Chicago Is…

Chicago, the Second City.

Chicago, New York’s prettier sister.

The Windy City. The City of Big Shoulders.

Chicago is an imperfect world class city that is hampered by crime, violence, poverty, and homelessness. Now, Chicago is not the only American city confronting these sorts of issues but, to listen to some of the national newscasts, one could get the impression that Chicago stands alone in this arena making our city an awful place to live.

Let me tell you why that is not true and give just one of the reasons why Chicago is my kind of town.

Chicagoans are giving, helpful people.

Every time I turn around I see people donating their time and talents to help others. Despite our tendency to bicker over the Cubs versus the Sox, when push comes to shove, Chicagoans come together to support one another!

One recent Sunday morning as I was headed north on a marathon training run along the Alz Walklake front path, I came upon four-thousand plus people donning purple shirts as they were starting a walk to raise money to fight Alzheimer’s. Given that there wasn’t room for both me and these dedicated walkers to share the path, I chose to change directions and started to run south. After a mile or so, I came upon more fundraising walkers! This time it was for a cause in Peru, as well as Walk for Hearing, and the Illinois Lupus Walk. More WalkersWalkers were everywhere on the lake front path and in Lincoln Park that morning. It was fantastic! People were smiling, laughing, talking, and sharing. But, most importantly, they were doing good deeds. Yes, this is people at their best and you can finds lots of people like that right here in Chicago!Lincoln Park Walkers

Another place to find people at their best is Roosevelt University’s College of Professional Studies! Our students come to us from different backgrounds, speaking different languages, and holding different ideals. They have divergent views and different talents, skills, abilities, and interests. They are traditional students and they are working adults. They are as varied as can be but, they are sharing a common experience and embracing a common goal – to earn a college degree. And they are doing things every day to demonstrate their commitment to Roosevelt’s mission of social justice and they are among the walkers, and runners, and organizers, and fundraisers who are doing good deeds every single day. We couldn’t be more proud!


2011 Paralegal Studies Grad Uses Research Skills to Help Field Museum

Lee Price at the Field Museum

Lee Price at the Field Museum

Lee Price certainly didn’t enroll in Roosevelt’s paralegal certificate program to connect with Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History (FMNH). Many years away from her bachelor’s in biology and working in an immigration law office, she was more focused on expanding her career options in the legal field. But then one thing led to another…
During the program Lee discovered that in addition to her love for the natural world, she had a strong interest in Legal Research and Legal Writing.” “I might be a nerd,” she says, “but finding a case on point is a thrill!” Her two interests came together when Lee, a member of the national paralegal honor society LEX, attended the 2011 Roosevelt honors ceremony. She introduced herself to one of the presenters, Julian Kerbis Peterhans, PhD, Professor of Natural Science, and a curator at FMNH. “I’d always wanted to be involved with a natural history museum,” says Lee, “and I thought maybe this was my chance.”
When Professor Kerbis asked Lee what skills she had to contribute to the Field, she was so far away from her biology days she had to think for a minute. Then she remembered Legal Research and the answer became obvious. “I can track down information,” she said.
Today Lee finds information that helps Prof. Kerbis publish his research: she confirms the accuracy of existing reports about the habits of creatures in far-flung places. Just as in legal research, this is a matter of locating sources, and it presents its challenges. “Many of the relevant papers date from the early 1900s and are difficult to find. Others are behind a journal pay wall or under copyright protection,” Lee explains.
To get access to them, she can consult specialized data bases that have some of the older publications digitized; look for scanned copies posted on university course web sites; search the electronic collections of other natural history museums; and look in various other places. As a result, she faces a question every Legal Research student is familiar with: “Where should I begin?” “Sometimes I just start with the title of the article on Google; sometimes I go straight to a data base; and sometimes I do a search through the Field Museum Library’s web site,” says Lee. She notes that just as in Legal Research, key words are crucial. She stresses that there’s no formula: the process is as much an art as a science.
Most of the time Lee finds that a recently-published paper accurately reports the original source. “But sometimes you find conflicting accounts of how an opossum or a rat behaves,” she says. “An expedition to the Belgian Congo in 1913 reports one thing; a more sophisticated study with improved methodology in 1983 another.” Then she drafts a description that includes all relevant previous opinions, another parallel with legal research.
If Lee was surprised to find herself at the Field Museum as a result of the program, she is less so that the certificate has contributed to her career development, as she originally intended. She uses her combined science-legal background to work on immigration cases for researchers who want to come to the U.S. “I am fascinated by what they do and enjoy learning about it,” she says. “I like putting my skills to work for them and for the Field Museum – it’s my own small contribution to science.”

