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Building Blocks of Peace

Building Collective Efficacy Towards Peace

The Building Blocks of Peace initiative seeks to decrease violence in Chicago neighborhoods by building collective efficacy in local communities. Through training and organizing, the initiative endeavors to enhance “social cohesion” among residents at the block level and accelerate collaboration between community-based organizations and networks working towards violence reduction, thereby increasing “shared expectation for social control” (Sampson 2010).

The Building Blocks of Peace initiative is a multi-sectoral collaboration between 100 Blocks/100 Churches, Chicago CRED, Chicago Police Department Office of Community Policing, Chicagoland United in Prayer, the Chicago Peace Campaign, City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, Together Chicago, and the Catalyst Hub, North Park University’s Office of Civic Engagement and Experiential Learning.

Training Course

Building Blocks of Peace trainings will be held on March 6, April 3, and May 1, 2021 (10:00am-12:00pm) in order to build a cadre of community advocates who are trained in faith-based organizing, asset mapping, Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), conflict resolution, and other relevant skills. Participants will be encouraged to coordinate with local police districts, the Chicago Police Department Office of Community Policing, the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, community-based organizations, and congregations to enhance collective efficacy through coordinated action.

Register for Training

Earn College Credits

Participants who complete the trainings will receive a certificate of completion which may be applied towards Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credits at the North Park University School of Professional Studies if they choose to enroll and satisfy further assessment requirements.

Prior Learning Assessment

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) allows students in the School of Professional Studies to earn credit hours at North Park by demonstrating learning gained outside a traditional academic environment—informal life experience, professional training, certification, licensure, or any other source.

PLA credit is earned when you are able to demonstrate the learning that occurred as a result of an experience, not just because of the experience. Depending on what type of experience you use as the basis for your request, we will work with you to select the best format for your written submission.

The School of Professional Studies has a dedicated PLA Coordinator who will help you throughout the process. You will be able to meet with her after you are accepted as a student and begin your coursework. Your admission counselor can answer your PLA questions while you are in the process of applying to North Park.

Learn More about PLA

Bachelor’s Degree Completion Programs

Advance your career by completing your undergraduate degree in North Park University’s School of Professional Studies. Conveniently located in Chicago, and with options for evening, weekend, and online courses, we help busy adults earn degrees to advance their careers.

School of Professional Studies Grants and Scholarships

Grants are need-based awards funded by the federal or state governments. Grants are gift aid and do not need to be paid back.

  • Pell Grant: A federal grant based on need; amounts range from $600 to $5,730 per year
  • Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP): A need-based grant for Illinois residents, up to $4,720 per year. Residency is determined according to the standards set by the State of Illinois, and application for this is done by filing your FAFSA by a specific state-set date each year, typically in February. In order to be considered for MAP funds, students are encouraged to complete their FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible each year.

Scholarships and other tuition reductions are available to students based on previous academic accomplishments or program selection. All scholarship applicants must have already applied and been accepted to the School of Professional Studies.

Current awards in the School of Professional Studies are available for:

  • Criminal justice majors who transfer to North Park University from the College of Lake County
  • Graduates of St. Augustine College in Chicago
  • Members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society
  • Chicagoland Community and City College students who transfer to North Park with an AA/AS degree or 60 semester hours of transferable credit
  • School of Professional Studies students who complete two concurrent semesters at North Park

In order to apply for one of these awards, download, print and complete the scholarship application and mail it to the address listed on the application, or email it to

Students in the School of Professional Studies may also be eligible for veteran’s benefits or other outside scholarships.

Download Scholarship Application

Swedish Covenant Hospital Partnership

North Park University is pleased to provide financial support for employees of Swedish Covenant Hospital (SCH) who enroll in degree programs, either in-person or online, according to the following parameters:

  • Students in the School of Professional Studies are eligible for a 15% tuition reduction.
  • To be eligible for the discount, students must complete an employee verification form available in the Human Resources Department of SCH.
  • Full-time eligible employees of SCH who enroll in a degree program at North Park are awarded a blanket tuition reduction, which represents the full amount of financial aid available from North Park. This discount will not be combined with other North Park grants and scholarships available to other students.
  • Continued employment will be verified annually by North Park University’s Financial Aid Office.

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