North Central College - Naperville, IL

Social Change Leadership

Why choose social change leadership at North Central College?

If you want to make your city, your country or your world a better place through social activism and changing public policy, then this minor is for you. You’ll learn to advocate effectively for local, national and global communities—and ultimately shape both policy and practice through your own leadership and activism. You can gain experience by participating in service trips through the Office of Ministry and Service and by volunteering with the Uncommon Life Movement and another student clubs. This minor is part of North Central’s unique Leadership, Ethics and Values (LEV) program, the only program of its kind in the United States.

You can also:

  • Gain valuable experience by interning in North Central’s Dispute Resolution Center, which provides mediation and consulting services to students and the community through its Peer Mediation Program.
  • Apply for membership in the national Blue Key Honor Society, which recognizes exemplary leadership in and out of the classroom.
  • Develop your personal and professional leadership skills through LEV’s iLEAD or Distinguished Leaders program.
  • Apply for a Richter Grant to fund original research anywhere in the world or a Mironda K. Heston Scholarship to fund human rights and service projects.
  • Present the findings of your research at the College's Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research or national leadership conferences like the National Collegiate Leadership Conference.
  • Take advantage of numerous leadership opportunities through student government, campus organizations or as a student mentor.
  • Complete a concentration in leadership or ethics if the requirements in a social change leadership minor don’t fit your schedule.
  • Pursue a five-year bachelor’s/master’s program in leadership studies or consider the College’s master of leadership studies degree after graduation.


Alyx Mark, assistant professor of political science
Alyx Mark, North Central College assistant professor of political science, is named Visiting Scholar at the American Bar Foundation, June through December.
North Central students are engaged in growing, new academic program that offers linguistic and cultural focus on the Middle East and North Africa.
Jeremy Gudauskas and Whitney Roberts
Jeremy Gudauskas and Whitney Roberts of North Central College present at Ashoka U Exchange, a global network for social entrepreneurship in higher education.


Graduate School

Recent graduates of social leadership have been accepted at:

  • Brandeis University


Recent graduates of social change leadership include:

  • Politics and public service
  • Peace Corps
  • Teach For America
Social Change Leadership minor

Tanika has a goal: to open a group home for juvenile delinquents.

Adding a minor in social change leadership to her sociology major and focus on criminal justice has been key for Tanika. “These two areas of study sum up my lifelong goal and why I want to go into this field. I feel I’m fully equipped.”

In her coursework, Tanika says “we don’t just talk about the issues of the world but actually find solutions. We take the chance to create the change we want to see.”

Coming to North Central College and a suburban environment from a tough inner-city background was "a challenge I knew I needed to take in order to branch out from the life and environment I was accustomed to,” Tanika says. She...

Social Change Leadership minor

Marci found just what she was looking for—a small school with big opportunities—at North Central.

“There are endless internships and organizations,” she says. “The people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had here will give me an advantage when preparing for graduate school and the workforce. Plus, the atmosphere here makes learning really enjoyable.”

Marci wants to work with kids from low-income backgrounds as a child psychologist. She’s majoring in psychology and sociology and minoring in social change leadership to achieve her goal.

“I’m very passionate about helping children,” she says.

“Most schools don’t offer a program like social change leadership.”

Social Change Leadership minor

Molly found her calling by embarking on international ministry and service trips through North Central. Visiting Africa and Columbia helped her develop a passion for social work and for making a difference in the lives of young people. So she switched her major to sociology so she could pursue a career in school counseling or teaching in Teach For America.

To round out her interests in social justice causes, she decided to minor in social change leadership. “This fits with what I want to do,” she says. Molly has also volunteered as an orientation leader, interned at a social service agency working with teens, and during her senior year will organize service trips for the Office of Ministry and Service....

Social Change Leadership minor

For Ivana, the social change leadership minor wasn’t just a program, but a passion. That passion inspired her to engage in service trips and to tutor immigrant families each week in learning the English language. “If I could redo my student years, I’d go on every service trip offered, and there are many to choose from."

“In my classes, I learned lessons that challenged my views and perspective on many things in my life and motivated me to take action and become involved in my community,” She says. “My professors spent countless hours discussing research projects, career and academic plans and life with me. They’re part of a nourishing North Central family community that’s fostered throughout the campus...

Social Change Leadership minor

A double major in global studies and Spanish, Lisa wants to change the world. To support her ambition, she pursued a minor in social change leadership.

“It’s the perfect way to reinforce my majors in global studies and Spanish and expand my career opportunities,” she says.

To chase her dream, Lisa gained experience on campus and off. She volunteered at WAR Chest Boutique, a nonprofit jewelry store in downtown Naperville operated by Women At Risk International. She also participated in multiple North Central service organizations: NCC for Africa, Cardinals in Action and BreakAway, which sponsors student service trips around the nation during spring break.

Lisa plans to work for nonprofit...