Learn to Swim

Refer to the list of required skills for each Learn to Swim level.

Class Descriptions

Parent / Child

  • Children ages 6 months-3 years
  • Parent participation required
  • Become comfortable in the water, learn basic swimming skills, and learn water safety
  • Designed to lay foundation for swimming development
  • Provides parents information and techniques to orient their children to the water
  • Not intended to teach children to swim or survive in the water on their own

Youth Beginner

  • Levels include: Preschool, Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3B (CRCE)
  • Parents must stay on the pool deck, but do not participate
  • Learn basic swimming skills and strokes
  • Preschool will be tested and divided on the first day of lessons

Youth Advanced

  • Levels include: Level 3A (ARC), Level 4, Level 5, and Level 6
  • For children with fundamental knowledge and skills wanting to further develop
  • Parents must stay on the pool deck
  • Designed to learn more advanced strokes and skills including treading, diving, etc. 

Advanced Youth Swim Training

  • For children who have completed level 6 and above
  • Designed for participants interested in swimming for fitness and/or competition
  • Participants must be able to swim 8 pool lengths (200 yards) continuously
  • Stroke refinement, endurance, and competitive techniques are taught in a small group environment


  • Levels include: Adult Beginner 1, Adult Beginner 2, and Adult Swim for Fitness

    Private Swim Lessons

    • One-on-one instruction for ages 5-adult. 
    • CRCE is recommended for beginners and the ARC is recommended for advanced swimmers
    • CRCE is a shallow-water only facility and cannot accommodate deep water treading, but the ARC pool has varying depths and can accommodate deep water activities.


    1. Login instructions can be found on the Active Illini information page
      1. Login to the Active Illini web portal
    2. Click your email address/profile picture at the top of the page to open a menu and select “profile”
      1. Scroll to bottom of the page and update the family section to include other members of your family
    3. Click the button on the top left corner of the screen to expand the menu
    4. Click on “Aquatics” and then “Aquatics Programs” and then the proper semester period
    5. Select the Learn to Swim level that you are interested in registering for
      1. Click the “Register” button on the participant’s name for the lesson(s) you want to join
    6. Complete the online waiver, provide an emergency contact for the participant, and complete payment
    7. You may retrieve class information anytime under your profile located at the top right of the page


    Registration Dates

    • Morning Session 1 and Evening Session: May 2 - 30
    • Morning Session 2: May 2 - July 7


    Tips and Tricks to a successful Learn-to-Swim Experience

    • Morning Session 1: Mon – Thu, June 10 – June 24 (no class 6/19)
    • Morning Session 2: Mon – Thu, July 15 – July 25
    • Evening Session: Mon/Wed & Tue/Thu, June 17 – July 22 (no class 6/19 and 7/1-7/4)

    Cost and Payment

    The cost for Learn to Swim varies by level and membership For lesson dates, descriptions, and costs, log in to Active Illini. Specific class offerings will be listed approximately one week before registration opens. Payment for Learn to Swim is part of the registration process.

    Adaptive Swim Lessons

    Campus Recreation’s Learn-to-Swim program makes every effort to be inclusive to all individuals, regardless of age or swimming ability. Our program is designed to accommodate people with physical or developmental disabilities, if English is a secondary language, etc. We are able to accommodate preschool-aged children to adults seeking to gain pool safety knowledge and learn-to-swim skills.

    If you are interested in discussing any accommodations, please email us at learntoswim@illinois.edu and we will be happy to explore options to ensure you or your child has a beneficial experience with us. In preparation for lessons, we will pair you with a fitting instructor, determine if a group or private lesson is most appropriate, and gather any other resources that will be necessary for the lesson. Please reach out with any questions or concerns, we are happy to serve you!

    Cancellation and Refund Policy

    Refunds are available prior to the first day of lessons. Please send an email to learntoswim@illinois.edu and we will be happy to start the refund process for you. Please expect a 2-4 week wait for the refund to your account.

    After the first day of lessons, refunds will be given due to medical reasons only. Please provide a doctor’s note and brief explanation; we will be happy to prorate your purchase and hope you will join us again the following semester.

    There are no make-up classes for missed lessons. If it is necessary to cancel due to a pool malfunction or weather, affected participants will be notified by email and accommodations will be communicated. If we have the ability to make up a lesson we will exhaust that option. Otherwise we will offer a pro-rated refund and work with instructors to effectively lesson plan.