North Central College - Naperville, IL

Building Communities Near and Far

Preparing involved, principled students remains at the foundation of academics and student life at North Central College. Dozens of organizations and programs engage students on campus and complement their academic journeys—with everything from pottery and square dance clubs to a roller hockey team to long established activities like student government and the North Central Chronicle. Even though students' needs and interests continue to evolve, the outcomes of engagement remain the same: leadership opportunities, community-building and experiences that promise transformation. Nearly 60 student organizations-plus athletic, cheerleading and dance teams-add vitality to the campus and are integral to every student's college experience.

Engagement has become the "buzz word" for student involvement in academics and co-curricular programs and it's a key component of the College's Strategic Plan for 2007-2012. Engagement is measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement and those statistics can reveal interesting trends. For example, significant percentages of North Central's first-year students are involved in community service and volunteer work—50 percent more than students at the College's peer institutions.

"Seeing students assume leadership roles and interacting, that's an important part of what we do," says Laurie Hamen, vice president for enrollment management, student affairs and athletics. "That's the rewarding part—witnessing that personal growth."

One area working to meet the needs of students in the 21st century is the Office of Ministry and Service, which has introduced new and creative programs to satisfy changing interests. "Ministry and service programs are wonderful and positive outlets for students who want to build community and personal relationships," adds Hamen.

Learn what it's like to engage at North Central College today—through the eyes and experiences of students who are making a difference as community-builders and leaders.

North Central NOW Spring 2008