SOURCE: North Park University

North Park University

December 14, 2010 15:53 ET

Services for Seniors Is a Growing Nonprofit Career Path

North Park University Expert Says Social and Recreational Services for Older Adults Is Key Niche for Holders of Master's Degrees in Nonprofit Administration

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - December 14, 2010) - North Park University announced today that the job market has continued to improve for adults who return to school in the nonprofit area. Recent graduates of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management and the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management at North Park University have found success by focusing on employment niches such as serving the growing population of older adults.

"Healthcare, social services and recreational services for seniors are all areas of growth," said Wesley E. Lindahl, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University. "We continue to see not only healthy interest in traditional MBA degrees but strong interest from adults in nonprofit degrees and certificates, a trend that accelerated during the economic downturn of the past several years. Many are career-switchers from the business world, who are returning to work after a hiatus, or are seeking to advance their current careers in the nonprofit world."

Lindahl pointed to three graduates who furthered their careers with adult education at North Park University, each of whom is heading up senior centers along Chicago's suburban North Shore.

Ruthie Brew, the senior center manager at the Wilmette Park District, went to school one night a week for three years at North Park University to earn her MMNA (Master of Management in Nonprofit Administration): "I realized I would need further education to return to the workforce at a senior level after 14 years as a stay-at-home-mom. North Park University was the right location, the right price, and has a great student body. I still get together with former classmates after several years."

Christina Ferraro, senior services manager, City of Evanston, had long been employed providing recreational services to seniors in the Evanston area. She obtained an MBA and an MMNA from North Park while managing the Evanston Levy Senior Center and has subsequently added social services for seniors to her responsibilities: "Like many others, I returned to school to advance my career, and I received a large benefit from the nonprofit program at North Park." 

Jordan Luhr already had a position with a child welfare agency and an MBA from the University of Maryland, but wanted to advance his career. He obtained a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at North Park University. Today he is executive director of the North Shore Senior Center, which serves older adults in 23 communities and is one of the first senior centers accredited in the United States. His career advice to others is direct: "Follow your passion."

About North Park University
Located in Chicago, North Park University is a Christian comprehensive university that serves nearly 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students of all faiths and diverse multicultural backgrounds from around the country and the world. North Park offers a values-based education to students through more than 30 undergraduate majors and an adult degree-completion program, as well as graduate and continuing education in business, nonprofit management, nursing, education, music, and theology. By integrating faith with learning and service -- as it has done since its founding in 1891 by the Evangelical Covenant Church -- North Park University continues to focus on the important task of preparing students for lives of significance and service. More information is available at

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