Embracing Our Future

Goals address academic distinction and access

Never before has it been so critical that Saint Joseph’s be innovative while maintaining the time-honored hallmarks of a Jesuit education. To fulfill Plan 2020: Gateway to the Future, the University’s strategic roadmap, Saint Joseph’s has set goals that will strengthen our reputation, ensure access to a broad population of students, and showcase the results that lead to lifelong success.

Reputation:  Academic Distinction and Transformative Learning

For continued success, Saint Joseph’s University must be recognized for competitiveness in the top tier of master’s-level institutions. Seeking the Magis, Academic Plan 2012-2015, establishes initiatives and goals toward achieving Academic Distinction.

“A large part of the plan is a commitment to hiring 50 new faculty members over a five-year period,” said University Provost Brice Wachterhauser, Ph.D. “Continued growth of an excellent faculty is essential to academic distinction.” Another priority is to strengthen at least one program of excellence in each major academic area: Business, Humanities, Sciences/Math, Social Sciences and Education.

In fully implementing the General Education Program (GEP), the First-Year Seminar Program will reach every student to enhance the freshman classroom experience. Four additional science labs will be renovated. Ethics, diversity, globalization, non-western and writing-intensive courses will be added.

“Even as we have grown, Saint Joseph’s has remained an incredibly personal place,” said Kathy Gaval, EdD  ’80 (BS), ’85 (MBA), Vice President for Planning. “The Jesuit ideal of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, remains a key part of the student experience.”  

Seeking the Magis also calls for Saint Joseph’s to expand the Service-Learning Program (see Finding Their Faith Alive) from 550 to 800 student participants by 2015. Plans include:  establishing a Faith-Justice Studies major and Peace Studies minor, adding grants to fund community-engaged research projects, and increasing student participation in immersion and study abroad programs.

Access:  A Strategic Advantage

“In this competitive age, scholarships provide us with an opportunity to allow a student to achieve his or her dreams of attaining a Saint Joseph’s degree,” Gaval said. “Scholarships are the game changers that give us the competitive edge. They enable Saint Joseph’s to enroll students of all demographic groups to maintain a vibrant and interactive community.”

The freshman class entering in fall 2012 was awarded more than $1.7 million in additional scholarships to meet financial need and acknowledge merit than were the students entering in 2011. (See related article on the President’s Magis Scholarship Initiative.)

Results:  The Many Who Live Greater

Saint Joseph’s challenges and supports students to become men and women who, upon graduation, are fully employed or in graduate school or volunteer programs, while continuing to lead meaningful lives of faith and purpose.

The University regularly assesses placement of students in chosen careers and continuing education. The most recent Career Destinations study, based on survey responses from 60% of the graduation class, reports that 93% are employed and/or pursuing additional education.

Our graduates become leaders in their fields, responsible citizens engaged in their communities, people who make a difference in the lives of others.