NSpire - Ideas for Innovation


Seeking to Inspire

NSpire is an interactive website that serves as a collector and disseminator of innovation for the entire Northwestern College community. It provides:

  • starting points for discussions via the six idea “clusters”
  • a searchable database of innovative ideas, categorized by pedagogical structure, faculty responsibilities, and institutional mechanics—all tagged with keywords.
  • an avenue for submitting your own ideas that might help others improve their teaching, their academic programs, their departmental identity, or their connection with prospective students

NSpire is a “living” document. We hope it will inspire the Northwestern community for years to come.

Starting Points for Discussion

The Academic Innovation Lab distilled the most important ideas from the 2018-2019 academic year and categorized them into six different clusters. Click below to view a specific cluster and the ideas that got us excited.

Cluster 1

A curriculum for the real world

The liberal arts have immense potential to strengthen human skills such as creativity, caring, and collaborating. Our students find value in their majors; do they find similar value in our Core curriculum?


Cluster 2

Adult and transfer students

As the higher ed market shifts away from residential students, how do we stay nimble and strong? Can we work with community colleges? How do we be more attractive to adult learners? How do we help them be successful once they are with us?


Cluster 3

Externally focused "outroads"

The default mode of most higher education institutions is focus with what is going on internally. What if NWC was more deliberate about fostering external relationships and service in order to thrive?


Cluster 4

Rethinking deep structures

Northwestern and higher ed as a whole is limited by deep structures — scheduling, organizational, etcetera— that hamstring our creative ability to deliver a first-rate Christian college education. What if we were not bound by those structures?


Cluster 5

Flourishing, energized faculty

Any attempts to build innovation into the fabric of Northwestern must involve processes that nurture, celebrate, and reward innovation among our faculty.


Cluster 6

Thriving, dynamic students

Students face a myriad of challenges to their success: financial, mental, academic. How can we be a place that not only helps students step through these obstacles, but inspired them to thrive beyond?

Search for Innovative Ideas

If you're looking for something very specific or if you are just exploring, one of the search tools below can help you find an inspiring idea.

Pedagogical Structure

Classroom Department /Program Division Individual HigherEducation Institution

Faculty Responsibilities

Teaching InstitutionalService Scholarship

Institutional Mechanics

Policy Resources Culture

Search Using the Advanced Search

Submit an Innovative Idea

Do you have an idea that might help others improve their teaching, their academic programs, their departmental identity, or their connection with prospective students? We’d love to add it to the mix.