Media Releases

North Central College announces expanded partnership with Inside Out Club DuPage

Aug 09, 2023

North Central College’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies has launched an expanded partnership with Inside Out Club DuPage, based in Naperville. The partnership extends the resources of the College’s Cultures of Character Initiatives into the elementary and middle school programs offered by Inside Out Club DuPage. The nonprofit organization aims to help children as young as age three develop and practice skills such as empathy, acceptance, perseverance and kindness.

This new partnership adds to the network of organizations, professional associations and school districts that serve pre-K through 12th grade students. By linking with these groups, North Central extends its reach to bring attention to the value of embedding character virtues in the foundational ethos of a school or group culture. North Central faculty have already consulted on the organization’s kindergarten through fifth grade curriculum; including, mapping lessons back to Illinois Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Common Core standards, as well as providing assessment guidance on gauging the impact and effectiveness of Inside Out Club programs.

“This partnership represents the College’s deep commitment to supporting our home community,” said Abiódún Gòkè-Pariolá, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “North Central faculty, staff and students have provided guidance and expertise to Inside Out Club DuPage for several years, and the addition of this partnership brings new character resources and contacts that will expand and enhance their and our outreach.”

North Central College is committed to inspiring well-equipped, principled, responsible educators and leaders. Through a $3.2 million grant—the College’s largest ever private grant—North Central has launched several unique initiatives focused on social, emotional and ethical competencies. What makes North Central distinctive is a dedication to foster and nurture cultures of character across all school systems served by the College.

“At the Inside Out Club we’re building a community that values good character, which requires having like-minded partners working together for the common good. Our partnership with North Central College’s Character Initiatives is exciting as opens additional avenues to engage teachers and future leaders in education with our character programs,’ stated Marion Ruthig, founder and executive director of Inside Out Club DuPage.

Inside Out Club achieves its mission through three core programs: K-5th Grade Series, Business Designers 4 Good and Stand-Alone Events. The K-5th Grade Series is offered after-school for an hour a week over five weeks at local elementary schools. Business Designers 4 Good is an eighteen-hour workshop for middle and high school students aimed at teaching them the “soft skills” needed for school, life and future careers. Through this program students learn skills in four key pillars: entrepreneurship, leadership, social responsibility, and emotional intelligence. The workshop culminates in the students presenting their business ideas that will do “good” in the world. Inside Out Club’s Stand-Alone Events are one hour in length, taking place throughout the school year for families or groups. Each event uniquely combines character building and volunteerism.

In addition to these core programs, Inside Out Club collaborates with local partners to bring activities to summer campers, and provides free resources. Annually, Inside Out Club positively impacts thousands of children and their families, who in turn impact over 20 local nonprofits and the children, veterans, elderly and animals they serve.

For more information about the College’s character initiatives visit: