Fall 2020

We’re planning for a safe and in-person fall 2020 semester.

Check here for updates!

Students of North Park University, we are eagerly planning to welcome you back to campus for the fall 2020 semester—in-person and face-to-face, to work, play, learn, and serve together—provided that current public health guidelines permit it. Many new safety protocols and accommodations will be in place. As our plans come together, we will post frequent updates here. Visit often for answers to your frequently asked questions.

Please reach out to feedback@northpark.edu if you have specific questions or concerns.

A Greeting from President Surridge

Campus Education

The Campus Reopening Task Force’s Risk Mitigation Team has developed four training modules to educate the community on the ways we can protect ourselves and each other while safely reopening our campus.

We strongly encourage everyone to complete all four modules before your campus return date, so you will know what to expect and we can answer any questions you might have.

Training Modules

Sign The Viking Shield

It’s up to ALL of us to work toward a safe and healthy semester. The Viking Shield is a personal commitment to protect the community by observing safety protocols for individuals, others, and the entire campus.

Sign the Shield

Fall 2020 Frequently Asked Questions

Campus Life

The Campus Reopening Task Force is working to reduce the risks of campus exposure to Covid-19, with special considerations for vulnerable campus community members. The University will provide students, faculty, and staff with appropriate personal protective equipment (such as face masks), hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and other supplies according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). HVAC systems in buildings across campus are being retrofitted with virus-killing Ultraviolet air filtration systems.

The reopening team will also ensure stringent disinfection procedures across campus; train the campus community on new, universal precautions and protocols; assess physical distancing strategies in classrooms, offices, and high-traffic areas; and consult with department leaders on risk mitigation planning specific to their areas. All students, faculty, and staff will be expected to monitor their own health and well-being with daily temperature and symptom checks. In addition, North Park is partnering with Swedish Hospital for its testing needs.

All plans and protocols are in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidelines.

Being a member of the North Park community — on campus and in person during the Covid-19 pandemic — calls each of us to step up and share the responsibility for protecting our own health and the health of others. “The Viking Shield” is our mutual agreement and covenant to follow the safety instructions, guidelines, and protocols identified by the University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Chicago Department of Public Health to keep our campus community as safe and healthy as possible.

Sign The Viking Shield

We are planning for many safety measures in the residence halls and dining hall, including offering single rooms to students who request them; offering “grab and go” food service, reserving isolation rooms for students who have received a positive COVID-19 test result; and asking for personal commitments to safety, including physical distancing, mask-wearing, and good hygiene.

North Park-branded cloth face masks will be distributed to all students, faculty, and staff. Additional PPE, including face shields and surgical masks, will be provided to faculty, staff, and student workers whose job functions may place them at increased risk for exposure to COVID-19.

We hope and believe that enforcement won’t be necessary. We are asking everyone to commit to protecting the health and safety of themselves and each other by observing our health and safety protocols. And we believe North Parkers will come together to do so. We can all start by signing the Viking Shield. It’s everyone’s personal commitment to follow the guidelines that will protect the health and safety of our community. If necessary, however, students will be held accountable the same way they are for other conduct guidelines in the Student Handbook. Human Resources will have policies and guidelines for employees.

Yes! We are happy to report that all student, faculty, and staff flex dollar balances from the spring semester will roll over!

Academics and Classroom Safety

Yes! Classes will begin as planned on Monday, August 24, and conclude before the Thanksgiving holiday. We will hold classes on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day) and Friday, October 16 (previously scheduled as Fall Break) in order to conclude the fall semester on Wednesday, November 25. Reading Day is scheduled for November 30 and final exams will be administered online, December 1 to December 4. This schedule allows residential students the flexibility to make one trip to campus in the fall, with a return home for the semester by Thanksgiving — reducing the potential risk that excessive travel may present.

No. Final exams will be administered online, December 1–December 4. This schedule allows residential students the flexibility to make one trip to campus in the fall, with a return home for the semester by Thanksgiving — reducing the potential risk that excessive travel may present.

This is something we are working on — and as you can imagine, there are many factors to consider! We will provide more information as soon as we possibly can.

Yes. Universal masking reduces the risk of contagion indoors and in situations where six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. All students will be provided one washable, reusable cloth mask, and additional masks will be available for sale.

Classrooms, offices, and common areas are being assessed and reconfigured to maintain physical distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Before August 15, the Physical Plant team will have installed virus-killing Ultraviolet or electronic air filtration devices for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units in certain buildings on campus. Old Main, the Johnson Center, Brandel Library, Hanson Hall, Anderson Chapel, Sohlberg Hall, Magnuson Campus Center, and Health Services will have the Ultraviolet systems installed.

The ultraviolet light filtration systems installed within air handling units inactivate viral, bacterial, and fungal organisms so they are unable to replicate and potentially cause disease.

In buildings where the Ultraviolet systems can’t be installed, electronic filtration devices called iMODs are being installed. These systems work by deactivating airborne pathogens such as viruses, rendering them harmless so they can no longer spread or cause infection. Carlson Tower, Carlson GYM (Lower Level and 1st Floor), Wilson Hall, and Hamming Hall will have the iMODS installed.

