NEIU Named Lead Advisory Institution

Rut Ortiz, News Editor

NEIU has been named a lead advisory institution by the National Association of Student Personnel Administration.

It is the fifth year NEIU has been a member of NASPA and the first as an advisory institute.

“We are now considered an advisory institution which is a big deal,” said Kris Pierre, NEIU senior director of academic and community partnerships.

NEIU will advise NASPA regarding Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement targeting projects pertaining to community service and service learning.

Pierre said that as a public university, NEIU provides education for the professional world and democratic engagement provides training to become a good citizen.

“It means we are advising NASPA on what are best practices for community engagement,” Pierre said. “Students that get engaged in their communities are much more likely to be retained and be academically successful. What we need to do as a university is help (students) understand how that relates to what they’re learning in the classroom.”

The initiative stretches for one academic school year and Pierre said that the recognition by NASPA means that, as an institution, NEIU is doing work to the point where we can provide leadership to other campuses.

“Community engagement is just a different way of being engaged,” Pierre said.

As both an urban campus and Hispanic Serving Institution, examples of NEIU’s civic engagement successes include the TurboVote initiative engaging voter participation among students, the student food pantry and alternative spring break programs promoting community service with the experience of traveling.

“It’s a tribute to our students, faculty and staff,” Pierre said. “Our students are involved in their communities. It’s a part of who our students are.”

Pierre said that this is important to students because it makes learning relevant while engaging the students’ head and heart.

“That’s real nitty gritty Northeastern.”