Category: Stories

North Park Launches Fully Online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Effective fall 2024, North Park University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will be entirely online.

Effective fall 2024, North Park University’s Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MACMHC) will be entirely online. This shift from a hybrid program will provide its students maximum flexibility and accessibility and outstanding instruction and mentorship.

Dr. Lori Scrementi, dean of the School of Professional Studies, said the decision to go completely online was made after speaking to students.

“Our students are working adults with busy life schedules,” Scrementi said. “For this reason, moving from an on-campus to an online MACMHC program, where most of the courses are asynchronous, will allow the flexibility that our students have been asking for and still allow them to complete their degree in as little as two years.”

The MACMHC program provides comprehensive academic and clinical training in professional counseling. It equips students to be ethically skilled counselors serving culturally and spiritually diverse communities.

Students in the program receive a strong foundation in counseling theory, understand the profession’s legal and ethical responsibilities, and master the skills necessary for effective client assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Upon program completion, students can apply to take the National Counselor Examination to become licensed professional counselors in Illinois and numerous other states.

Students who earn their MACMHC go on to have fulfilling careers as individual, group, family, and addictions counselors at community mental health centers and private practices, among other specializations.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park University Alumna Earns Community Leader of the Year Award

Riverhead News-Review presented Kate Fullam MNA ’11 with its 2023 Community Leader of the Year award.

Riverhead News-Review presented Kate Fullam MNA ’11 with its 2023 Community Leader of the Year award. Fullam is currently the food systems team lead at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets but was in her sixth year as executive director of East End Food at the time of accepting the award.

Colleagues shared that Fullam’s compassionate leadership, expertise, and strong work ethic have resulted in a substantial, positive environmental and community impact in New York. Read more at Riverhead News-Review.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park University Surpasses Latino Enrollment Benchmarks, According to Report

Despite a recent national trend, North Park is exceeding its Latino student enrollment benchmarks.

Despite a recent national trend, North Park is exceeding its Latino student enrollment benchmarks. According to a report from The Education Trust, most private colleges and universities in the U.S. enroll disproportionately low numbers of Latino students despite the general growth of Latino undergraduates since 2000.

North Park is one of five institutions drastically exceeding their enrollment goal.

“Those are institutions where they had huge gains in Latino enrollment and they had major differences between the benchmark that they were supposed to hit and that enrollment,” said report author Sandra Perez. “So at these five institutions, we need to look at what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, and why students are applying to and enrolling at these institutions at higher rates than others.”

North Park is also a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). To become a federally designated HSI, an institution’s full-time undergraduate population must be at least 25% Hispanic or Latino.

With the designation, North Park can apply for federal funding opportunities only available to HSIs. So far, it has received such grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation, among others.

Read more about the report here.

Posted on Categories Stories

Revolutionizing Campus Dining: North Park Introduces Checkout-Free Market Powered by Amazon

On March 4, North Park University opened its renovated Viking Market & Café, featuring brand-new Just Walk Out technology from Amazon.

On March 4, North Park University opened its renovated Viking Market & Café, featuring brand-new Just Walk Out technology from Amazon.

The checkout-free store allows students to scan their campus cards via the GrubHub app (or use a credit card) to enter, grab their items, and walk out. The technology tracks what visitors select and charges them virtually. The space includes a remodeled longue with new furniture, creating a relaxing area for students—especially those who commute—to study, eat, and spend time together.

The grand opening included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, as well as complimentary cake and Campus Dining merchandise.

Viking Market & Café is open from 7 a.m.–10 p.m., Monday–Friday. Weekend hours depend on campus events.

Read more at EdTech Innovation Hub.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park University Introduces New Bachelor of Arts in Applied Computer Science for Fall 2024

North Park is adding a new major in applied computer science (BA) to provide students with expertise in high-growth areas where employers are searching for talent.

North Park University announced today that it is adding a new major in applied computer science (BA) to provide students with expertise in high-growth areas where employers are searching for talent.

The hybrid program will be taught both on North Park’s campus and online via a partnership with the Lower Cost Models Consortium (LCMC) and Rize Education. The LCMC is a strategic partnership of private colleges and universities nationwide, collaborating with Rize Education to provide access to a cutting-edge curriculum that prepares students for successful careers.

The involved parties directly collaborated with Google to build computer science courses that will develop graduates to fill essential and understaffed roles across tech industries. With employment in the field expected to grow at roughly 22% over the next decade (nearly three times the national average), graduates will qualify for increasingly valuable jobs in Illinois and nationwide. Project-based and portfolio-building classes will help students produce impressive resumes before graduation and hone skills that hiring managers demand.

North Park Provost Michael Carr said, “Our faculty and academic leadership have worked creatively to develop this program, which will provide our students with opportunities to acquire skills for the growing field. Combined with our liberal arts core, this new major will prepare students for lives of significance and service.”

Formed in 2015, the LCMC is a national consortium of over 130 fully accredited nonprofit colleges and universities. LCMC members are committed to collaborating to address the challenges of increasing costs in higher education by implementing innovative programs and reducing institutional expenses for these programs to pass savings along to students. In this way, the LCMC hopes to develop new models of higher education that benefit students while contributing to the sustainability of accredited, nonprofit, four-year institutions.

Posted on Categories Stories

Supporting Degree Completion: North Park Boosts Transfer Scholarships

North Park University will increase its merit-based scholarship awards to transfer students by up to 25%, a move that will provide more access and should help traditional transfer students reach degree completion.

North Park University will increase its merit-based scholarship awards to transfer students by up to 25%, a move that will provide more access and should help traditional transfer students reach degree completion.

Under North Park’s new award structure, students will receive up to 18,000 annually, depending on their GPA. Transfer students with a GPA of 2.5 and above are eligible for the scholarships. This is the second time in five years North Park has increased its transfer scholarship amounts.

Associate Director of Transfer Admissions Malcolm Parker said, “At North Park University, scholarships serve as an indispensable bridge that enable our transfer students to reach their academic and personal aspirations. By providing financial support, we open doors of opportunity, ensuring each student can unlock their full potential and thrive in their educational journey.”

The scholarship increase is the latest example of how North Park supports its transfer students. North Park continues to offer transfer credit agreements with many Chicagoland community colleges. These agreements ease the transition from a two-year college to a four-year college, helping students transfer as many credits as possible.

Posted on Categories Announcement, Press, Stories

North Park University Hosts Inaugural Black Peace in the City Series

This Black History Month, North Park University’s (NPU) Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice hosted its inaugural Black Peace in the City series in collaboration with the Urban Peace Lab.

This Black History Month, North Park University’s (NPU) Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice hosted its inaugural Black Peace in the City series in collaboration with the Urban Peace Lab. Each Monday in February, NPU welcomed guest speakers to campus to share how Black people enact peace in Chicago and beyond.

Dr. Peter K. B. St. Jean founded the Urban Peace Lab and peaceology, which he defines as the science and practice of sustainable and profitable peacefulness. At North Park, he serves as professor of sociology, chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, associate dean of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, and interim co-chair of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The series included the following events.

  • “How Black Businesses Succeed”
  • “Family, Immigration, Migration, and Black Success”
  • “From Economy of Violence to Economy of Peace”
  • “Black Peaceology: How Black Folks Succeed with Low Stress and High Joy”

The first event in the series featured guest Michelle Renee Bester, associate director of Black Ensemble Theater. Bester explained the programs and success of Black Ensemble Theater and its impact on creating a more peaceful Chicago.

Benneth Lee and Eric Wilkins joined North Park to share their stories and discuss their work in the event “From Economy of Violence to Economy of Peace.” Lee is cofounder of the National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated, which helps returning citizens with voter registration, résumés, job applications, and other services. Wilkins, who was shot as a young man and left paralyzed, is the founder of Broken Winggz Foundation, a nonprofit that assists survivors of gun violence and helps create safer communities in Chicago and beyond.

