Associated Colleges of Illinois
Associated Colleges of Illinois supports member colleges and universities by advancing independent liberal arts and sciences education and helping underserved students succeed in college, career and life.
Iga Szelag is a first-generation student at North Park University, Chicago. Szelag is an accounting major, with hopes of becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She is also a mentor in ACI’s Peer Mentoring Program at the university. Watch as she tells how peer mentoring has improved her college experience.
Click here for more info about Szelag. Learn about other participants in the ACI Peer Mentoring Program, plus student scholarship recipients.
North Park University: For More Than 125 Years, a Chicago-centered University With Deep Christian Roots
University focuses on preparing diverse student body with innovative programs in a competitive college environment
Mary K. Surridge
President, North Park University
Since 1894 — before the city around it was even there – North Park University has been an anchor of Christian higher education in northwest Chicago. Today, the university’s president, Mary K. Surridge, left, sees the school emerging as the model for Christian higher education in 21st Century America.
“Three distinctive characteristics help distinguish us from other universities,” Surridge says. “We’re distinguished by our Christian identity, and deeply rooted in faith. Second, we are centered in this world-class city of Chicago, a competitive advantage with opportunities that are limitless for education and career development. And third, we are distinguished and blessed by the rich tapestry of a thoroughly intercultural student community. Our student population has no majority group, and identifies as nearly 50 percent students of color. That is a strength for us that is unparalleled.”
“In my view,” Surridge says, “one of our Christian imperatives is that we prepare an intercultural, diverse student body to serve in the city — that we help students find their calling and equip them to use their vocational gifts for a better world.”