undergraduate College at National Louis University is for high school graduates to receive an education for a reduced tuition. These graduates are able to choose between any of the University’s undergraduate degree options. In order to make these classes easily accessible, classes are taught face-to-face and online.
National Louis University offers the Professional Assistance Center for Education (P.A.C.E.) program, which is post-secondary and helps young adults with developmental disabilities acclimate to the world around them. Some of the services they provide are employment preparation, independent living skills, and social development.
In October 2014, National Louis University and College of DuPage signed an agreement for a 3+1 program in the field of Human Services. The 3+1 program allows students to be at College of DuPage for four years, and during their fourth and final year, professors from National Louis University come to the COD campus. This system allows students to receive a bachelor's degree from National Louis at a discounted tuition rate. Students can work on an Associates of Applied Science Human Services Generalist or an Associates of Applied Science in Addictions Counseling.
In August 2018, National Louis University received approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the U.S. Department of Education to transfer Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs and other assets from Laureate Education, Inc.
From 2011 to 2013, the university reduced its number of full-time faculty to half (more than 60 full-time faculty members) through a combination of early retirements and lay-offs. On April 18, 2013, the American Association of University Professors released a report saying that the university "had no acceptable financial or educational justification for either the layoffs or a related reorganization leading to the closure of four academic departments and 14 academic programs.". The university's president, Nivine Megahed, said the university " had been "facing serious financial pressures" and the cuts " enabled the university to stabilize a multiyear decline. ". On June 15, 2013, the American Association of University Professors censured National Louis for violating the AAUP standards of academic freedom and tenure.
The university owns and occupies the second through sixth floors of the downtown Chicago Peoples Gas Building on Michigan Avenue in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago. It was in borrowed rooms in the then fledgling Art Institute (in its earlier home on Michigan Avenue at Van Buren) that the university held its first classes.
- Asheru, hip-hop musician
- Jean B. Bingham, President of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Richard Davidson, President and CEO, Century 21 Real Estate
- Judy Erwin, Illinois State Representative
- Linda Holmes, Illinois State Senator
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- Glenford Eckleton Mitchell, Jamaican member of the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Bahá'í Faith
- Joe Molloy, former managing partner of the New York Yankees
- Rodney Parker, professional American football player, Philadelphia Eagles
- Betty Reed, member of the Florida House of Representatives
- Brandt Smith, member of the Arkansas House of Representatives since 2015
- David J. Steiner (1965-2016) documentary filmmaker, educator, writer, rabbi and political activist
- Lydia Stephens, former Executive Vice President of MSG Network
- John Morikis, CEO, The Sherwin-Williams Company
- Vance D. Wyatt, Lake County, IL Board Member/Commissioner
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- Official website
- Lycée Français de Chicago - NLU Campus
- National–Louis University Online Archive and Special Collections
- Famous American Women: A Biographical Dictionary from Colonial Times to the Present ed. Robert McHenry (Merriam-Webster, Inc. 1980) p. 179.