Paralegal Studies Program Alumni Group invites you to a presentation of – RU LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is an online social network that is designed for business professionals. It is widely used by legal employers to find job candidates. Please join us for a presentation on how to create your profile and how to use LinkedIn to maximize your job search efforts. Professional networking through LinkedIn and recommendations for using other social media in your job search will also be discussed.

Our presenter will be Cheryl Kettler. Ms. Kettler has been a member of the Paralegal Studies Program faculty since 2003 where she teaches Commercial Law and Legal Writing. She is also a National Partner Specialist, for AbstoneLalley, Inc.

The presentation is being held twice. Attend on the day and time that is most convenient for you:

Monday, April 13, 2015
Roosevelt University Gage Building
18 South Michigan , Room 700
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Roosevelt University Wabash Building
425 S. Wabash, Room 1111
12:15 pm to 1:15 pm

Register by calling (312) 281-3186 or send an email to
Kay Levoy at

Research shows the cost of not going to college

Inside Higher Ed has reported in “The New Bachelor’s Payoff” that there is a “rising earnings disparity between young adults with and without a college degree.” In fact, the Pew Research Center report shows the difference is at least $15,000 in favor of college graduates. Predictions suggest this disparity will increase in the next few years.

Source: Pew Research Center

Source: Pew Research Center via Inside Higher Ed


Flex-track courses start at Roosevelt in March–contact us at 1-855-830-2721 to enroll and start earning your degree so you can reap the many benefits of having a college education.

Academic Success Center open for Spring 2015 tutoring

The staff of the Academic Success Center seek to partner with faculty and staff by providing help to RU students who exhibit a need for support within their coursework. Students who work with the trained tutors in the Academic Success Center gain deeper understanding of the course content, make connections with a community of learners, and receive personal attention.

The Academic Success Center, located in room 124M of the Auditorium Building and room 125 at the Schaumburg Campus, can provide support for the development of study and standard English editing skills, as well as such courses as: Accounting, Finance, Biology, Chemistry, English as a Second Language, French, Italian, Mathematics, Music Theory, and Statistics. Assistance is also available for both the APA and the MLA forms of secondary source documentation.

To make an appointment online visit or call 312-341-3818 in Chicago or 847-619-7978 in Schaumburg. Students can also visit the ASC to request a tutor.


Universities experiment with competency programs

Inside Higher Ed reported today that several universities plan to experiment with creating competency-based programs, which often attract adult students because they are designed to allow students to move through the program quickly as they demonstrate what they already know and then spend time mastering the skills they still need. Some of the universities also plan to include prior-learning assessment, which involves earning credit for experience gained via work, volunteerism, and other activities.

Roosevelt University currently uses via the course CAEL 100 to help assess students’ prior learning for credit. Visit the website to see if your experience might be worth college credit.


Interview with Roosevelt Criminal Justice Alumnus, Sean Thompson El

Sean Thompson El, 49, is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying criminology, law and justice. That’s remarkable when you learn that Thompson El spent 27 years and nine months in prison. While incarcerated, he earned his associate’s degree, and after his release in 2010, he enrolled at Roosevelt. In 2013, he earned a bachelor of arts in criminal justice through the Adult Fast-Track Program.  Here is a recent interview with Sean:

Q. How did you choose Roosevelt?
A. I paroled straight to Chicago, and I couldn’t find a job. I was just passing out resumes. I walked by the Gage Building one day and they had some type of exhibit going on, and I walked in there and got to talking to people. Before I knew it, I was enrolled. Roosevelt makes you feel welcome. No one has ever made judgment or been critical of me.

Q. Why did you choose criminal justice?
A. I had been a part of the (criminal) life for so long. I wanted to see how the other side thought, what’s really going on in the system. I don’t want any kid to grow up doing what I did. To fix the system, you’ve got to go through it.

Q. What was it like to be an older student and have been incarcerated before your college experience?
A. I’m always the oldest guy in the class. (laughs) It doesn’t bother me. The kids gave me a new perspective. They were so bright and they were so eager to learn. I loved my professors. They used me as an example in class sometimes, which was fine. I think I gave a unique spin to the criminal justice department.

Q. Was earning the degree difficult?
A. Nothing was really difficult. But it was sweet. The academic advisors always kept me on point, making sure I was OK. Before you knew it, I was graduating.

Q. What did graduation day feel like?
A. Oh man. I was speechless. Like, here I am. I can’t even describe it.

Q. What would you say to someone who things they have too many obstacles to pursue a degree, like age or background?
A. I encourage everyone I meet to go to Roosevelt and talk to the people about the adult programs. Go to the financial aid office and see if they can help you out. Education is the only way to better your condition. I meet older people who say, ‘I wish I could go back.’ You can! You’ve just got to do it. There was one lady in my class, 71 years old, she did it one class at a time. Anybody can do it. You can always better your condition and improve your skills.