University Offers New Academic Programs and Majors for 2013
North Park University will offer new or enhanced academic programs
for undergraduate and graduate students beginning this
fall. For undergraduates, the School of Business and Nonprofit
Management (SBNM) will offer two bachelor’s degree programs
in nonprofit management. The Department of Communication Arts will offer majors in communication studies, media studies,
and theatre and performance studies. For graduate students,
the School of Education will offer a program for certified school
teachers leading to a principal endorsement and a master of arts in
SBNM offers nonprofit management major
Undergraduate students can pursue either a bachelor of arts degree
or a more in-depth bachelor of science degree in nonprofit management.
The new degrees replace the academic concentration in nonprofit
management offered by SBNM, said Dr. Wesley E. Lindahl,
professor and dean of SBNM.
North Park will be the only higher education institution in the
Chicago area offering a nonprofit major for undergraduates. Previously,
University students interested in nonprofit management
were business and economics majors, and took extra courses in the
nonprofit area. The new major, with expanded coursework, enables
the University to take advantage of a growing area of interest for
incoming students. “The change was mainly driven by student
feedback, but also driven by our school’s strategic plan to be a fully
engaged educational institution in the nonprofit area,” Lindahl said.
The nonprofit major is expected to bring about 15 new students per
year to the University.
Students majoring in nonprofit management will learn about fundraising,
building relationships with donors, working with boards,
managing volunteers, understanding nonprofit budgets and accounting,
and marketing in nonprofit organizations, Lindahl said.
They will also take classes in sociology, and develop leadership and
management skills. Undergraduate students can also declare a
minor in nonprofit management.
Communication arts to offer three majors
Students can now pursue specific undergraduate degrees in three
disciplines in the Department of Communication Arts: communication
studies, media studies, and theatre and performance
studies. The three majors previously were academic concentrations.
The recommended changes resulted from a three-year departmental
process of study and discussion, and are expected to strengthen the
department’s academic offerings. Offering the majors is expected
to help potential employers understand the particular degrees and
expertise offered by the University, and help future students identify
specific academic programs offered by the department, faculty
Communication arts focuses its academic programs on helping
students think, speak, and write effectively. Currently, there
are more than 100 undergraduate communication arts students
who benefit from faculty and staff with academic experience,
technical expertise, and multiple professional connections
throughout Chicago, said Dr. Robert Hostetter, chair and professor
of communication arts. “We also graduate cross-trained
students, with expertise in more than one communication discipline,”
Principal endorsement, MAEL approved by State
This summer, North Park will begin preparing certified school
teachers to “think like a leader, act like a leader, and be a leader,”
a phrase that appears throughout its new academic program for
aspiring principals. The University will offer a program that enables
a certified teacher to earn a principal endorsement as well
as a master of arts in educational leadership (MAEL) degree. The
new educational program is a successor to the Type 75 general
administrative certificate program, which is being phased out by
the State of Illinois. The first cohort for the MAEL begins July 13.
Students will learn through classroom instruction taught by educators
and other professionals, plus an internship experience. While
other colleges and universities may offer similar programs, North
Park offers smaller cohorts and individualized support for students.
“Small class sizes during the coursework sessions allows us to have
a lot of dialogue, interaction, and feedback,” said Dr. Sally Pryor,
MAEL program coordinator and associate professor of education.
“During their internships, we go to their schools and meet with
them on-site, and in our classes, we discuss what they’re learning
through their internships experiences.”
The University is working with three Illinois partner schools in its
MAEL program: Mary, Seat of Wisdom School, Park Ridge; East
Prairie School District 73, Skokie; and Rhodes School District
84.5, River Grove.
Earlier, the University announced a new sports management concentration for 2013, to be offered through SBNM, as well as new
academic concentrations in fine arts, curatorial studies, and graphic
design. The art department also revised its traditional fine arts
program, and created a checklist for students interested in a pre-professional
educational program in art therapy.