CHICAGO, July 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- North Park University (North Park) in Chicago – a recently designated Hispanic Serving Institution – has the third most ethnically diverse student population in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report, and the 48th most diverse in the nation according to the Wall Street Journal.
Now North Park is developing a powerful new initiative to support its commitment to issues of equity and student success.
"Our Christian University is located in the world-class city of Chicago, and we are blessed with a thoroughly intercultural campus," said North Park President, Mary K. Surridge. "Truly, the Kingdom of God comes through our gates every year! We love, support and champion each of our students, and it is our mission to educate and prepare them for lives of significance and service."
The University is adapting for higher education the "Six-Fold Test" created by its founding denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church. It will be developed, Surridge said, "as a framework for our ongoing life and work in community."
The framework will examine current realities and develop methods for moving North Park forward in six areas:
Population: Is the University increasing and supporting students, faculty and staff from diverse populations?
Participation: Are we finding ways to engage life together through education, worship, events, service and fellowship?
Power: Do the positions and structures of influence include the perspectives and gifts of diverse populations?
Pacesetting: With the range of perspectives, needs and gifts in our midst, what opportunities can the University strengthen and initiate?
Purposeful Narrative: How do we incorporate stories from all backgrounds into our overarching history? How do all of these streams flow together into our blended story moving forward?
Practicing Solidarity: In what ways are we purposefully and measurably advancing the access and success of our intercultural student community?
Members of the President's Cabinet work with campus colleagues to bring this framework to life, and to develop metrics for measuring progress.
Last year, students completed on-line training modules on creating a culture of respect; identity and selfhood; power, privilege, and oppression; and self-care.
Staff and faculty training focused on preventing harassment and discrimination; accommodating disabilities; inclusion in the modern workplace; and managing bias.
ABOUT NORTH PARK UNIVERSITY
North Park University is city-centered, intercultural, and emerging as the model for Christian higher education in 21st Century America.