CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — North Park University (North Park) concluded its Fall 2020 semester to first-year, returning and transfer students. With the campus community’s health, safety and successful educational progress leading every decision, a sense of gratitude permeated the campus.

“The students have confidence in the complex and detailed planning that went into offering the opportunity to attend North Park in-person this fall – and our plan worked well,” said North Park President Mary K. Surridge.

Every day Surridge engaged in individual and group conversations with students, faculty and staff to sustain campus community life and support wellness protocols. “We are all in this together – and I could not be prouder of our Reopening Task Force and our campus community,” said Surridge.

Strict COVID-19 measures, to support a safe outdoor and indoor learning environment, enabled North Park to maintain a combination of in-person, online and hybrid learning. Strategically placed large white tents took advantage of the outdoors, and indoors, safety measures were in full effect. The Reopening Task Force, CDC, and higher education governing bodies, guided the preparation and maintenance to protect the health, safety and wellness of the campus community. In addition to installing virus-killing Ultraviolet or electronic air filtration devices, students, faculty and staff completed online educational modules covering:

  • Understanding COVID-19
  • Risk mitigation strategies and community shared responsibility
  • OSHA and PPE
  • Symptom screening, testing, quarantine, isolation, contact tracing
  • Signing of the Viking Shield as a personal commitment to protect the community

Looking ahead into Spring 2021, Surridge plans on a similar approach by staying alert to changing circumstances, adding restrictions at key times, lifting them appropriately and returning to protocols.

“We have highly qualified professionals giving daily attention to every detail and will continue to do so moving into winter and spring 2021,” added Surridge. Daily temperature and COVID symptom check-ins, monitored through a free smart-phone app, clears students, faculty and staff to appear on campus.

North Park’s doing-your-part culture promotes guideline compliance such as universal mask wearing, hand hygiene and social distancing.

“Students are grateful for the gift of being together with friends, faculty and mentors,” Surridge said, “and they are sharing responsibility for making the plan work.”


North Park University is city-centered, intercultural, and emerging as the model for Christian higher education in 21st Century America.

SOURCE North Park University

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