Core Curriculum Guide

The Core is grounded in an educational philosophy that sees our student’s development holistically. Our faculty and staff have a responsibility to help our students grow in learning, and to show them how their skills, knowledge, values and faith work together to help them make both a life and a living. 

Future employers are not simply looking for specialists; they want people who are adaptive, creative, and critical thinkers prepared to transfer their skills to new and unexpected contexts. The world needs clear communicators, complex thinkers, and ethical leaders. To achieve long-term career success, employers recommend the balance of broad knowledge and specific skills offered by programs such as the Core. They strongly endorse the Core outcomes because narrow learning is not enough in today’s competitive market/workplace. 

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We symbolize our Core Curriculum with an ARCH because it serves as a powerful support for a complete education, including a student’s major, and symbolizes the portal through which our students pass to a future career and personal and social transformation.

In particular, we based our visual design for the ARCH on a Chicago landmark, designed by one of our architects, Louis Sullivan.  Sullivan’s arch was completed in 1893, the same year as North Park’s first graduating class.  The arch originally served as the entrance to the Chicago Stock Exchange, but is now considered a work of art housed at the Art Institute of Chicago.  As such, Sullivan’s symbolizes the breadth of human culture from arts to science to commerce.

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The Core Curriculum also organizes a student’s education developmentally in three main stages.  These are titled:  Foundations, Explorations, and Keystone.  Advisors of traditional four year students, and early transfers, should, wherever possible, steer students toward the Foundations before the Explorations.  The Keystone courses should be taken in the late junior or senior year of college.

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Guiding Documents of the Core Curriculum

Below are the guiding documents for North Park University’s Core Curriculum.

Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes
These outcomes guide the entire Core Curriculum and its courses.

Core Curriculum Course Rubrics
These are the criteria and characteristics for each of the distribution requirements in our Core Curriculum.  These will be helpful for student advisers, and for faculty developing new courses to be included in the Core.

Core Curriculum Checklist
Here is the most up-to-date list of qualifying courses in the Core curriclum, and the specific credit hour requirements for each.


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