Academic Services

Study Table

Study table is a monitored study environment that is designed to provide student-athletes with an atmosphere that is conducive to university level study. Student-athletes required to utilize study table include all incoming freshman and transfers, and those who maintain a cumulative GPA below 2.50. Six hours are required each week unless adjusted by their SAASS Coordinator and coach. Study table opportunities include computer use, tutors, meeting with the Learning Specialist, and a quiet atmosphere. Sessions are held in the Lynne M. Waldeland Study Center of the Convocation Center and the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Academic and Athletic Performance Center.

Tutor Program

Tutors are available for student-athletes who need assistance in their courses. Student-athletes are encouraged to obtain a tutor when they are having difficulty comprehending the content of a course. Individual and group sessions are available. In addition, tutors are available during study table sessions for walk-in service. Student-athletes should see their Academic Coordinator to request a tutor.

Education Specialist Program

The SAASS office has a full-time staff member devoted to assisting student-athletes who are the most academically challenged. Any student-athlete who has a documented learning disability qualifies for this program, and receives specialized one-on-one assistance to ensure a successful academic experience. In addition, the Education Specialist works closely with other resources on campus that provide services to students with disabilities, particularly the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) office. Student-athletes with developmental needs are also assisted through close one-on-one supervision and instruction in areas of concern.

Readiness/Pre-Screening Program

All incoming student-athletes are prescreened to detect any learning deficiencies and learning disabilities. This will help the SAASS staff provide the most effective services to each individual student-athlete. The student-athlete will take a reading comprehension test and perform a writing sample to help determine possible weaknesses in reading and writing. Student-athletes are required to take a Math Placement exam through NIU's orientation program to evaluate their Math skills and determine Math Placement.

UNIV 101

Incoming student-athletes are required to register for UNIV 101. This class is intended to ease the transition from high school to college and provide the necessary time management skills, study skills, communication skills and life skills training to be successful in a university setting. One credit hour is earned upon completion of this course

Equipment Loan Program

The SAASS department allows student-athletes to check out Laptops, graphing calculators, solar calculators, jump drives, tape recorders, pens, pencils and folders.

Academic Counseling

SAASS Academic Coordinators follow the recommendations of departmental advisors when working with the student-athletes to review their course schedules. Student-athletes meet for the first time with their SAASS Coordinator after they have completed their freshman or transfer orientation at NIU. SAASS Coordinators also help student-athletes with class scheduling each semester prior to registration. SAASS staff help student-athletes' strike a balance between class, practices, and competition. Student-athletes are allowed to register early each semester so that they will be able to assemble a class schedule to maintain their degree progress and meet NCAA academic guidelines. The SAASS Coordinators also aid the student-athletes with major selection.

Academic Monitoring

Progress reports are sent to professors for all student-athletes' classes. Reports are sent during the 5th and 10th week of the fall and spring semesters and information is shared with the student-athletes and their coaches. SAASS Coordinators also contact instructors periodically to check the academic status of specific student-athletes. Meetings between SAASS Coordinators and student-athletes who are academically challenged are held each week to monitor and improve their academic progress.

Eligibility Monitoring

The SAASS staff works closely with NIU's Registration and Records department and the Athletic Compliance staff to monitor the eligibility status and degree progress of student-athletes. SAASS Academic Coordinators receive eligibility reports and communicates constantly with the Office Registration and Records to enable them to monitor and address eligibility issues.

Team Travel

On occasion SAASS Academic Coordinators travel with sport teams to oversee study and academic needs while student-athletes travel for off-campus competition.

Travel Letter

The SAASS staff provides letters for student-athletes to distribute to their professors outlining any classes that may be missed due to team travel. It is the student-athlete's responsibility to introduce themselves to their professors, hand them the letter, and make alternative plans for missed work in class.


The SAASS staff meets with prospective student-athletes and parents to summarize the many services provided to the student-athletes at NIU.

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