posted on 3/25/09
Saint Joseph's College Featured in National Commonweal Magazine
Posted: March 25, 2008
The nationally-renowned Core Curriculum at Saint Joseph's College was recently honored as the cover article of the esteemed lay-Catholic independent journal Commonweal. The March 14, 2008, issue of the nationally-distributed magazine featured an article on the Curriculum written by Dennis O'Brien, President Emeritus of the University of Rochester, who spoke on the College's campus in January 2007 on the relation of Catholicism to higher education, sponsored by the Commonweal Speakers Program.
In his article, O'Brien praises the Core Program at Saint Joseph's, which serves as the College's general education requirement. Spanning all four years of the students' college careers, the Program focuses on integrating general knowledge with specialized studies, allowing for individual majors to be pursued in conjunction with Core classes. Students are not bogged down with full schedules of general education classes during their first and second years of study, as is often the case at other institutions, but instead enjoy the benefit of beginning their major courses of study within their first semesters at SJC.
O'Brien wrote, "I learned a great deal at Saint Joseph's about actually doing Catholic higher education" while he was on campus last winter. He went on in his Commonweal article to state, "Saint Joseph's actually has a coherent, comprehensive idea about what constitutes higher education, and it has made it real in an effective - and Catholic - Core Curriculum."
Professor Emeritus of English John Groppe believes that the Commonweal article "may be the most important article on the Core Program in a non-academic periodical." He continued, "Dennis O'Brien has given considerable thought to Catholic higher education reflected in such works as his The Idea of a Catholic University and has extensive experience in American higher education."
In addition to the praise received from O'Brien and Commonweal, Saint Joseph's has acquired a number of other accolades from professionals and peers. The College is nationally-recognized for leadership in the development of student character by the Templeton Foundation and was recognized for excellence in the areas of Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Communities, and Successful Outcomes by the Colleges of Distinction. The Princeton Review awarded SJC with a "Best in the Midwest" designation, and USNews & World Report honored the College as one of the Top 40 "Best Midwest Comprehensive Colleges" in America's Best Colleges. Additionally, Barron's Best Buys in College Education recently included Saint Joseph's College in the publication's ninth edition.
In his article, O'Brien applauded Saint Joseph's for its ability to pursue an academic emphasis on Christian humanism without making any non-Christian students feel alienated or uncomfortable. He also equated students and faculty alike as co-learners in the Core Program, creating "a two-way synergy between the core and the work that students pursue in their majors."
He continued, "Saint Joseph's deserves enormous credit for undertaking a level of formal assessment that outstrips any I have seen in more than twenty accreditation visits to colleges and universities up and down the prestige ladder."
For more information about Commonweal magazine, visit www.commonwealmagazine.org.
Saint Joseph's College, named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation and a "best Midwestern college" by the Princeton Review, is a four-year, Catholic, liberal arts college offering 74 major, minor, and pre-professional programs. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of over 1,000 students.