North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Catalyst Hub

Office of Civic Engagement and Experiential Learning

Engage Chicago

Through Catalyst 606__, students step outside of the classroom, serving and learning within their local community and gaining a closer understanding and appreciation for the increasingly urban world they live and work in.

Gain Hands-on Experience

The three programs we offer through the Catalyst Hub are designed to incorporate experiential learning where students apply theoretical knowledge to real-life problems and deepen critical thinking skills, all while receiving focused attention from experienced faculty, staff, and members of the community.

Advance Your Career

Through the Catalyst 606__ Semester program, students are given first-hand experiences which allow them to identify vocational interests, get inspired by leaders in their field, and establish relationships with invaluable professional contacts.

Catalyst Courses

Afternoon classes that take advantage of the open Wednesday afternoon built into the North Park schedule. Courses will utilize two to three Wednesday afternoons as an experiential learning opportunity throughout the semester.

Catalyst Semester

A learning community of commuter and residential students who take two or more Chicago focused classes together, work in a practicum at a Chicago community organization, and take advantage of at least eight Wednesday afternoon experiences.

Catalyst on Campus

Activities held at North Park on Wednesday afternoons 12:30pm-2:30pm to invite the city of Chicago to the campus for those faculty, staff, and students who are not out in the city at that time.

Chicago is our classroom.

All Chicagoans are our teachers.

Student Spotlight

“(Catalyst) has given me the opportunity to relate my two majors (business and Spanish) more to the real world . . . The conversation we had with the director of Centro Romero was entirely in Spanish. We were reading a book about Salvadorian Literature during the time of the revolution in the 80’s. The director and her family were part of the revolution, and she was able to tell us about their activism and philosophy at the time. It was a better way to learn this information and gave us a local (as well as) global perspective.” – Christopher Lempa, C’ 2018

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Accelerated Urbanization

A broad understanding of city infrastructure is essential as companies, government, and nonprofits prepare for a population shift to cities.

  • 66% of the world’s population will live and work in urban areas by 2050*
  • cities will grow by more than 2.5 billion people; most human population growth going forward will be urban.*

Hands-on learning experiences in the very environment where change is happening— this is a top priority and initiative for North Park.

*United Nations Report, World Urbanization Prospects.

Frequently Asked Questions

So how does it all work? We know you have a lot of questions, so we’ve provided a quick look at some helpful answers.

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Our admissions team will contact you and send more information about North Park and the opportunities available to you here.

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