National Louis University

National Louis University
Motto Sapientia Dignitas Temperanta [1]
Motto in English
Wisdom Dignity Judgement
Type Private
Established 1886
Endowment $36.6 million (as of February 2020)[2]
President Nivine Megahed, Ph.D.
Academic staff
Students 4,918[3]Kendall College students and its programs were transferred to National Louis University
Undergraduates 1,883 [3]
Postgraduates 3,035[3]
Location , ,
United States
Colors Grey      Blue     
NLU logo.png

National Louis University (NLU) is a private university with its main campus in Chicago, Illinois.[4] NLU also has locations near Chicago as well as in Tampa, Florida. Many courses and programs are also offered fully or partially online. Since its founding in 1886, NLU has played a historic role in education, when it helped found the National Kindergarten Movement, helped found the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), and promoted the importance of academic and professional training in early childhood education theory and practice.[5][6]

History [ edit ]

National Louis University (NLU) began in 1886, when Elizabeth Harrison[7] founded the school to train "Kindergarteners", young women teachers who began the early childhood education movement.[8] The school's requirements became a model for education colleges nationwide.[9] 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 . . .." [10]


The university's name was changed to the Chicago Kindergarten Training School (1887), Chicago Kindergarten College (1893),[11] 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.[4][12]

In 1913 the National Kindergarten and Elementary College campus moved to 2944 South Michigan Avenue. In 1918 Edna Dean Baker became president. The College moved to Evanston, Illinois in 1926.

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.[8][13] 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, which had 6.5 acres (2.6 ha) of land, with about 66% in the City of Wilmette and the remainder in Evanston.[14] This site was replaced by its current location in Skokie. In 2011, the university became the first in the United States 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.[15]

From 2011 to 2013, the university reduced its number of full-time faculty to half through a combination of early retirements and lay-offs.[16] 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.".[16] 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. ".[16] On June 15, 2013, the American Association of University Professors censured National Louis for violating the AAUP standards of academic freedom and tenure.[17][18]

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.[19] 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, and building out entirely new facilities for the school in a newly acquired space at 18 S. Michigan Ave.[20][21] In the summer of 2019, NLU took on the former students and hired former professors from now-defunct Argosy University, a for-profit institution that was abruptly forced to close due to the discontinuation of federal financial aid.[22] The Argosy students were left without a way to continue their education until the possibility arose for them to transfer to NLU, which allowed them to pick up where they left off with the same classmates and professors. This also included the Illinois School of Professional Psychology's doctoral students in Clinical Psychology, who were able to complete their graduate degrees at NLU.[23]

Academics [ edit ]

The university consists of four distinct colleges: The School of Professional Studies and Advancement, Kendall College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, The national College of Education and The Undergraduate College.[24]

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.[25][26]

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.[27][28]

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.[29]

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 Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs and other assets from Laureate Education, Inc.[30]

Rankings [ edit ]

University rankings
U.S. News & World Report [31] 293-381 in National Universities

National-Louis University is ranked No. 195-258 in Best Education Schools. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked National Louis University:

  • 328 in Top Performers on Social Mobility

Downtown location [ edit ]

NLU - 122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago

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.[4]

In December 2018 National Louis University purchase another building known as The Gage Building, at 18 S. Michigan Ave. Construction began in 2019 to create the new home of Kendall College's culinary arts and hospitality management programs.

Notable alumni [ edit ]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval: Latest Status Info". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
  2. ^ "Overview of National Louis University". US News and World Report. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  3. ^ a b c d "National Louis University". National Center for Education Statistics.
  4. ^ a b c "National-Louis University". The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Chicago Historical Society. 2005. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  5. ^ Snyder, Agnes. 1972. Dauntless Women in Childhood Education, 1856 - 1931. Washington, D.C.: Association for Childhood Education International. p. 98
  6. ^ "Early Childhood Education: Preparation of Teachers." Encyclopedia of Education. The Gale Group, Inc, 2002. Retrieved, 27 Jul. 2010 from
  7. ^ "Elizabeth Harrison (American educator) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". 1927-10-31. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  8. ^ a b "National-Louis University | History". 2009-02-13. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  9. ^ Robert McHenry, ed. (1980). Famous American Women: A Biographical Dictionary from Colonial Times to the Present. Merriam-Webster, Inc. p. 179. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  10. ^ "The kindergarten as an influence in modern civilization : Harrison, Elizabeth, 1849-1927". Internet Archive. 2001-03-10. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  11. ^ "Facts about kindergarten: Harrison, as discussed in Elizabeth Harrison (American educator)". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2011-09-06. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Alice Putnam." Encyclopedia of Education. The Gale Group, Inc, 2002. Retrieved 27 Jul. 2010 from
  13. ^ "Elizabeth Harrison-Chicago Kindergarten Movement". 1997-07-26. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  14. ^ Brachear, Manya A. (2004-05-07). "National-Louis to move campus". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  15. ^ Lauren Hepler (September 6, 2011). "University Uses Groupon Deal to Lure New Students". The Slatest's. Slate. Archived from the original on 2012-01-10. Retrieved 2011-09-06.
  16. ^ a b c Peter Schmidt "AAUP Slams Reduction of Full-Time Faculty at National Louis U." The Chronicle of Higher Education April 18, 2013 [1]
  17. ^
  18. ^ "AAUP Censures 2 Institutions and Removes 2 Others From Censure List". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  19. ^ "About - History - NLU". Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  20. ^ "History". Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  21. ^ Channick, Robert (August 7, 2018). "Kendall College's culinary, hospitality programs to land on Michigan Ave. after sale to National Louis University". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  22. ^ "Left in the lurch by Argosy University’s sudden closure, students to graduate from National Louis instead,"
  23. ^ "Left in the Lurch,"
  24. ^ "Academics - Colleges". Retrieved 13 Sep 2019.
  25. ^ "National Louis University Launches Adaptive Learning Program -- Campus Technology". Campus Technology. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  26. ^ Acrobatiq. "National Louis University and Acrobatiq Collaborate to Expand College Opportunities Through New Undergraduate Harrison Professional Pathways Program". Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  27. ^ Sanders, Hosea (2014-11-23). "P.A.C.E. program teaches independence to youths with disabilities". Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  28. ^ "P.A.C.E. At Nlu - Discover P.A.C.E. - National Louis University". Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  29. ^ "College of DuPage, National Louis University to Offer a Bachelor of Arts, Human Services Degree". 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  30. ^ "Transition". Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  31. ^ "Best Colleges 2020: National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.

External links [ edit ]

Coordinates: 41°52′49″N87°37′29″W / 41.8804°N 87.6247°W / 41.8804; -87.6247

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