Quick Navigation


Experiential Learning Center

ELC Projects

Build valuable project management, communication and presentation skills while serving as a consultant in the business world. As a member of an Experiential Learning Center (ELC) team, you will work with a faculty coach and other NIU graduate and undergraduate students tackling a challenge faced by a real organization. ALL business majors are encouraged to apply as projects need a cross functional perspective.

ELC Application Process

Applications for Fall 2014 projects are now being accepted.

For more information please contact: Joan Petros at (815) 753-8414 or jpetros@niu.edu.

Fall 2014 Projects

Jewel Osco

Jewel OscoTopic: Marketing Analysis of Athletic Sponsorships
Meeting Time: T/Th 11:00 am to 12:15 pm
Faculty Coach: Dr. James Johnson

Currently, Jewel-Osco operates 180 stores across the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Jewel-Osco has a devoted and loyal customer base. Jewel-Osco utilizes a wide variety of marketing techniques both within its stores as well as through print and media. The number of ways to attract potential customers continues to increase and evolve with technology. There are other means of marketing to potential customers and one way Jewel-Osco has utilized in the past is through athletic sponsorships.

The ELC team will be tasked with analyzing the current sponsorship selection and making recommendations on better-utilizing this budget to attract younger generations as potential new customers and quantify their proposal. All majors may apply.


AbbottTopic: Global Digital Marketing
Meeting Time: M/W 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Faculty Coach: Dr. Mark Rosenbaum

Abbott is a global, diversified company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of healthcare products. From trusted nutritional brands to industry-leading medical technologies, our products bring innovative care to all stages of life.

Abbott Nutrition International offers some of the world's most trusted brands in pediatric, therapeutic, and performance nutrition. The company markets its products worldwide.

Abbott Nutrition International would like to engage an ELC project team to identify the overarching tools, techniques and best practices used in global digital marketing. We'd like the team to consider the following:

  • Best practices/Case Studies for global digital web strategy
  • Website Analytics Framework: Defining the key metrics for international consumer websites. Best Practices for SEO: Ad words, real time bidding, pre and post implementation tactics, Social Ads, content strategy
  • Websites for multiple audiences (health care professionals and consumers, or adult nutrition consumers and pediatric nutrition consumers): what are the best practices?

All majors may apply.

Tebala Shriners

Topic: Facility Utilization Analysis and Recommendation
Meeting Time: M/W 2:00 pm to 3:15 pm
Faculty Coach: Bob Rothkopf

Tebala ShrineThe Tebala Shrine Center in Rockford is home for the over 1,000 Nobles of Tebala Shrine. Tebala Shrine, which is one of the 195 affiliate member Shrine centers of the International Shrine Fraternity, has been in the greater Rockford area since 1894. Shriners are a brotherhood of men committed to family, engaged in ongoing personal growth, and dedicated to providing care for children and families in need. Their backgrounds are diverse, but they are bound together by shared values and a desire to have fun, do good, and build relationships that last a lifetime.

Tebala Shrine holds several fund raising activities each year to continue to support the local Shrine Center. Some of the best known are its Vidalia onion sales in April, Shrine Circus in June, and a Haunted house known as the "Karnival of Karnage" in October. The Tebala Shrine Center is also rented as a venue for dinners, weddings, proms, seminars, and other social and business functions. The events listed above as well as other fund raising activities have not been sufficient in recent years to adequately maintain the facility. The focus of the proposed project is to recommend a business strategy to maintain a viable home for the Nobles of Tebala Shrine. All majors may apply.

Family Service Agency - ELC Angel Non-Profit Project

Tebala ShrineTopic: Business Growth Strategy
Meeting Time: Sarah Griffin
Faculty Coach: M/W 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Family Service Agency (FSA) is perhaps the oldest social service agency in DeKalb County whose core purpose is to strengthen individuals and communities through healing, mentoring, and social engagement. FSA was incorporated in 1956 and is a qualified 501 (c) 3 organization in good financial standing with the state of Illinois. It is a multi- program organization that serves individuals and families throughout their life span.

FSA is unique to DeKalb County because it offers such a wide range of programs that serve many segments of the population. FSA acts as an umbrella agency for programs that may not be able to exist otherwise. Big Brothers Big Sisters serves youth who are facing challenges in their lives. Center for Counseling offers a wide range of counseling to youth, adults, and seniors with specific programs for in-school, senior in-home, and trauma counseling. It also offers counseling for Spanish speaking individuals. The Children's Advocacy Center serves children and their families who have been victims of either sexual or physical abuse. Finally, FSA's Senior Services operates five community based senior activity centers designed to help keep our seniors independent as long as possible.

FSA would like a team of junior consultants to help in the development of a business growth strategy. The nonprofit sector has become a competitive marketplace in which organizations must learn to adapt. Social service agencies are typically mission focused and reactive in nature. It is imperative for organizations to be proactive for growth and stability. Growth opportunities include discovering new revenue streams, expansion of existing services into new markets, and better marketing/communications regarding services that are available in order to reach more potential clients in existing service areas.