Additionally, we have enhanced the level of particle removal within campus air systems by upgrading all our campus’ air filters to the highest allowable filtration level.

Threshold / Fall Arrivals

We are currently crafting this year’s Threshold schedule to ensure we prioritize your safety alongside engaging and fun activities for you to get to meet other new students, student leaders, faculty, and staff.

You will start with an online orientation program that you can experience from your home. All incoming students are required to complete the online orientation, so you will be able to get a jumpstart on your North Park experience.

The online orientation will be available late July/early August. Check back mid-July for more details.

You will then complete the welcome experience on campus, by participating in Threshold, North Park Orientation program, August 22–23.

Threshold New Student Orientation is a long-standing NPU tradition with the purpose of welcoming students, families, and guests to our campus and community. We believe orientation plays an important role in marking the beginning of your academic journey at North Park University. As you cross the threshold into this collegiate experience, it is our hope you have opportunities to connect with people and identify resources to take with you on this college journey.

Read more about Threshold.

Prior to the Threshold experience, there will be a check-in process specific to commuter and resident students.

Monday, August 17 & Tuesday, August 18 will be new commuter student check-in — come to the Johnson Center.

Wednesday, August 19, Thursday, August 20, & Friday, August 21 will be new resident student move in & check-in. You will receive an individual email from Residence Life and Housing detailing the date and time for you to move into campus housing.

Fall athletes will hear from their coaches about reporting to preseason camp. If you are in a special cohort (such as CRUX), connect with your cohort leader for early arrival information. We will contact all other students individually with housing assignments and move-in times.

Absolutely! North Park’s commuter students are an integral part of our campus community. Use the time during Threshold: New Student Orientation to get to know your future classmates, the campus, and to get ready for a great year at North Park.

Threshold Orientation is Saturday, August 22–Sunday, August 23rd.

Commuter check-in will be August 17–18 at the Johnson Center during these times:

Monday, August 17th, 1 pm–4 pm

Tuesday, August 18th, 9 am–12 pm

Remember to fill out the Commuter Application.

Fall athletes will hear from their coaches about reporting to preseason camp.

COMPASS is an intensive six-day program that helps first-year students prepare for the academic and social challenges of college and adjust to life on campus.

Learn more and register for COMPASS.

There will be no early arrival for COMPASS 2020 program participants. The program will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams, August 13–20, 2020. COMPASS program participants will receive correspondence from the Student Engagement and Office of Admissions staff prior to the program start date of August 13, 2020.

Be sure to register for COMPASS first.

Welcome! International Student Orientation be online and will be available to you in early August. If you are able to arrive on campus for the start of the semester, you should also participate in Threshold, an orientation for all new undergraduate students, which will take place August 22 and 23.

  • International students coming from abroad who are able to obtain flights to the U.S. should plan to arrive on August 10th. Check your email for details!
  • New international students arriving from within the U.S. should plan to move-in during your designated move-in date and time based on your housing assignment. This will be emailed to you.
  • New international student athletes will receive arrival information from their coaches.

International students who anticipate a late arrival to campus (after August 24) should communicate with International Admissions. Find more information for international students here.

Parents and Families

Yes! In addition to following us on our social media platforms, including Instagram and Facebook, you can find more information about what the upcoming school year will look like during our online Parent Orientation session in early August. Check back here for an exact orientation date beginning in mid-July.

More Info for Parents and Families

Other Questions

On July 6, SEVP (Student Exchange Visitor Program) announced new temporary guidance for non-immigrant F and M visa holders and universities. The new guidance, in short, will not permit international students to study fully online while in the United States.

North Park University firmly opposes these guidelines and stands in support of our international students. We are working to minimize the effects on our students for the upcoming fall semester.

North Park University has a strong commitment to our international student population both current and future students and plans to deliver academic content in a hybrid format to safeguard our students. This hybrid format (online and in-person course options) will provide all international students with the ability to begin or continue their studies, either from within the U.S. or virtually from their home country. We are working across campus and engaging all stakeholders to fully understand and operate within the framework of the guidance and ensure that our international students receive the high-quality education they expect from North Park University.

The new guidance, as it stands, is incomplete and we anticipate receiving updates over the next several days and weeks ahead. We will continue to communicate with our international students as information is understood and as it pertains to North Park’s fall operations.

North Park University is fully committed to supporting our international student body and doing our part to assist them in achieving their academic and career goals. Our international students bring a rich diversity of cultures, experiences, and perspectives to our campus and are an essential part of the North Park University Community.

Read this more extensive FAQ for International Students provided by North Park’s Office of International Affairs.

Sign Up for Campus Alerts

North Park uses a campus alert communications system, Blackboard, to immediately inform the campus community of emergency situations. To ensure that you receive these updates, follow these instructions to sign up or update your campus alert information.

How to Sign Up

Campus Resources

Threshold Orientation

Residence Life and Housing
Email: housing@northpark.edu

Health Services
Phone: (773-244-4897)
Email: healthservices@northpark.edu

For questions or concerns about reopening, please email feedback@northpark.edu.

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