Learn to Swim

Class Descriptions

Refer to the list of required skills for each class.

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. 
Youth Swim Conditioning
  • 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.

Adaptive Swim Lessons

Campus Recreation’s Learn-to-Swim program makes every effort toward being 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! 


Active Illini

  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”
    • 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
    • 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

Dates and Payment

Spring registration has closed. Summer registration will open on May 3 for members and May 10 for non-members.

  • Cost for Learn to Swim varies by level and membership
  • For lesson dates, descriptions, and costs, login to Active Illini
  • Payment for Learn to Swim is part of the registration process.
COVID-19 Precautions

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have operated under the latest guidance set forth by the University of Illinois, public health authorities (IDPH, CUPHD, CDC), and the American Red Cross. Safety of our participants and staff has always been, and will remain our top priority through these challenging times. Some of the current initiatives of our Learn-to-Swim operation include:

  • Organized a 15+ minute gap between the end of one session and the beginning of the next to reduce patron interaction in passing and in our locker room spaces
  • Any toys or equipment will be provided at a 1:1 ratio per participant
  • Per current public health and university guidelines, our classes no longer have reduced capacity but all participants, parents, and guardians are still subject to daily health screening or must provide authorized campus building access before being allowed into the facility
  • In accordance with campus guidelines, instructors, participants, families and spectators are no longer required to wear a face covering, but may do so at their own discretion
  • Our patio furniture will be organized in ways that still allow for social distancing
  • Locker rooms are sanitized hourly by facilities staff; touch points within the pool deck area are sanitized between sessions

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.