For the final event, NPU welcomed the Bernard Crump and Friends band, who performed Chicago blues, rhythm and blues, and jazz. Dr. Loretta Hall-Martin, a retired educator and current dance instructor, also joined the event to introduce the North Park community to the history of Chicago step dancing and provide stepping lessons to the live music.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park Alumnus Facilitates Healing in Chicago’s Black Community through Yogaletics

ABC Chicago featured Sidney Francois-Friis BS ’19 and his Yogaletics practice for its “Our Chicago: History & Heritage” series for Black History Month.

Photo of Sidney Francois-Friis as a student smiling in a yellow shirt.

ABC Chicago featured Sidney Francois-Friis BS ’19 and his Yogaletics practice for its “Our Chicago: History & Heritage” series for Black History Month.

Francois-Friis played football at North Park University but suffered injuries, resulting in doctors instructing him to stretch daily to avoid surgery. He began attending yoga classes at Helwig Recreation Center, sparking a passion for the practice.

Discovering its mental health benefits, Francois-Friis started teaching yoga primarily on Chicago’s South Side to share the benefits with more of the Black community. Last year, he founded Yogaletics to combine sports performance training with yoga, making it more appealing to those who may otherwise not try it. Francois-Friis hopes Yogaletics attendees experience a lasting sense of unity and neighborly love.

Read more at ABC Chicago.

Posted on Categories Stories

Bridging Healthcare Equity: North Park University’s Student-Led Bone Marrow Donor Initiative

North Park University students and Professor of Biology Drew A. Rholl collaborated on a service-learning project promoting bone marrow donor registration to enhance healthcare equity.

North Park University students and Professor of Biology Drew A. Rholl collaborated on a service-learning project promoting bone marrow donor registration to enhance healthcare equity. Recognizing the critical need for more donors, especially among BIPOC communities, they conducted drives on campus. Their efforts resulted in 252 registrations, with 57% from non-European backgrounds, aligning with campus demographics.

Through active learning and engagement, students dispelled myths and demonstrated an increased willingness to donate. The project underscores North Park’s commitment to social responsibility and healthcare accessibility. Its success highlights the power of community-driven initiatives in addressing critical healthcare needs and fostering inclusivity.

Read their study published in the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education.

Posted on Categories Stories

North Park to Launch Public Policy Major in Fall 2024

North Park University is introducing an interdisciplinary public policy major that will incorporate social sciences, physical sciences, and the humanities.

To create graduates who become changemakers in their communities, North Park University is introducing an interdisciplinary public policy major that will incorporate social sciences, physical sciences, and the humanities.

Public policy programs equip students to create laws, regulations, civic budgets, and other programs that affect average citizens. Longtime North Park professor Dr. Jon Peterson is spearheading the program. The professor of politics and government said the major is perfect for students who want to improve their communities.

“Wherever you want to make a difference, you’re going to run into a government,” Peterson said. “Even if you want to change something through a community organization, you can’t do it without dealing with the government, so it’s vital to learn how the system works.”

The new major will require 36 semester hours of major coursework and 120 total credits for graduation. Course offerings will include American government, an introduction to public policy, and principles of microeconomics, among others. Students will also be strongly encouraged to intern during their studies.

Together, North Park’s Center for Civic Engagement and Politics and Government Department have developed internship partnerships with many organizations, including the offices of U.S. Senators Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, the State of Illinois Governor’s Office, and the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office.

Public policy majors can further tailor their area of study to suit their interests by adding a minor. For instance, students focusing on environmental issues can combine the public policy major with a biology minor. Peterson said the major is flexible and comprehensive in scope, allowing students to work in various fields.

Public policy graduates tend to secure jobs in civil service at all levels of government, from federal to local. Other options include private sector careers at nonprofits and institutions that engage with government agencies and pursuing advanced degrees in public administration, public policy, or law school.

Posted on Categories News, Press, Stories